Kirkus Reviews QR Code
DARK WATER RISING by Marian Hale Kirkus Star


by Marian Hale

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-8050-7585-2
Publisher: Henry Holt

In 1900, Seth Braeden’s father moves his family to Galveston, Texas, “the New York City of Texas,” with a booming economy perfect for a master carpenter intent on starting a new business. A master of her craft as well, Hale does a superb job of building the story, describing the architectural and natural beauties of the island city on the Gulf, then bringing on the deadly Galveston Storm of 1900, in which over 8,000 people were killed and 3,600 homes and businesses destroyed. Though as exciting as the best action and disaster movies, it’s also a tale of friendships in unexpected places, the strength and courage of families and one boy’s learning to walk in his father’s shoes. Based on research and survivors’ accounts, the novel’s many historical details are nicely woven into the story, and a fascinating author’s note details the rebuilding of the town. Exciting, tear jerking, and life affirming, this is historical fiction at is best. A good match with Hale’s own The Truth About Sparrows (2004) and excellent context for discussions of Hurricane Katrina. (Historical fiction. 10+)