Sometimes, in the course of a war, events happen that have repercussions unexpected. Torpedoed! tells us of one such event, the sinking of the Athenia. Cheryl Mullenbach, pulls out two children in this sad tale, to bring this story to life for middle school students. This is a World War II story of a Sinking Passenger Ship and Two Children’s Survival at Sea.
Until I read this book I was unfamiliar with this story, and this book spurred on my curiousity to know, sending me to youtube. There weren’t a lot of videos about the Athenia, it is an easily forgotten bit of history, what with Germany invading Poland around the same time.
Ms. Mullenbach, doesn’t tell a story as she writes this book, it reads like a text. She didn’t make up a fictionalized story to compell you to read the story, but she grabs hold of two children to help personalize the text that she imparts. Walking through the days with Florence (age 14) and Russell (age 11) does a great job of helping us to see how the war affected the lives of innocents. We were able to see how the war caused unexpected disruption and hurt families.
Images dot the pages from back in the day, bringing to the life the reality of what these individuals needed to deal with.
I appreciate the time that Ms. Mullenbach took to organize this book in a logical manner. Walking us through the planning, the travel and the thought processes. She closes off with a good bibliography complete with time line.
I have to admit, this book was different than I expected, and that’s not a bad thing. I fully expected a fictionalized account, a story, not a middle school textbook. It was a good read that I suspect your students would enjoy reading. This is a concisely written factual book that shows the repercussions … in the immediate (the sinking of the ship, the loss of lives) and in the Long-term (Nuremberg trials). Torpedoed is written at a middle school level without a lot of extra drama. It would be an excellent book to start off a study of World War II. The graphics that fill the pages helped to round out the story and showed well what things were like during the War. Good book.
Torpedoed! A World War II Story of a Sinking Passenger Ship and Two Children's Survival at Sea. Cheryl Mullenbach Chicago Review Press Hardcover, 176 pages World War 2, U-boats, Sinking Ship, Adventure, non-fiction Reviewed for: Chicago Review Press. Where to find it? Amazon link.