|Sinking of the Vasa : a shipwreck of Titanic proportions|
Author: Freedman, Russell
Explores the mystery of the sinking of the great Swedish warship, the Vasa, and her resurrection from the seas centuries later.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 5.70
Points: .5 Quiz: 196459
Kirkus Reviews (-) (06/01/18)
School Library Journal (+) (07/01/18)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (00/07/18)
The Hornbook (00/07/18)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 06/01/2018 The late, great Freedman and the illustrator of Old Penn Station (2007) and other award-winning picture books pair up for a dramatic account of the ill-fated first voyage, modern rediscovery, and restoration of a seventeenth-century vessel intended to be “the mightiest warship the world had ever seen.” The spare narrative begins with the felling of a thousand oak trees at the command of Swedish King Gustav II Adolf, and goes on to recount the top-heavy ship’s construction, its disastrous 1628 launch, and the ensuing inconclusive inquest. Around a climactic double gatefold, it describes how the ship was raised from the mud of the Stockholm harbor in 1961 and transformed from a soggy wreck to a glittering historical monument that the author, with a fine (if perhaps debatable) closing rhetorical flourish, dubs “a testament to peace.” In Low’s low-angle, slightly soft-focus illustrations, the ship looms massively, the ornate baroque ornamentation of its gilded hull and brass cannon shining with a sumptuous glow. A magnificent tribute to a magnificent folly. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 07/01/2018 Gr 3–6—In August 1628, the Vasa, a massive, opulently decorated Swedish navy warship, was ready to launch. Commissioned by Sweden's king and having taken more than two years to build, she was loaded with weaponry and crafted to strike fear into all enemies. Anticipation over the inaugural sailing was high, with observers waving offshore and the ship's crew and their families on board. Shockingly, after traveling less than a mile, the Vasa wasstruck by wind, capsized, and sank, taking many lives. The ensuing investigation suggested poor design was to blame. Whatever the cause, no charges were ever brought. More than three centuries passed before the great hulk was raised from Stockholm's harbor in the late 1950s. Years of painstaking repair and restoration followed and today, the Vasa is proudly displayed in a museum. Freedman did impeccable research to recount this little-known event, and his clipped sentences convey appropriate drama and suspense. Low's wonderful digital paintings perfectly capture the historical settings and prodigious breadth and size of the ship. Underwater scenes depict exciting salvage efforts and include a breathtaking gatefold of the Vasa being lifted to the surface. There are a number of curriculum connections to be made with this text; for journalism and history units, elicit oral or written "you-were-there" interviews from the perspectives of the sinking ship's observers or survivors. Students can also compare and contrast the events surrounding the sinking of the Titanic and the Vasa. VERDICT A richly crafted work of history for upper elementary schoolers.—Carol Goldman, formerly at Queens Library, NY - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.