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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Nonfiction Review: Shipwreck Search: Discovery of the H.L. Hunley by Sally Walker



SHIPWRECK SEARCH: DISCOVERY OF THE H.L. HUNLEY by: Sally M. Walker




















1.  BIBLIOGRAPHY
Walker, Sally M. 2006. SHIPWRECK SEARCH: DISCOVERY OF THE H.L. HUNLEY. Ill. Elaine Verstraete. Minneapolis, MN: Millbrook Press. ISBN: 978-0822564492

2.  PLOT SUMMARY 
The Hunley was a Civil War submarine that was considered to be the South’s secret weapon.  Sinking the USS Housatonic (a Northern ship), the Hunley was the first submarine to ever sink an enemy’s ship. Instead of celebrating its victory back on shore, the crew of the Hunley were never seen or heard from again.  Many searched and failed to find the Hunley over the years, until 1995 when a team of archeologists probing the ocean floor finally found the iron submarine buried under the sand. But, did they find the answers they have been looking for, or does the H.L. Hunley still have its secrets?

 3. CRITICAL ANALYSIS 
Walker introduces readers to the mystery of the H.L. Hunley’s disappearance.  After sinking the USS Housatonic back in February 17, 1964, the Hunley and its crew never returned to shore.  Numerous people searched the bottom of the ocean for the Hunley for many years.  It seemed that the reason for the ship’s disappearance and the remains of the submarine’s crew would be lost forever.  Finally, on May 3, 1995 the remains of the Hunley were found by three archeologists probing the ocean floor, still determined to find this Civil War submarine.  Although vastly smaller than today’s modern submarines, the Hunley was almost 40 feet long, and because it was filled with sediment it weighed 46,700 pounds.  In this case, it seemed that finding the submarine was the easy part.  The hard part was bringing it to the surface.  Five years after its discovery, the Hunley was finally brought to shore on August 8, 2000.


Shipwreck Search: Discovery of the H.L Hunley is filled with factual information that is told in story form from the time the Hunley disappeared to its discovery.  Walker organizes the information in subject parts, such as when the Hunley was found, the circumstances before its disappearance, the process and discovery in the ocean, and the aftermath.  Verstraete compliments this factual retelling with watercolor illustrations that gives the reader a glimpse of what the H.L. Hunleywould have looked like and how it was found.  Each page has informative text that is easy to understand for readers 7 and up, and keeps audiences interested with intriguing illustrations.  This book is great to use as a science lesson with students in grades 2nd and up with its large text and age-appropriate vocabulary terms.  


4. REVIEW EXCERPT(S)

BOOKLIST: “There is a lot of information here for readers new to this topic, with technical terms such as magnetometer and truss included. The exciting telling will keep the audience interested. Watercolor illustrations show two laboratories, above and below the water's surface. A substantive afterword, a glossary, a time line, and a bibliography round out the book.”

SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL: “Shipwreck tells about the 1995 underwater expedition off the coast of Charleston, SC, to find the wreck of the H. L. Hunley, a southern Civil War submarine. Walker describes how the ship was located, raised in 2000, and taken to a lab for study by archaeologists. Realistic paintings support the texts well.”


 5. CONNECTIONS
* This book is great to share with students in grades 2nd– 4th to teach a science lesson on how scientists searched for and discovered this civil war submarine.

*Collect other books written by Sally Walker: CAVES, MYSTERY FISH, SUPERCROC FOUND, SOIL, LEVERS, FIREFLIES, INVESTIGATING MAGNETISM, MATTER, SCREWS, MARY ANNING FOSSIL HUNTER, and PULLEYS.

*Other books about the H.L. Hunley:
Chaffin, Tom. THE H.L. HUNLEY: THE SECRET HOPE OF THE CONFEDERACY. ISBN: 0809095122
Hawk, Fran. THE STORY OF THE H.L. HUNLEY AND QUEENIE’S COIN. Ill. Dan Nance. ISBN: 978-1585362189
Kerr, Larry C. THE HUNLEY: THE CIVIL WAR’S SECRET WEAPON. ISBN: 978-1612354705

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