The Stowaway: A Young Man’s Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica

The Stowaway: A Young Man’s Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica


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? This was the moon landing before the 1960s. Everyone wanted to join the adventure. Rockefellers and Vanderbilts begged to be taken along as mess boys, and newspapers across the globe covered the planning’s every stage.

The night before the expedition’s flagship launched, Billy Gawronski—a skinny, 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.

Could he get away with it?

From the grimy streets of New York’s Lower East Side to the rowdy dance halls of sultry Francophone Tahiti, all the way to Antarctica’s blinding white and deadly freeze, Laurie Gwen Shapiro’s The Stowaway takes you on the unforgettable voyage of a gutsy young stowaway who became an international celebrity, a mascot for an up-by-your bootstraps age.

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Title:The Stowaway: A Young Man’s Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica
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    The Stowaway: A Young Man’s Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica Reviews

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    ❄ 4 adventurous, Antarctic stars to The Stowaway ❄ I enjoy reading nonfiction, and it’s a delight when I read nonfiction that feels like fiction. I would say this particular book feels mostly li...

  • Faith

    In 1928, Billy Gawronski was the 17 year old son of a Polish immigrant family that once lived in the lower east side of Manhattan. He was looking for more adventure than he would find by joining his f...

  • Diane S ?

    3.5 review soon....

  • Andy Weston

    As a reader of almost anything that is polar discovery based, especially historical, I was really disappointed by this. It is the story of a young man, Billy Gawronski, Who stows away on Commander Byr...

  • The Captain

    Ahoy there me mateys! Though this log’s focus is on sci-fi, fantasy, and young adult, this Captain does have broader reading tastes. So occasionally I will share some novels that I enjoyed that are ...

  • Cynthia

    The Stowaway starts with a great opening and continues as a tightly written narrative. It's an entertaining non-fiction that reads like fiction. Plucky Billy Gawronski is a highly likable, smart-aleck...

  • Jennifer S. Brown

    What an amazing story about a young man who is a stowaway on then-Commander Byrd's Antarctic expedition in 1928. I normally gravitate toward fiction, but this book gripped me, and I read it in a singl...

  • Marika

    In 1928, Admiral Richard Byrd decided to explore the unknown..the Antarctica. At that time going to Antarctica was the last frontier to conquer on earth and just the idea of his attempting this voyage...

  • megs_bookrack

    'Wherever you're from, there's always somewhere more exciting.'Excellent - a rollicking, fun ride to the edge of the earth and back! The story of Billy Gawronski is one that I had never heard before b...

  • Donna Hines

    Extraordinary! Exquisite! A spectacular true account of a young NY boy Billy Gawronski and his determination to make a name for himself on an expedition that would go down in history as one of the gre...