The Story of the Samson


Sam and his grandpa relive the Samson's adventures on the high seas. Kathleen Benner Duble uses actual events to weave a tale about the Samson and its many voyages, from witnessing the Titanic's demise to the rescue of Shakleton's men to an appearance at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair.

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Sam and his grandpa relive the Samson's adventures on the high seas. Kathleen Benner Duble uses actual events to weave a tale about the Samson and its many voyages, from witnessing the Titanic's demise to the rescue of Shakleton's men to an appearance at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Young Sam, holding a scrapbook titled "Samson," climbs into bed with his grandfather and they begin their familiar ritual of recalling the story and secrets of Grandpa's house. Grandpa had been a member of the crew on the sailing ship, the Samson, the night it ignored the distress signals from the Titanic, which is one of the major regrets of his life. Other memories are happier, such as the time they rescued some men from an ice pack and Grandpa's explorations with Admiral Byrd. After Grandpa left the sailing life and settled down, he kept his attachment to the Samson. The scrapbook contains postcards and photos of the ship's later use as a traveling museum and its service during World War II. When the Samson sank off Chebogue Ledge in Canada, Grandpa was on hand to salvage the remnants that washed ashore and use them in building his home. Realistic pictures cover most of the space of the pages illustrating both Grandpa's adventures and his loving relationship with Sam. The Samson was an actual boat built in Norway. A timeline of its major activities, from the ship's completion in 1885 through its final loss during a storm in 1977, appears at the back of the book. Also includes an author's note, a bibliography and a list of websites. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
Kirkus Reviews
In the house Grandpa built on a bluff above the sea, Sam listens once again to the story of his grandpa's sailing days on the Samson, a Norwegian seal-trapping ship with quite a history. Seemingly the Forrest Gump of ships, the Samson was in the same waters as the Titanic when it sank, but mistook distress signals for tricks played by customs ships. The Samson also rescued Shackleton's men in Antarctica, took Admiral Richard E. Byrd on his explorations of the polar region, became an exhibit at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair and ran aground, burned and sank off the coast of Nova Scotia. Duble's purposefully heartwarming story is an uneasy mix of the grandfather's frame narration and stories within his story, each with a bit of plot and dialogue independent of Grandpa's voice. The sepia tones of Grandpa's scrapbook alternate with action scenes in full-color oil illustrations; photographs of the famous vessel round out the volume. An interesting tale, but fact and fiction become unfortunately blurred. (timeline, author's note, bibliography, websites) (Informational picture book. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580891837
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/28/2008
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.38 (w) x 10.27 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathleen Benner Duble grew up surrounded by very talented individuals.
Her father was a jet pilot in the Pittsburgh Air National Guard, and her sister, Lauren, went on to receive her wings and become a tanker pilot for the MAINEiacs in Bangor, Maine. Because Kathleen had sixteen car accidents before she was twenty-one, Kathleen's father would not let her try her hand at flying. This was probably a very good decision.

Kathleen's mother and younger sister, Mara, were both highly successful executives, fighting for spots in a mostly male-dominated corporate world. As Kathleen hated confrontations of any kind, this was not a wise choice of career for her either.

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