Thursday, February 23, 2017

A World War II Must Read by Tod Olson (post by Paul Greci)

I have the good fortune of having my classroom in a little room in the School Library. Having my classroom in the library puts me in direct contact with all the new books coming in.

This week, Lost in the Pacific, 1942 by Tod Olson caught my eye. I took it home over the weekend and started reading it.

The short summary from Kirkus reads:

Olson tells the harrowing true story of how eight men in three tiny inflatable rafts, lost in 68 million square miles of shark-infested Pacific Ocean without food or water and near enemy-held territory, survived three weeks before being rescued.  A riveting, completely engrossing true survival story. (glossary, author‘s note, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

I haven’t finished the reading the book yet but the story has swept me away. Without any spoilers, I’ll just say it’s written in a directly, powerfully and personally.

Here’s the beginning:

The Pacific Ocean looked calm and inviting from 5,000 feet up, from the drone of four sturdy motors in Jim Whitaker’s ear. But he had no desire to land a 15-ton, 4-engine plane down there. To a B-17 bomber, plunging from the sky, the ocean is as unforgiving as a concrete wall. 
      Yet by 1:30 p.m. on October 21, 1942, that was the only option left.
               -Tod Olson-(page 1, Lost in the Pacific, 1942)

If you like history and true survival stories, then this book is for you.

From the Author’s website: Tod Olson is author of the historical fiction series How to Get Rich and the narrative nonfiction series, LOST. He holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and lives in Vermont with his family, his mountain bike, and his electric reclining chair.

Thanks for stopping by.

Paul Greci is the author of Surviving Bear Island, a 2015 Junior Library Guild Selection and a 2016 Scholastic Reading Club Selection.


Thanks for adding to the mayhem!