Into the Blizzard: Heroism at Sea During the Great Blizzard of 1978

Holt. (True Rescue). Dec. 2019. 288p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781627792837.
Gr 5-8–Adapted for young readers from Ten Hours Until Dawn: The True Story of Heroism and Tragedy Aboard the Can Do, the most recent entry in the “True Rescue” series focuses on the ill-fated Can Do. In February 1978, a freak blizzard surprised the East Coast, pounding coastal Massachusetts and the Gloucester Harbor. A distress call from Global Hope, an oil tanker, spurred the Coast Guard and a local pilot ship, the Can Do, into braving the storm. As the storm progressed, the Can Do and Coast Guard vessels found themselves in jeopardy. Quotes from eyewitnesses involved with the rescue attempts, friends, and transcripts of radio transmissions tell the story of what was ultimately a deadly rescue mission. The bravery of Frank Quirk, the captain of the Can Do, along with that of crew member Charlie Bucko, takes center stage through stories from friends and families; other members of the doomed ship and the Coast Guard vessels are not as fleshed out. Pacing in the adaptation drags and gets caught up in some lengthy side stories of people and events tangentially involved, which may not hold the interest of reluctant readers. A small collection of photographs and a glossary are included.
VERDICT Purchase where Tougias’s other books are popular or where other maritime adventure stories are in demand.

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