Frozen Secrets

Antarctica Revealed

  • Interest Level: Grade 4 - Grade 8
  • Reading Level: Grade 5

Studying Antarctica has never been for the fainthearted.

“Hereabouts died a very gallant gentleman, Captain L. E. G. Oates of the Inniskilling Dragoons. In March 1912, returning from the Pole, he walked willingly to his death in a blizzard to try to save his comrades, beset by hardship.”
—Inscription on a cross placed near presumed final resting place of Antarctic explorer Lawrence “Titus” Oates, The Terra Nova Expedition, 1910-1913

“We have one survival bag for every two people.”
—Antarctic paleontologist William Hammer, Transantarctic Vertebrate Paleontology Project, 2004

“When the ice cracks, it can sound like massive thunder rolls that seem to go on forever. If it is a serious cracking in the ice, it literally sounds like canon shots.”
—Eighth-grade science teacher and Antarctic diver Robin Ellwood, Lake Ecosystems in Antarctica Project, 2008-2009

Humanity’s fascination with the land at the bottom of the globe dates back at least to the ancient Romans, who imagined Terra Australis Incognita—the “unknown southern land”—and drew it on their maps even though no one had ever seen it. It took a thousand years for this unknown land to become known. Despite the many people who have since visited it, conquering the Antarctic frontier is a never-ending challenge that calls scientists and explorers to risk their lives in the pursuit of knowledge.

Frozen Secrets is the tale of a continent, the inside story of the critical, cutting-edge research that brave men and women from around the world have done and still do in Antarctica. Sally M. Walker traces expeditions from the earliest explorers to today’s research stations, where contemporary scientists work in some of the harshest conditions on Earth.

Whether they study the formation of polar ice or the stratigraphy of ancient rock or the fossils of newly discovered dinosaurs or the chemistry of air trapped in miniscule frozen bubbles, the scientists working in Antarctica are building a body of knowledge that will influence future generations as they make choices that could affect the course of the whole planet.

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Interest Level Grade 4 - Grade 8
Reading Level Grade 5
Genre Science
Copyright 2010
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Carolrhoda Books ®
Language English
Number of Pages 104
Publication Date 2014-08-01
Text Type Informational/Explanatory
BISACS JNF038090, JNF051000
Dewey 919.8'9
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 10.625 x 8.875
Guided Reading Level Y
ATOS Reading Level 8.6
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 138513
Accelerated Reader® Points 5.0
Features Awards, Bibliography/further reading, Glossary, Index, Maps, Photo captions, Reviewed, and Starred Reviews

Author: Sally M. Walker

Sally M. Walker has been a children's book writer for over 20 years. Most of her books are nonfiction and present various science topics to young readers. Fossil Fish Found Alive is the story of the hunt for the elusive fish called the coelacanth. Sally also enjoys combining science investigation with historical topics. Her book Secrets of a Civil War Submarine, which won the 2006 Robert F. Sibert Medal, tells about the history, loss, and re-discovery of the first submarine to sink an enemy ship in battle. Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland takes readers on archaeological expeditions, where the forensic analysis of colonial settlers' bones helps us to understand their lives. Sally especially enjoys writing narrative nonfiction that captures the reader's attention with a true story. She is also the author of 2019 Orbis Pictus Honor Book Champion: The Comeback Tale of the American Chestnut.


  • ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Bronze Award, Commended, 2011
  • VOYA Nonfiction Honor List, Winner, 2011
  • Science Books & Films Best Books, Winner, 2011
  • SSLI Book Award Honor Book, Commended, 2011
  • Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books, Winner, 2010
  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2010


The Horn Book Guide

“The narrative remains lively and engaging, complemented by an array of photographs, illustrations, and maps.” —The Horn Book Guide


In a wide-angle survey of our least-explored continent, the author of Written in Bone (2009) and other perceptive accounts of researchers in the field examines the methods and discoveries of scientists studying Antarctica’s geophysics, prehistory, biota, and long- and short-range climatic variations. . . . Walker profiles major and ongoing research projects that enhance the recent biographies of Shackleton and his ilk and the plethora of books about penguins." —Booklist

Library Media Connection

“Older readers will enjoy the book for its in-depth coverage, while younger readers will benefit from this as both a leisure reading and informational book.” —Library Media Connection

School Library Journal

“All of Walker’s impressive writing talents are on display in this book on the frozen continent. . . . With its superb design and Walker’s gripping prose, this book will draw readers in and keep them involved.” —School Library Journal

Science Books & Films

“Sally Walker’s Frozen Secrets: Antarctica Revealed is an excellent and beautifully written love story about the great southern continent.” —Science Books & Films

The Horn Book Magazine

“Walker investigates the scientific mysteries of Antarctica with her characteristic depth and insight…. Despite conveying lots of technical information, Walker’s narrative remains lively and engaging.” —The Horn Book Magazine

Kirkus Reviews

“Informative, insightful and engaging, this is an exceptional introduction to our southernmost continent.” —Kirkus Reviews


“This is another well-documented book from Sally M. Walker! This beautifully illustrated book documents the work of Earth and life scientists as they discover the history and future of the frozen continent.” —NSTA