The Short: My son LOVED this book. We read it over and over again this past weekend. I am so impressed with the story and illustrations. This is a story based on true events of how the crew of the US Life-Saving Service and the surrounding area rescued everyone on the PLINY ship during a terrible storm in 1882. This is the most intense and suspenseful book I’ve read to my two-year-old son and he couldn’t seem to get enough of it. It was very exciting. We highly, highly recommend this book.
The Long: I liked the illustrations when I picked it up in the library, but once we started reading it I was amazed at how suspenseful and exciting this book is. The story is told from a first person perspective of a boy on the ship coming from Brazil to New York. The ship gets stuck during a storm off the coast of New Jersey and they’re not sure what to do. Fortunately, the crew of the US Life-Saving Service see the ship’s distress signal and successfully rescues everyone on the ship.
I was a little concerned that this book would be too much for my son when we came to this line:
“Now we’re sure to sink. I want to be with Mama and Papa and Sis when we go down.”
I was a bit worried that one of the members of the ship wasn’t going to make it or that something I wasn’t quite ready to discuss with a two year old would happen — but it all ends very well. The rescuers show humanity at its best. It is very inspiring for both me and my son.
There’s a lot of great vocabulary in this book and the illustrations are beautiful and really make you feel like you’re in the middle of a storm at sea. It’s very powerful. After reading this book several times in a row, my son began pretending that he was rescuing people from a boat. (How fun!)
If you have a child that is extremely sensitive to stressful situations, I would pre-read this book for yourself. The situation is very intense. I wouldn’t take it lightly just because it is a picture book. However, the characters and the way the people behave are great. I didn’t feel compelled to edit anything out when reading this book to my son.
Where Obtained: Public Library.
FTC Disclosures: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” If you click on the link and purchase the book, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
- Elisa Carbone:
- Nancy Carpenter:
Some of My Favorite Reviews of this Book:
(A Kirkus Best Book of 2012)
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