From the True Rescue series


During a severe blizzard in 1978, Gloucester, Massachusetts, mariner Frank Quirk II took his 49-foot pilot boat out into the teeth of the storm in an attempt to aid Coast Guard vessels in peril.

Just as had been the case with the three Coast Guard boats, Quirk lost his radar almost as soon as the Can Do passed the shelter of the breakwater. On the open ocean, facing waves that topped 30 feet, wind gusts slamming his boat at nearly 100 miles per hour, and driving thick, swirling snow, Quirk had few clues to his location, and jagged ledges, invisible in the maelstrom, loomed perilously close. With failing radios, he had occasional contact with those on shore, providing an intermittent narrative of impending disaster. Before the night ended, the Can Do and her crew of five were lost at sea. This young readers’ adaptation of Ten Hours Until Dawn (2005) reads like a thriller, suspenseful and ultimately tragic, effectively capturing the desperate situations of the three Coast Guard boats that were dispatched to aid a supposedly sinking tanker (it wasn’t) and that of the spirited crew of the Can Do. The tale concludes with an epilogue that briefly chronicles the lives since 1978 of some of those involved, even delivering one final gut punch. Characters depicted in the archival black-and-white photos are all white.

Riveting. (Nonfiction. 11-16)

Pub Date: Dec. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62779-283-7

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019


Wordplay and wry wit put extra fun into a trove of fundamental knowledge.

With an amped-up sense of wonder, the Science Guy surveys the natural universe.

Starting from first principles like the scientific method, Nye and his co-author marvel at the “Amazing Machine” that is the human body then go on to talk up animals, plants, evolution, physics and chemistry, the quantum realm, geophysics, and climate change. They next venture out into the solar system and beyond. Along with tallying select aspects and discoveries in each chapter, the authors gather up “Massively Important” central concepts, send shoutouts to underrecognized women scientists like oceanographer Marie Tharp, and slip in directions for homespun experiments and demonstrations. They also challenge readers to ponder still-unsolved scientific posers and intersperse rousing quotes from working scientists about how exciting and wide open their respective fields are. If a few of those fields, like the fungal kingdom, get short shrift (one spare paragraph notwithstanding), readers are urged often enough to go look things up for themselves to kindle a compensatory habit. Aside from posed photos of Nye and a few more of children (mostly presenting as White) doing science-y things, the full-color graphic and photographic images not only reflect the overall “get this!” tone but consistently enrich the flow of facts and reflections. “Our universe is a strange and surprising place,” Nye writes. “Stay curious.” Words to live by.

Wordplay and wry wit put extra fun into a trove of fundamental knowledge. (contributors, art credits, selected bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 11-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4676-5

Page Count: 264

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Aug. 24, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020



Intrepid explorer Lourie tackles the “Father of Waters,” the Mighty Mississippi, traveling by canoe, bicycle, foot, and car, 2,340 miles from the headwaters of the great river at the Canadian border to the river’s end in the Gulf of Mexico. As with his other “river titles” (Rio Grande, 1999, etc.), he intertwines history, quotes, and period photographs, interviews with people living on and around the river, personal observations, and contemporary photographs of his journey. He touches on the Native Americans—who still harvest wild rice on the Mississippi, and named the river—loggers, steamboats, Civil War battles, and sunken treasure. He stops to talk with a contemporary barge pilot, who tows jumbo-sized tank barges, or 30 barges carrying 45,000 tons of goods up and down and comments: “You think ‘river river river’ night and day for weeks on end.” Lourie describes the working waterway of locks and barges, oil refineries and diesel engines, and the more tranquil areas with heron and alligators, and cypress swamps. A personal travelogue, historical geography, and welcome introduction to the majestic river, past and present. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2000

ISBN: 1-56397-756-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2000

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