A WALK ON AN ICEBERG by Mary Ellen Chase


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The author's grandmother was a sea captain's wife. She had always been a strong personality--she did a four mile round trip barefoot to get to school and, as a teenager, walked eight miles each way in order to sing in the church choir. She was a Maine farm girl, but she'd always loved the sea and, just before she married at the age of nineteen, she dreamed she'd walk on an iceberg. She warned her husband-to-be that if the opportunity ever came, she'd do it. Despite his objections, when his ship, years later, did near an iceberg, she insisted on boarding it with a young scientist who was along. They were barely on level surface, when they found a gibbering, starving German who had been on the ice when it had ripped away from his coast. It's a vignette of virtue and adventure celebrated. From the introduction on, the young reader knows that Miss Chase's gramma made it off the iceberg and there is the unfortunate implication again, as there was in Miss Chase's last book (The Story of Lighthouses 687-J235) that nobody's courage gets tested this way any more. The author does do the personal memoir well for young readers, but her approach has its drawbacks.

Pub Date: Oct. 24th, 1966
Publisher: Norton