HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Over the Top of the World
Authors: Will Steger and Jon Bowermaster
Phorographer: Gordon Wiltsie
Publisher: Scholastic, republished in 1999
ISBN-13: 978-0590848602 Hardcover
ISBN-10: 0590848607 Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-0590848619 Paperback
ISBN-10: 0590848615 Paperback
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 8-12 and up
Rating: **** 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Steger, Will, and Bowermaster, Jon. Over the Top of the World (published in 1997 by Expeditions Unlimited, Inc.; republished in 1999 by Scholastic Inc., 555 Broadway, New York City, NY 10012). In 1995, explorer Will Steger, who had had led the first confirmed unsupported dogsled trip to the North Pole in 1986 and then successfully crossed Antarctica in 1989 travelled on a four-month adventure by dog sled and canoe from Cape Artischesky in western Siberia, Russia, across the treacherous, partially-frozen Arctic Ocean, to Ellesmere Island in Nunavut, Canada. His team consisted of Victor Boyarsky, Julie Hanson, Takako Takano, Martin Hignell, and Ulrik Vedel who was later replaced by Paul Pregont, along with 33 sled dogs. They arrived at their departure point on March 9, were able to begin their journey on April 3, and arrived at their destination on July 3.
This day-to-day narrative, accompanied by gorgeous, full-color photographs, interesting journal entries, and several Arctic travel-related bits of information, portrays the sometimes life-threatening experiences of renowned polar explorer Will Steger and his team as they travel over the North Pole to record ecological changes in the Arctic. As School Library Journal noted, “Interspersed with Steger’s personalized account are background information and facts about the expedition; a brief history of Arctic exploration; a geographic description of the Arctic Ocean; mini-biographies of the team members and the dogs; and a supply list.” The book would be of special interest to those who enjoy reading about polar exploration.