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Heroes of the Surf



by
Elisa Carbone
illustrated by
Nancy Carpenter

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Penguin
Imprint
Viking
ISBN
9780670063123

Awards and Honors
Booklist Top 10 Historical Fiction Books for Youth: 2012; Kirkus Reviews Best Children’s Book of 2012
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
$6.00   $5.00
SEE MEMBER PRICE
QTY
Out of stock

JLG Category

Easy Reading Plus

In this book based on a true 1882 event, two boys play pirates on a ship from Brazil to New York. When the ship runs aground, some unexpected heroes save the day. Afterword. Full-color illustrations.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

40

Trim Size

11 1/4" x 8 1/2"

Dewey

E

AR

3.8: points 0.5

Lexile

690L

Scholastic Reading Counts

2

JLG Release

Jul 2012

Topics

Shipwrecks. U.S. Life-Saving Service. Nineteenth-century New Jersey history. Storms. Rescues.

Standard MARC Records

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

The Horn Book Magazine, Kirkus Reviews*, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

In 1882, the British steamship Pliny left Brazil for New York City with a cargo of coffee, hides, and a small group of passengers. Nearing the New Jersey shore, it encountered a furious storm and went aground. Carbone plays off this incident, telling of the journey through the eyes of a young passenger named Antonio, who, along with his friend Pedro, fantasizes about pirates and finds danger with the roll of every wave. When the Pliny nearly sinks, the children are convinced that the men on shore are their imagined pirates rather than rescuers. Saved via a breeches buoy by the Life-Saving Service, the boys discover what real danger is all about. Carpenter matches Carbone’s growing pace with line work that effectively depicts the roiling seas and frothy waves. Good characterization adds to the drama. Boys, especially, will be captivated by the story of a sea rescue in the early days of the Coast Guard. An afterword fills out the details of the historical event and provides background on the work of the Life-Saving Service in the late 1800s.—Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA

Horn Book

Before the Coast Guard was established, the U.S. Life-Saving Service operated along the eastern seaboard, creating procedures for rescuing those on ships in distress close to shore. When the British steamship Pliny ran aground off New Jersey in a storm in 1882, men from several stations of the USLSS came to her aid, with the “Saints in Sou’westers” saving all aboard. Carbone’s tale revolves around two real-life boys aboard the Pliny. Although she doesn’t know their names, nor what they did while sailing, she’s created a plausible backstory about their fascination with ships and pirates. But when the men from the USLSS fight harrowing conditions to rescue the crew and passengers, the boys quickly rethink their ideas about maritime role models: pirates are out, life savers are in. Carpenter’s palette darkens as the storm intensifies; her surf churns with whitecaps, and thin diagonal scratch lines emphasize the bone-chilling, driving rain. This strong visual setting is slightly weakened by the depiction of the passengers, whose emotions are largely telegraphed by wide-open mouths. A comprehensive author’s note, describing what Carbone knows and what she fictionalizes as well as information about the USLSS, rounds out this spirited introduction to historical fiction.

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

In 1882, the British steamship Pliny left Brazil for New York City with a cargo of coffee, hides, and a small group of passengers. Nearing the New Jersey shore, it encountered a furious storm and went aground. Carbone plays off this incident, telling of the journey through the eyes of a young passenger named Antonio, who, along with his friend Pedro, fantasizes about pirates and finds danger with the roll of every wave. When the Pliny nearly sinks, the children are convinced that the men on shore are their imagined pirates rather than rescuers. Saved via a breeches buoy by the Life-Saving Service, the boys discover what real danger is all about. Carpenter matches Carbone’s growing pace with line work that effectively depicts the roiling seas and frothy waves. Good characterization adds to the drama. Boys, especially, will be captivated by the story of a sea rescue in the early days of the Coast Guard. An afterword fills out the details of the historical event and provides background on the work of the Life-Saving Service in the late 1800s.—Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA

Horn Book

Before the Coast Guard was established, the U.S. Life-Saving Service operated along the eastern seaboard, creating procedures for rescuing those on ships in distress close to shore. When the British steamship Pliny ran aground off New Jersey in a storm in 1882, men from several stations of the USLSS came to her aid, with the “Saints in Sou’westers” saving all aboard. Carbone’s tale revolves around two real-life boys aboard the Pliny. Although she doesn’t know their names, nor what they did while sailing, she’s created a plausible backstory about their fascination with ships and pirates. But when the men from the USLSS fight harrowing conditions to rescue the crew and passengers, the boys quickly rethink their ideas about maritime role models: pirates are out, life savers are in. Carpenter’s palette darkens as the storm intensifies; her surf churns with whitecaps, and thin diagonal scratch lines emphasize the bone-chilling, driving rain. This strong visual setting is slightly weakened by the depiction of the passengers, whose emotions are largely telegraphed by wide-open mouths. A comprehensive author’s note, describing what Carbone knows and what she fictionalizes as well as information about the USLSS, rounds out this spirited introduction to historical fiction.

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