My favorite books these days are nonfiction accounts of crazy adventures that play out like a novel – in the way of truth is stranger than fiction. Such is the case with The Stowaway – A Young Man’s Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica by Laurie Gwen Shapiro, which documents the incredible story of young man who stowed away on an expedition to the South Pole. Just the idea of this story boggles the mind and it is hooks you from the start.

About The Stowaway – A Young Man’s Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica by Laurie Gwen Shapiro:

“The spectacular, true story of a scrappy teenager from New York’s Lower East Side who stowed away on the Roaring Twenties’ most remarkable feat of science and daring: an expedition to Antarctica. It was 1928: a time of illicit booze, of Gatsby and Babe Ruth, of freewheeling fun. The Great War was over and American optimism was higher than the stock market. What better moment to launch an expedition to Antarctica, the planet’s final frontier? There wouldn’t be another encounter with an unknown this magnificent until Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon. Everyone wanted in on the adventure. Rockefellers and Vanderbilts begged to be taken along as mess boys, and newspapers across the globe covered the planning’s every stage. And then, the night before the expedition’s flagship set off, Billy Gawronski—a mischievous, first-generation New York City high schooler desperate to escape a dreary future in the family upholstery business—jumped into the Hudson River and snuck aboard.”

Reading accounts like this make me wonder what kind of person I would have been in days of old. Could I ever take a risk as kid that leads to a crazy adventure? Probably not, but I am glad there were people who did so we can read about them all these years later.

The Stowaway – A Young Man’s Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica by Laurie Gwen Shapiro is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers everywhere.