The Life-Saving Adventure of Sam Deal, Shipwreck Rescuer

The Life-Saving Adventure of Sam Deal, Shipwreck Rescuer

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by Candice Ransom

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When a ship begins to sink . . . a boy and his pony rise to the occasion. Pea Island, North Carolina, 1896. Sam Deal loves horses, especially his little pony, Ginger. The men at the lifesaving station on the beach make fun of Ginger, but Sam knows she's a worthy steed. When a ship begins to sink on a stormy, scary night, Sam and Ginger get to test their strength.

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When a ship begins to sink . . . a boy and his pony rise to the occasion. Pea Island, North Carolina, 1896. Sam Deal loves horses, especially his little pony, Ginger. The men at the lifesaving station on the beach make fun of Ginger, but Sam knows she's a worthy steed. When a ship begins to sink on a stormy, scary night, Sam and Ginger get to test their strength. Can Sam and Ginger brave the waves to help save the shipwrecked passengers and crew

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Lauri Berkenkamp
The Outer Banks of North Carolina have been know historically as the graveyard of the Atlantic, due to the powerful storms, treacherous currents, and shifting sandbars that caused countless ships to founder and sink. In 1874, the U.S. Lifesaving Service built lifesaving stations along the beaches of the Outer Banks to rescue sailors when their ships were in jeopardy. One of those crews, comprised entirely of African-Americans, was at Pea Island Station. On October 11, 1896, the E.S. Newman, a ship carrying men, women, and small children, foundered off of Pea Island and sent up a distress signal. Working through the night, the Pea Island Station lifesaving crew managed to rescue all of the survivors and bring them safely to shore. Although their work was heroic, the crew of the Pea Island Station was never recognized for its efforts because they were African American. In 1995, an eighth grader wrote a letter to President Bill Clinton, pointing out that while many other Outer Banks stations had received commendations, the Pea Island Station had been overlooked. President Clinton agreed, as did the head of the United States Coast Guard, and in 1996 the crew of Pea Island Station was given a posthumous gold medal from the Coast Guard for their brave rescue of the passengers and crew of the E.S. Newman, exactly 100 years after the rescue. This graphic novel is part of a series of biographies of young heroes in American history, and the illustrations of the equipment and methods used by early lifesaving crews is fascinating. However, what does not work in this book is that the author made up the protagonist and inserted him into the story, creating a hero who does not exist. In this story, Sam Deal plays a vital role in the rescue of the passengers by bringing passengers to safety on the back of his horse. This is all fiction: there was no little boy named Sam Deal on Pea Island in 1896. No children were on the Pea Island Station crew, and no child on a horse took any part in the historic rescue. Inserting fictional Sam Deal into a nonfiction book not only relegates the real Pea Island Station crew to a backseat role in the book, but it also will likely cause a great deal of confusion among readers. If the entire series is a nonfiction series of graphic novels purportedly based on real-life heroes, how does a fictional hero fit in to the mix? While the real Pea Island Station crew is very deserving of its own book, this particular graphic novel was a mistake. A list of resources for further reading about the subject of the Coast Guard, Pea Island Station, and other rescues, is included. Reviewer: Lauri Berkenkamp

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Product Details

Graphic Universe
Publication date:
History's Kid Heroes Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.30(d)
GN280L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 11 Years

Meet the Author

Candice Ransom has written more than 100 books for children, including Finding Day's Bottom (Carolrhoda, 2006). Ms. Ransom holds a Master of Fine Arts in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College.

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The Lifesaving Adventure of Sam Deal, Shipwreck Rescuer 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
The Outer Banks of South Carolina had a history marked with death for many ships that washed upon its banks, casting crew and passengers into its churning seas. It soon became known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic. In 1874 the U.S. Lifesaving Service began to set up crews in an attempt to save some of the unfortunate shipwreck victims. Each crew of six went by rank. One leader of a crew was fired and an African American named Richard Etheridge took his place. No one would work beneath him, so Richard hired a six-man crew of African Americans to guard the shores of Pea Island. Soon they would find a very young African American who would prove his mettle as a surfman in an emergency. Sam Deal loved riding his horse, Ginger, along the sandy shores of Pea Island. He loved watching the surfmen drill and he too wanted to join their ranks when he was older. They allowed him to watch their drills and Keeper Etheridge even let him participate one day. They let him swim into the surf and let a surfman put him in a breeches buoy. The Keeper said, "They'll put the rescued person into those canvas breeches and he'll float." They practiced sinking the anchor into the sand and shooting an attached rope into the sea. They worked hard at their jobs, and soon their work would be tested. On October 11, 1896, a storm had begun, but "every night the surfmen walked up and down the beach" and "looked for ships in danger," so when they spotted distress rockets they began preparations to help. They couldn't bury the anchor and the waves were too treacherous to launch a lifeboat. The men could only hope that by swimming to the ship they could help, but there were more people than just two men could rescue. Sam Deal soon saw how he could help and went into the turbulent waters with Ginger. Would he be able to help rescue anyone? Could he even survive going into the Graveyard of the Atlantic? Would Ginger spook when she got into the charging surf? This is an exciting story of a young hero, Sam Deal, who braved the Graveyard of the Atlantic with his horse Ginger to help rescue "shipwrecked passengers and crew." This thrilling story, based on a "real" historical kid hero will captivate even the most reluctant reader. An overview of the U.S. Lifesaving Service, now the U.S. Coast Guard, was given in the front with an emphasis on the service of the African American. The artwork meshed perfectly with the text and generated a lot of tension and excitement as the rescue continued. In the back of the book is more information abut the U.S. Coast Guard and additional recommended book and website resources. Quill says: If you have a youngster with a lot of imagination and a flare for adventure, this is one book you might want to consider adding to your list!