Mystery in the Frozen Lands

by Martyn Godfrey

On July 2, 1857, 14-year-old Peter Griffin and twenty-five other men set sail for the frozen lands of the Arctic sea to find out, once and for all, what had really happened to Sir John Franklin and his crew of 128 men.
In 1845 Sir John Franklin and his crew, in the stout ships Erebus and Terror, fortified against ice and provisioned for a three years' journey, set off into the Arctic in an attempt to be the first to sail the North West Passage from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. They were never seen again.
Twelve years later 14-year-old Peter Griffin joins the crew of the tiny steam yacht Fox on an expedition to discover their fate. Peter resolutely endures the close quarters on board ship, the cold and the dark, and the dangers of the forbidding Arctic landscape. As they travel further and further from home they find strange fragments, traces of men who have travelled before them. Soon they make discoveries that suggest the terrible fate suffered by Franklin and his men.
Based on historical accounts, Mystery in the Frozen Lands offers one boy's perspective of one the greatest of all Canadian disasters.

[Fry reading level - 2.7

About the Author

Martyn Godfrey

MARTYN GODFREY was one of Canada's most popular writers of fiction for young people. He wrote over forty books, including Plan B Is Total Panic and Mystery in the Frozen Lands, both published by Lorimer. He died in 2000.


"The novel is a fascinating account of the bravery and endurance born by explorers of all generations."
Nat Reed, OPSTF News
"This page turner quickly builds to a suspenseful conclusion and will prove a satisfying read to tweens while also beign a fascinating introduction into the first and greatest Canadian mystery... An exciting update by award-winning author Ken McGoogan provides details on the recent discovery of one of the lost ships."
Chris Laurie,, CM Magazine
"The story of a young boy who sets off on an adventure as a cabin boy on a ship into the frozen north will interest many kids, and add to their understanding of the world."
Leslie Johnson,, Librarian at Jefferson County Public Library


Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice Selection
Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young Readers

Subjects (BISAC)

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