• Title: The Edmund Fitzgerald: Song of the Bell
  • Author: Kathy-jo Wargin, Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen
  • Released: 2011-10-31
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 40
  • ISBN: 1585361267
  • ISBN13: 978-1585361267
  • ASIN: 1585361267
From School Library Journal Kindergarten-Grade 3--A picture book about the sinking of the cargo ship Edmund Fitzgerald during a storm on Lake Superior in 1975. The vessel's bell, which eventually became a memorial to the lost sailors, is the focal point of the narrative. Tension builds steadily as the story unfolds. Members of the crew are introduced by name, and the fictionalized dialogue makes the story more immediate and true to life. Conversation, largely between Captain McSorley and the captain and first mate of the Arthur M. Anderson, another ship on the lake at the time, is undocumented. A poem interspersed throughout the text creates a sentimental, disjointed effect. Endpapers list names, positions, and hometowns of the men, and an afterword by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society describes how the bell was retrieved and became a memorial. Paintings show the movement and danger of the lake, and different angles are used to capture the drama of the tragedy. This title should be considered an additional purchase where there is regional demand.--Debbie Stewart, Grand Rapids Public Library, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Gr. 2-5. This handsome picture book draws on history to tell the story of the last voyage of the Edmund Fitzgerald, a ship that sank in a Lake Superior storm in 1975. All 29 crew members drowned. The text combines prose paragraphs with rhymed couplets, a device that works fairly well, as the book both tells the tale and laments those who drowned. Wargin uses the ship's bell as a unifying focus for the story. When the ship was at sea, the bronze bell clanged every four hours to signal the watch change, and later, "The battered bell rang as the storm held its grip-- / It rang for the men at the heart of the ship." Finally, it was retrieved from the sunken vessel and replaced with a replica inscribed with the names of those who perished. The dark, dramatic paintings expressively illustrate the somber story with respect for the men and for the danger of the treacherous storm, which is vividly portrayed. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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