Below Zero

Below Zero

Dan Smith,

Below Zero

Chicken House, 2018

ISBN 9781910655924

11-14 Shortlist 2019


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out of 5



Who Wrote It?

Dan Smith was born in England in 1970. When Dan was growing up he went to boarding school and lived all over the world, including Sierra Leone, Sumatra, Brazil, Spain and Russia before settling down with his wife and two children in Newcastle. During his globetrotting adventures Dan would often not have access to TV, games consoles or sometimes even electricity so he began making up his own stories which were the start of his career as an author for both young people and adults.

What's It About?

When Zak’s plane crash-lands on Outpost Zero, a small Antarctic research base in one of the most isolated places on Earth, he discovers a cold, dark nightmare. The power’s out and the people who live there have disappeared. Worse, as he searches for answers, bizarre visions suggest a link to something else – deep beneath the ice – which only he can understand...

Fact File

Dan’s favourite book is Lord of the Flies by William Golding.

The first book Dan ever read was Manx Mouse by Paul Gallico when he was 7.

Dan’s wife and children say he lives in his own imaginary world called “Danworld” which is said to be always exciting!

One of Dan’s most unusual jobs was working for a company who made giant Christmas decorations.

Below Zero was published by Chicken House on 4th January 2018.

You can find out more about Dan through his website or find him on twitter @DanSmithAuthor.

Your Reviews

Simra from Southfield Grange Campus:

Below zero is a book which is based on the adventures of Zak Reeves and his family. Their plane crashes in one of the most isolated places on earth and Zack’s worst nightmare lurks right in front of him...

This story is written in third person. I like this story as it is very intense, and the plot of the story is twisting. I did not guess the ending as it was completely puzzling and left you on a cliffhanger. In my opinion, the story was suitable for my age group as it was intense and intimidating at the same time.

Simra gave Below Zero 4 out of 5 and now plans to read Child I by Steve Tasane.

Hamza from Southfield Grange Campus:

Below Zero is one the most amazing books I have read. It has everything you want excitement, spine chilling and fear. Dan smith is an amazing author and he wrote the book in an unbelievable way.

The book is about a 12 year old boy named Zak and he comes to Antarctica with his family as a holiday. He reaches Antarctica in a crash landing but luckily he and his family are fine. Zak starts to have visions but he doesn’t know what is happening. Is it his illness? Or is something trying to reach him? Find out in this spectacular book

This is a marvellous book and it is a must read!

Hamza gave Below Zero 5 out of 5 and now plans to read Child I by Steve Tasane.

Ethan from Corpus Christi:

In this book below zero Zak and his family travel to Outpost Zero. A lot of mysteries lie ahead for Zak. This book will definitely keep you guessing to what is going to happen next. This book kept me turning the pages, i'm sure you will too.

Ethan gave Below Zero 5 out of 5 and now plans to read Mud by Emily Thomas.

Miss Busby from Corpus Christi Catholic College:

Wow! What a book!

A blizzard of fast-paced action and adventure!

The story takes Zak and his family to a remote research base in the Antarctic. He and his family face robotic critters, zombies and ghostly visions in extreme cold conditions as they uncover the mystery of what happened at Outpost Zero before they landed in their DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft.

What lies beneath the deep icy chasm?.. You'll have to read it to find out!

This book would make a great movie!

Miss Busby gave Below Zero 5 out of 5 and now plans to read Bone Talk by Candy Gourlay.