Engaging reads for children, from Books go Walkabout

Tag: Joanna Grochowicz

Joanna Grochowicz, Antarctic Explorer author, Zooms to Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong

Joanna and statue of Amundsen

Shrewsbury International School, Hong Kong have been working with Books Go Walkabout for some years. We had planned a wonderful author visit to the school in October 2019, by Joanna Grochowicz, New Zealand author of Polar Explorers. But then the Hong Kong protests meant it was no longer safe.

With children still working from home, due to Covid 19, in the spring of 2020, Beth McNeilly, school librarian and a passionate believer in the benefit of direct contact with authors, helped us to find a way. So, along with three quarters of the world in June 2020 we used Zoom. And hey it was fantastic!

A great school…

We had over 300 children, staff and parents joining the Zoom presentation with Joanna. We found our way to the Antarctic; where Joanna had visited in February this year, we reached the South Pole, and saw the photographer Ponting taking a photo of killer whales, we heard that the ice block he was standing on was upended by the whales, but he managed to escape, which was good as they would have eaten him.

Joanna in disguise as Herbert Ponting

There was so much fascinating detail of the journeys of both R.F Scott from the UK, and R. Amundsen from Norway in the early 1900’s, that the stories of adventure, courage, determination, skill and expertise were incredible. All the stories which brought the presentation and the books to life had been meticulously researched by Joanna with visits to many places to gather the story behind the journey. Joanna visited Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, UK, where she also came to Books Go Walkabout office.

Joanna in disguise as Amundsen

Her books are just made for reading, the first in the series is, Into the White, Scott’s Antarctic Odyssey and her second book is, Amundsen’s Way, with her third book about Shackleton being published later this year. They are some incredible stories and immensely well written, good for ages above 9 years and including all adults.

Into the White

We are indebted to Shrewsbury International School, Hong Kong for their perseverance in enabling the visit for Joanna to take place and especially to Beth McNeilly and staff for their commitment to the project and of course, to all the children who joined into the presentation. It must have been as hard for them to sit still for an hour without asking direct questions as it was for Joanna to present her stories to many, many black screens.

Amundsen's Way - The Race to the South Pole

We hope that one day all will be well and international travel will enable Joanna to make a direct visit to Hong Kong. But there is also so much scope now for children to have virtual visits with authors who have so much to bring to learning and adventure.

At Books Go Walkabout, we are committed to an international dimension to with books, and authors; stories across the world and knowledge transfer through reading and sharing.

Sue Martin

Amundsen’s Way Race to the South Pole by Joanna Grochowicz

Amundsen's Way - The Race to the South Pole cover image

Buy this book here: available 5th Sept. 2019

Amundsens’ Way – Race to the South Pole, is Joanna’s second stunning book about the Antarctic explorers of the early 19 Century.  Roald Amundsen was  determined, heroic and courageous but not best liked but he did win the race to the South Pole in 1911.

Joanna’s skill shines through beyond the words as she writes with intrigue and knowledge about the stories and challenges on this epic but cruel journey.  Her understanding of Amundsen details his faults as well as his abilities, and although she admires his courage, his methods were often very hard.

Amundsen’s Way is Joanna’s second novel of narrative non-fiction, her first Into the White – Scott’s Antarctic Odyssey, is hugely successful and was a finalist for the New Zealand Book Awards 2018. The illustrator for both books is Sarah Lippett.

Buy this book here (Available 5th Sept 2019)

Amundsen’s Way is published by Allen and Unwin of Australia and will be released in the UK in  Autumn 2019.

Books Go Walkabout is planning Joanna’s next visit to the UK and currently talking with schools and organisations on bookings in November.

Her charismatic storytelling abilities will captivate any audience of young people, it’s a great story!

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

Joanna Grochowicz – Autumn tour in UK with BGW

Joanna, awaiting visitors with the SPRI team...image

Joanna, awaiting visitors with the SPRI team…read more below.

An outstanding visit from New Zealand author Joanna Grochowicz to U.K. schools and organisations in September.

Joanna’s visits were planned with Books Go Walkabout.

We were delighted that over 1,000 children, have been inspired to be writers of the future. They have learnt so much about Antarctic exploration and history of the early 1900’s.

Joanna is a born storyteller and can captivate any audience from a class of 30 to a theatre auditorium packed to over 400 people, with such tales to tell! Her knowledge of this incredible voyage, which ended in disappointment and disaster, is based on real stories from the expedition, bringing the book alive.

Joanna engages a full audience of readers...image

Joanna engages a full audience of readers…

Books Go Walkabout planned the visits over the last 6 months, from timings, specifics and curriculum links for each school, making sure it would work best for the students and bringing added value for the teachers.

Joanna visited some outstanding schools, including  Christ’s Hospital in Sussex, Bournemouth School, Copthorne Preparatory School, William Tyndale Primary and Cheltenham College. She had a rapturous welcome throughout, with many return visits planned.

The adventures of Captain Scott are full of meaningful tales.  Herbert Ponting, the photographer, for instance was about to take a photo of killer whales, only to find they were looking at him with other thoughts. They swam under the ice and turned the ice pack that he was standing on upside down. He was rescued by colleagues as he hung on to his tripod and escaped being eaten by Orcinus Orca.

At the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, Joanna met with visitors and parents who avidly bought copies of Into the White. Scott Polar Research Institute is the home of Arctic and Antarctic exploration and research. The museum is full of artefacts and information and a delightful visit is guaranteed.

Joanna returns in the Spring to continue her research for the third book on Antarctic exploration.

Into the White - cover image and web link...

Buy ths great book here…i

In May 2019 Joanna’s second book will be published by Allen and Unwin, based on the treks of Roald Amundsen, the Norwegian polar explorer.

We are delighted to be working with Joanna over the next few years and if you would like a visit, contact suemartin@booksgowalkabout.com.

Copies of Into the White, Scott’s Antarctic Odyssey, can be purchased here.

Sue Martin

Into The White, Scott’s Antarctic Odyssey by Joanna Grochowicz and illustrated by Sarah Lippett

Into the White

Buy this book on-line here…

A first children’s book for Joanna Grochowicz and an amazing start to a career in writing.

The book is full of adventure from beginning to end. This is a journey into the unknown, into a world full of extremes and hardship. It is an amazing story of a team bound together with courage and endeavour.

If you’re into happy endings, best look some place else. This story does not end well. This is a story where men die and their dreams of greatness with them. But it is a fine story and one that is worth telling, from heroic beginning to tragic end.

This is the story of Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova expedition and the memorable characters, who with a band of shaggy ponies and savage dogs, followed a man they trusted into the unknown. Battling storms at sea, impenetrable pack ice, man-eating whales, crevasses, blizzards, bad food, extreme temperatures, and equal measures of hunger, agony and snow blindness, the team pushes on against all odds.

Buy this thrilling book here…

A thrilling story about leadership, resilience and facing adversity with courage, Into the White will leave you on the edge of your seat, hoping against hope that Scott and his men just might survive their Antarctic ordeal and live to tell the tale.

Joanna Grochowicz was born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1972.  Following a career as a business writer, Joanna decided to take the plunge and did a Masters in Creative Writing.  Into the White is her first book.

“People fascinate me. I love oddballs and misfits, saints and creeps, the selfish, the needy, the dreary, the nerdy and the enormous tangle of real life characters you come across in life.  History offers a boundless source of fascinating characters to reanimate. It can be a wonderful thing to rehabilitate a great story – like restoring a dilapidated castle and making it magnificent again.”

Sarah Lippett, the illustrator has created some classic drawings of the characters and the teams of ponies and dogs on the journey. For a book for 9-14 year olds, the sketches add hugely to the feel of the time period and of the difference in equipment between 1912 and 2017. The maps are wonderful and are a great help to plot the journey as you read through the book.

Into the White, is published by Allen and Unwin, Australia, who have created a wonderful paperback book of this epic journey.

It has just been released in the UK, on November 2nd 2017 and is available to purchase in most good stores and on-line. (Link below…).

At Books Go Walkabout, we are delighted to be working with Joanna on her first visit to the UK from November 3rd 2017.

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

 

 

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