Saint John Don Bosco:

"Never read books you aren't sure about . . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup?"




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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Secrets of a Civil War Submarine by Sally M. Walker

We listened to this one on CD, and it captured our interest from Dad on down.

Sally Walker takes us through an account of the Civil War submarine, the H.L. Hunley, from its design and Civil War exploits to its discovery and excavation from the ocean floor in the 1990's. A tween well-versed in mechanical engineering may skip right over how the sub actually worked, but I had to listen carefully. Even if you understand ballast, bouyancy, etc., it's impressive how fragile this early sub was and how courageous the crew to take it anywhere, let alone the sea and to war.

Not that their bravery got them as far as they would have liked. You just cringe each time a crew member is lost (spoiler: it sank 1 boat and the rest was tragedy after tragedy). The boat never made it back to port after it sunk its first warship, and the second half of the book is dedicated to explaining its discovery and excavation. It's a fascinating glimpse into a small slice of history and into modern archealogy.

As much as we liked it on CD, the book loses too much with mere audio. The actual hardback has interesting, informative pictures throughout. It's a quality book.

You'll enjoy many things with this book: history, civil war battle, subs, engineering, human ingenuity and tenacity, and treasure-hunting.

SAFETY RATING: 3 Flags

Historical Fiction: American Civil War

2 comments:

Anonymous,  August 31, 2010 at 4:35 PM  

this is a boring book

Tween Lit Crit September 1, 2010 at 5:04 PM  

especially if you don't like non-fiction. But I think it's a high-quality non-fiction book. Maybe listening on CD is more interesting than the text. We did that, and then we looked at the pictures in the book and we all liked it in our family.

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