The Little Ships: The Heroic Rescue at Dunkirk in World War IIby Michael Foreman (Illustrator), Louise Borden
In May of 1940 -- the early days of World War II -- half a million British and French soldiers were trapped in France. Weak and wounded, they needed aid. Help came in the form of countless small craft, steered by brave young men, in the legendary armada of "little ships" that sailed aross the English Channel. Many people wanted to be a part of the rescue mission. Here is the story of a girl who was so determined to help that she disguised herself as a boy to blend in with the men as they sailed toward Dunkirk.
Added to the inherent historical drama of the story is the piquancy of its narration by a young girl from the English village of Deal, who dons her older brother's clothes to aid her father on the family's fishing boat, the Lucy. Spare, expressive text and Foreman's illustrations, as sullen in hue as the sky over the Channel, combine to bring the heroic story vividly to life: the uneasy chill of the "silent parade" over the waters to the sandy, flat beaches of Dunkirk, the thousands of soldiers waiting for rescue; the "mess of an army on the run"loose French horses, barking dogs, abandoned equipment. Safe at home later, the girl listens to a broadcast of Churchill's thundering "We shall fight" speech (an excerpt appears under the author's note) and is "glad that Mr. Churchill didn't keep his words in his hands and in his eyes in the way of Deal fishermen." An eloquent ending to a book that makes a near-mythical event of WW II real and deeply personal.
Meet the Author
Louise Borden graduated from Denison University with a degree in history. She taught first graders and preschoolers and later was a part-owner of a bookstore in Cincinnati, Ohio. In addition to writing children’s books, she also speaks regularly to young students about the writing process. Her books include Good Luck, Mrs. K!, which won the Christopher Medal, and The A+ Custodian. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, and you can visit her at LouiseBorden.com.
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