The Impossible First: An Explorer’s Race Across Antarctica – Colin O’Brady


    The Impossible First: An Explorer’s Race Across Antarctica – Colin O’Brady, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781534461987, 2020

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5+

 What did you like about the book? This book is a New York Times bestseller and has been adapted for a younger audience. This is the story of extreme adventurer Colin O’Brady and his quest to be the first person to cross Antarctica alone. The interesting thing about this book is that it is much more than just his training and experiences for this task. O’Brady’s entire life has been about setting and achieving goals, overcoming obstacles, and living your dreams. He was encouraged by his family to explore the outdoors, excel in sports (while still having fun) and to dream big. One part of the book that I found especially inspiring was his incredible recovery from a devastating burn that engulfed his legs and almost prevented him from ever walking again. Not only did he recover from his injuries, but he was competing in triathlons within one year of his accident. This book is written in first person so the reader really gets the feeling that they are sitting down with O’Brady and hearing him recount his adventures. This book also offers several pages of photographs of his training and trek across Antarctica.

Anything you did not like about the book. Nothing

To whom would you recommend this book? This book is perfect for upper elementary grades through high school. This was such an interesting and inspirational story that I feel many kids will want to learn more about O’Brady after reading this book. There is quite a bit on the website, along with Ted Talks and videos, so this book is a great way to introduce kids to this amazing man.

Who should buy this book? Public and school libraries

Where would you shelve it? Nonfiction/Biographies

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes! I am not personally into extreme sports, but this was an amazing read.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Kristin Guay, former youth services librarian.

Date of review: April 15, 2021

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