Close cookie details

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav
Big Water
Cover of Big Water
Big Water
Borrow Borrow
Seventeen-year-old Christina McBurney has led a sheltered life. But when her twin brother, Jonathan, dies of consumption, Christina, unwilling to be farmed out as a nursemaid or teacher, runs away from home and her destiny. In Owen Sound she boards the Asia, a steamship that transports passengers and freight throughout the Great Lakes. She doesn't really have a plan other than to get to Sault Ste. Marie. She'll figure things out once she's settled. But a violent storm suddenly rises on Georgian Bay, and the overloaded and top-heavy steamship begins to sink. Christina is tossed overboard. Pulled to safety just before she loses consciousness, she finds herself on a lifeboat, surrounded by a number of bedraggled and terrified passengers and crew. One by one they succumb to their injuries, until only Christina and a brooding young man named Daniel are left alive. The usual rules of society no longer apply—Daniel and Christina must now work together as equals to survive. Big Water is a fictional account of the real-life story of the only two survivors of the sinking of the SS Asia in 1882.
Seventeen-year-old Christina McBurney has led a sheltered life. But when her twin brother, Jonathan, dies of consumption, Christina, unwilling to be farmed out as a nursemaid or teacher, runs away from home and her destiny. In Owen Sound she boards the Asia, a steamship that transports passengers and freight throughout the Great Lakes. She doesn't really have a plan other than to get to Sault Ste. Marie. She'll figure things out once she's settled. But a violent storm suddenly rises on Georgian Bay, and the overloaded and top-heavy steamship begins to sink. Christina is tossed overboard. Pulled to safety just before she loses consciousness, she finds herself on a lifeboat, surrounded by a number of bedraggled and terrified passengers and crew. One by one they succumb to their injuries, until only Christina and a brooding young man named Daniel are left alive. The usual rules of society no longer apply—Daniel and Christina must now work together as equals to survive. Big Water is a fictional account of the real-life story of the only two survivors of the sinking of the SS Asia in 1882.
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    always available
  • Library copies:
    always available
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
    720
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:
    3

Recommended for you

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.
Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    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.

  • School Library Journal

    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.

  • Booklist

    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.)

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Orca Book Publishers
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • EPUB eBook
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

Status bar:

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

Close

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Close

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You've reached the maximum number of titles you can recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 99 titles every 1 day(s).

Close

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

Close

Enhanced Details

Close
Close

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Close

Permissions

Close

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Close

Holds

Total holds:


Close

Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

Close

MP3 audiobooks are only supported on macOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) through 10.14 (Mojave). Learn more about MP3 audiobook support on Macs.

Close

Please update to the latest version of the OverDrive app to stream videos.

Close

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Close

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

Close

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

Close

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

Close

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

Close

Close

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Close
Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
Big Water
Big Water
Andrea Curtis
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
Close
Close

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Close
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

You will be prompted to sign into your library account on the next page.

If this is your first time selecting “Send to NOOK,” you will then be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel