Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Dead Wake by Erik Larson

How I Heard About It:   I am a member of the BBC (Boy's Book Club).  This is a group of male teachers at my school that formed a book club many years ago.  We each take a turn picking a book for us to read.  One of my buddies picked this narrative non-fiction book for our most recent BBC pick.  We had read Devil in the White City years ago so he wanted to try another book by the same author.  

What It Is About:  In 1915 with WW1 raging on, the Lusitania passenger ship departs New York City bound toward Liverpool.  Germany had warned the English that the seas were not safe for travel, but the crew and passengers didn't seem worried and were quite as ease to travel via ship.  A German U-boat is patrolling the Atlantic Ocean and makes this ship a target.  The story is told from alternating viewpoints of being on the actual ship and the perspective of the U-Boat crew.  As the Lusitania approaches Liverpool, the moment of truth has arrived and the U-Boat is successful in hitting the ship and the consequences will change the world.  

What I Thought Of It:  If you follow this blog, you know I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction and/or nonfiction.  I have learned as a reader it is good to expand my horizons and try different genres.  That is one of the great things about being in a book club.  I preferred Devil, but thought this story was alright.  I didn't know a lot about his historical event so that was interesting.  There were lots of details about names, dates, and incidents which at times I didn't find very interesting.  I did enjoy learning about the passengers on the ship and how this particular event put forth action that changed our world.  

Who Should Read It:  Readers of nonfiction and/or narrative nonfiction will find this a satisfying read.  If you have read other material by Erik Larsen, I'm sure you would also enjoy this particular story.  Fans of WW1 stories should also give this book a try because it is well written with lots of fascinating information contained on the pages.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  3 STARS out of 5 Stars

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