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Fourteen-year-old George Chambers is aboard the HMS Erebus, one of two ships under the command of Sir John Franklin on his quest to discover the Northwest Passage. But when the Erebus and Terror are trapped in ice, more than 100 members of the crew die of scurvy, starvation and freezing. Only George and Commander James Fitzjames remain alive, and as starvation weakens him, George recalls the events that led him to join Franklin's expedition into Canada's desolate North. Perhaps the story he tells will be all that survives of Franklin's doomed Arctic expedition.