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Into the Killing Seas

Into the Killing Seas

5.0 2
by Michael P. Spradlin

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"When the ship goes down, the sharks come out…. Stranded in the war torn Pacific, Patrick and his younger brother Teddy are finally homeward-bound. They've stowed away on one of the US Navy's finest ships, and now they just need to stay hidden. But Japanese torpedoes rip their dream apart. And the sinking ship isn't the worst of it. Patrick and Teddy can


"When the ship goes down, the sharks come out…. Stranded in the war torn Pacific, Patrick and his younger brother Teddy are finally homeward-bound. They've stowed away on one of the US Navy's finest ships, and now they just need to stay hidden. But Japanese torpedoes rip their dream apart. And the sinking ship isn't the worst of it. Patrick and Teddy can handle hunger and dehydration as they float in the water and wait to be rescued. If they're smart, they can even deal with the madness that seems to plague their fellow survivors. No, the real danger circles beneath the surface. And it has teeth.... Based on the true events of the 1945 sinking of the USS Indianapolis, author Michael P. Spradlin tells a harrowing story of World War II."

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Spradlin's latest foray into the fictional past revolves around two brothers who board the U.S.S. Indianapolis having already led more dramatic lives than many readers will have ever known. Searching for parents that may or may not be alive, Patrick, the elder of the two brothers, must fight to keep the pair alive with help from the wisdom and guidance of Benny, a tough Marine with a gentle side. The events turn from bad to worse to worst as sharks and Marines fight for survival in the Pacific Ocean. Spradlin's story is paced extremely well. The characters will hook readers, the plot will grip them, and the factual pieces will create a desire to learn more about the true events behind this fictionalized tale. The shark behavior is, at times, a bit too extreme to be plausible. Still, the story is enjoyable and reveals a tender theme about the power of the human spirit. Patrick finds strength and courage from unusual sources and manages the impossible in order to save his brother and himself. VERDICT A marvelous fit in a social studies class, this novel would work well as a companion text to a World War II unit and will engage and connect students to the past.—Chad Lane, Easton Elementary, Wye Mills, MD
Kirkus Reviews
This survival tale highlights one of the worst sea disasters of World War II: the sinking of the USS Indianapolis in 1945. It's recounted by Patrick, a 12-year-old caring for his younger brother, mute ever since the two were evacuated without their parents from Manila in 1941. Desperate to find their parents, the siblings have stowed away on the Indy with the help of Benny, a tough-talking Marine with a heart of gold. When Benny shares his opinions and philosophies, his experiences and prejudices are on the surface. He has choice words for both Japanese troops and the U.S. Navy. But in the end, he is never too harsh a judge and instills in Patrick the Marine code: never leave a man behind. Benny will live and die fulfilling this promise to his charges. Descriptions of the explosions onboard are graphic; men are maimed and killed. Benny gets the brothers off the ship, where new trials begin. They float at sea for days on a soggy pallet; heatstroke, dehydration, and delirium set in; sharks circle. The carnage is gruesome. Given Benny's essential kindness, it's unfortunate that at one point, while prodding the boys, he tells them they are swimming like "pansies." Extensive backmatter rounds out the incredible history. Readers ready for a strong dose of survival and war action will find this well-researched episode entirely gripping. (Historical fiction. 8-12)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sold by:
Scholastic, Inc.
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File size:
9 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Michael P. Spradlin is the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of the Youngest Templar trilogy, the Wrangler Award Winner OFF LIKE THE WIND! THE FIRST RIDE OF THE PONY EXPRESS, and several other novels and picture books. He holds a black belt in television remote control and is fluent in British, Canadian, Australian, and several other English-based languages. He lives in Lapeer, Michigan. Visit him online at www.michaelspradlin.com.

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Into the Killing Seas 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice book
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
What a fantastic adventure I found inside the pages of Into the Killing Sea. One minute I was folded into the confides of a makeshift crate with Patrick and his brother Teddy as their dreams of a better tomorrow floated into their minds and before long, I found myself shivering in the deep ocean battling the unknowns that were surrounding me but also battling for survival. The power of Michael Spradlin’s words were key to the success of this novel, using striking and effective language Michael brings his readers smack dab into the middle of the story making them become a part of the adventure. I would love to see the looks on a child’s face as I read this book to them, I am sure their reaction would be priceless. The story is packed with emotions and history and definitely worth reading. The year is 1941 and Patrick and his brother got the last two seats on the last plane out of Manila. The Japanese invaded the town shortly thereafter and what happened to their parents, the two boys don’t know. It wasn’t easy for the two young boys as their plane never makes it to its original destination but lands in Guam. The jungle becomes their home for years until an orphanage opened up and the boys met Benny. A first class, private with the Marines, this wounded soldier visited the orphanage and bonds with the boys. Benny is encouraging and his way with the boys is inspirational. Vowing to reunite the boys with their parents, Benny put his career on the line to stow the boys on the USS Indianapolis in a crate which he created on his own. The USS Indianapolis path to the Philippines is crossing through some of the most heavily populated shark invested waters in the entire world. All is well on the ship or at least what can be expected living in a small crate for these two boys until a loud explosion shakes them. Immediately another loud explosion rocks the great vessel a second time. With Benny checking out the situation, the boys lift the lid off their small world and see that water is starting to flood their quarters. They hear cries, screaming, and they know they can’t stay down below any longer. The journey that they take is one that had me holding my breath at times and one that had me reading every word, afraid I would miss something; the writing is exceptional and keeps your emotions sharp and alert. This story is based on true events of the 1945 sinking of the USS Indianapolis and scientist call it the worst encounter between humans and sharks. I call it an exceptional story and one that should be shared.