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About the Author-
- Andrea Curtis is the award-winning writer of several books for young people and adults, including Into the Blue, about her great-grandfather, a steamboat captain who disappeared on Georgian Bay in the early twentieth century. A graduate of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Andrea lives in Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and their two sons. For more information, visit www.andreacurtis.ca.
January 15, 2018
While running away from home, Christina ends up on the Asia, a steamship that plies Lake Huron in this historical novel set in 1882.An opening note tells readers the Asia sank, killing all onboard but two teens. True to the actual events, debut novelist Curtis leaves the only two survivors, white teenagers Christina and Daniel, on a lifeboat drifting far from shore. The gritty pair, hypothermic and starving, must work together to ensure their survival. The tale is told in Christina's present-tense voice, but, especially during the disaster, Curtis' authorial overuse of metaphors and similes ("I'm like a fat, frozen spider in my life preserver, scuttling frantically") diminishes the immediacy of what should be a terrifying situation. Later, when Christina and Daniel are adrift and her mind wanders, the abundant flowery language is less jarring. Christina had left home after the death of her twin brother, primarily because she's had trouble expressing her grief. The frightening events compound her misery, although they also eventually lead her to a better understanding of her loss, improving her ability to cope. After a couple of days, the pair is rescued by a First Nations couple who are depicted with respect; there is some additional information about their culture included in an author's note, which identifies them as "likely Anishinaabeg."The historical events are limned with enough realism to sustain interest even if Christina never springs fully to life. (Historical fiction. 11-16)
COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
March 1, 2018
Gr 9 Up-After her brother's tragic death from tuberculosis, 17-year-old Christine McBurney runs away from her Parkdale home. Unwilling to be forced into working as a nursemaid or teacher, Christine takes matters into her own hands when she boards a ship in Owen Sound. While heading to Sault Ste. Marie on the steamship Asia, a terrible storm causes the boat to sink in Georgian Bay. She and a young man named Daniel are the only survivors and must endure on the open water and await rescue or find land. The story is set in 1882, and Curtis provides readers rich details of life in Victorian-era Canada. The characters shed the social norms and strict manners of their time to survive against impossible odds. Christine faces the devastating loss of her brother and Daniel comes to terms with his troubled past. Acclaimed for her creative nonfiction Into the Blue, Curtis mines the storied nautical history of Georgian Bay for this setting. This novel adeptly combines historical fiction with a heavy dose of adventure and even some romance. VERDICT A must-buy for where Victorian-era historical fiction or survivor tales are popular.-Meaghan Nichols, Archaeological Research Associates, Ont.
Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
February 1, 2018
Grades 7-10 Christina McBurney is still reeling from her twin brother's death when she boards the SS Asia's fateful 1882 voyage. Sure her presence and the weight of her grief are only burdens on her parents, she's determined not just to run away but to disappear. But when disaster strikes and she finds herself as one of only two survivors battling the elements and the freezing water, all she can hope for is to not disappear beneath the sound. This story offers an interesting look at a piece of history and a compelling disaster narrative. The author taps into feelings not just of terror but determination and self-reflection, as Christina fights for her life in an increasingly grim lifeboat. A partnership with her fellow survivor helps move the plot along, and a mystery around his life adds some intriguing historical context, though the introduction of romance seems a little forced. That quibble aside, Curtis' novel will make an exciting read for any historical-fiction fan.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)
PublisherOrca Book Publishers
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