Dramatic and Exciting: Heroes of the Surf by Elisa Carbone and Nancy Carpenter

HeroesoftheSurfHeroes of the Surf by Elisa Carbone and Nancy Carpenter.  Ages 5+ (But my 2+ loved it). Viking Juvenile. May 2012. 40 pages.  ISBN: 978-0670063123 $16.99

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.”

Author/Illustrator Websites:

Some of My Favorite Reviews of this Book:


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