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Kids book reviews

'The Impossible Rescue: The True Story of an Amazing Arctic Adventure' by Martin W. Sandler

By Mary Harris Russell

3:16 PM EST, December 3, 2012

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"The Impossible Rescue: The True Story of an Amazing Arctic Adventure"

By Martin W. Sandler

Candlewick, $22.99, ages 10-14

Yes, this book earns its adjectives. In 1897-98, in western and northern Alaska, officers of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service are ordered to rescue nearly 300 whalers iced-in around Point Barrow, Alaska. Frequently using survivors' narratives as well as photographs taken by Dr. McCall, one of the three lead officers (in addition to David Jarvis and Ellsworth Bertholf), Martin Sandler manages to project the courage and the humanity of those who achieved the rescue. The officers, who admire the adaptivity of native peoples and their generosity, think fast, fearlessly and strategically, with no electronic helpers.