January 24, 2014
Alone in Antarctica
Black Whiteness: Admiral Byrd Alone in the Antarctic
by Robert Burleigh
illustrated by Walter Lyon Krudop
In 1934, for nearly six months, Admiral Richard Byrd stayed alone on Antarctica. Living underground in a small, dark room, he must survive bitter cold, Antarctic blizzards, and carbon monoxide poisoning. But somehow, he endures.
Burleigh's text, written as a free verse poem, expertly captures Byrd's despair and loneliness. Excerpts from Byrd's diaries add to the emotion. The poem is beautifully illustrated by Krudop's paintings; the dark colors effectively dramatize Byrd's ordeal.