Shackleton Stowaway

Summary and Discussions by Racheal O


Shackleton's Stowaway is about the struggles that occurred with a sailor and his crew on their journey to Antarctica. The book starts out on a dock in Buenos Aires, when the main character Perce and friend Billy are desperately looking for work. They overhear two openings on the ship Endurance lead by the famous captain Shackleton. They both apply for the two spots, Billy is chosen because of his previous experience being a sailor and Perce is not. The night before the ship leaves Perce decides to stowaway, with the help of Billy and mutual friend Vincent, Perce successfully is hidden on the ship. About a week later, he gets discovered by a crew mate he is forced to work in the kitchen. Throughout the voyage the crew gets closer and is able to become friends. About a year after they took off they find themselves surrounded by ice and unable to sail, with the ship slowly breaking the crew is forced to evacuate into the life boats and find real ground. After weeks of continuously rowing in life boats the finally the crew lands on an island, named Elephant Island. They set up camp slowly but surely since almost every crew member is suffering from malnutrition and a mild to severe case of frostbite. After a couple months on the island, Captain Shackleton decides to go and look for help with a couple of other crew mates. Perce's toes are amputated, and Shackleton finds a way to rescue his crew from Antarctica (with the help of a second crew from Chile). Everyone survives to tell the story of their survival in Antarctica.

Racheals Book Club Report

This is what happened in my book club group.

Group Discussions

Connections: Our book club group observed that there were a lot of real life connections to be made in the book. Some of the connections we discussed were on page 199, when Perce talked about the harsh temperatures and the ice/wind. Harshini could relate because of the past blizzard that happened not to long ago.

Literary Luminary: On page 162 the book says "The animals that offered affection now offered meat." Harshini's interpenetration of the quote was "... that the animals that were mean but turned into loving animals offered themselves to the sailors for food."

Creative Questioner: One of the questions I asked my group was "How was Wild's reaction to Perce's 'death' ?" It was a text dependent question and the answer could be found on page 260. My group responded by saying "He was sad and scared."

Word Watcher: One of the word we discussed was bureaucracy on page 290. The group said it was "A form of government."


Contrasts & Contradictions: Page 20 when Perce was nice to the unfamiliar dog. I thought he would hit the dog to move it along.

Aha Moment: The final paragraph on page 241 and pages 242 and 243. These pages are when Perce's toes get amputated because the flesh has died since his frostbite was so severe.

Tough Questions: Page 36, Perce finally decides makes the decision after some thoughtful questioning to become a part of the crew and go along on the journey to Antarctica after being told the risks and dangers.

Words of the Wiser: page 156 the rest of the group and Perce was complaining about pulling life boats and Crean said "' Can't fuss when the weight you're dragging is going to save your life,'"

Again and Again: Page 249 Wild had said the routine wake up call for almost 3 months now

Memory Moment: Page 234 Billy and Perce talk about their lives before the journey and what they would love to eat and what they missed (Perce mentioned a girl that he liked)