COURAGE AT SEA by Margarite Vance


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This author has contributed much to the children's book field as both an editor and a writer. Among her notable books is the prize-winning Willie Joe and His Small Change (1959 p. 39 J-17). While this is not up to her usual standards, the book has some merit as reminder of the very real courage that can be called forth from the very young in times of crisis. The book concerns the fictional 13-year-old Peter Ambler and the way he answered the call to courage as the Titanic sank. The chaos of the sinking and what it meant to one frightened boy is well caught. Peter, a talented musician born to a family of outstanding amateur sailors, has lived through some miserable moments defending his interest in music to his yo-ho-ho parents who equate courage with athletic achievement. This is perhaps over-established in a series of scenes humiliating to the boy prior to the Titanic crossing. More background on the period as well as more detail about life aboard the great ship would have been helpful. Although the incident is familiar to most adults, it cannot be expected to call forth universal recognition from this age group.

Pub Date: April 30th, 1963
Publisher: Dutton