Inspired by the story of actual passengers on the ill-fated Lusitania, this is a novel of great adventure and suspense, including graphic novel-style illustrations.
Avis Dolphin doesn’t want to leave New York and sail to England on the Lusitania. War is raging in Europe, and the Germans threaten to sink the ship. Avis is lonely and afraid until she meets a kindly professor whose stories of a magical island help her face an uncertain future.
When the Lusitania is attacked, Avis must draw on all her newfound strength to cope with the confusion, terror and despair. How can she survive the sudden devastation of the ship? Will the people she cares about, especially the professor, live through the horror and danger?
The immediacy of Frieda Wishinsky’s voice will engage readers in this thrilling story based on real events. They will identify with Avis and Professor Holbourn as they grapple with a stubborn captain, encounter German stowaways and contend with the feud between Avis’s two cabin mates. In an atmosphere of growing anxiety, readers will be glued to the dramatic events as they unfold and the surprising fate of the people they have come to know.
Willow Dawson’s art depicts the stories the professor tells Avis in enchanting graphic-novel form. They provide a riveting magical element to the story, creating a story-within-a-story.
Like Avis, readers will fall in love with Foula and will dream of the island long after they have reached the last page of this exciting story.
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem).
Together, Frieda Wishinsky and Willow Dawson tell an incredible story of unlikely friendship, travelling during wartime, and, most importantly, hope.
Wishinsky incorporates a wealth of contextual information into the story.
This child’s view of the event with eye-catching illustrations is an accessible take on the historic event.
Avis’s unforgettable journey of friendship, courage, tragedy, and hope will captivate and resonate with readers.
Readers will be swept up in Avis’s excitement about the boat mechanics, gourmet food, and people-watching.
Moving and inventive . . . a vivid and relatable account of a not-so-distant tragedy.