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Ann and Seamusby Kevin Major
Synopses & Reviews
Seventeen-year-old Ann Harvey is one of the great unsung heroes of maritime history. In 1828, off the coast of Newfoundland, Ann Harvey, her father and younger brother, came upon the wreck of the Despatch, an Irish immigrant ship. In thick fog and fierce wind it had run aground. Anns courage and strength at the oars of the rescue boat were largely responsible for saving more than 160 dirt-poor passengers stranded amid the raging storm.
Ann and Seamus brings the remarkable story of Ann Harvey to todays readers. In a poetic and powerful retelling, Kevin Major portrays the shy young woman thrust into extraordinary circumstances. It is the story of dramatic rescue, but it is also the story of dreams and fate, of a hard life and young love. For also at its center is Seamus, a young Irishman who had set sail with hopes of a new life in America. Ann and Seamus is historical ﬁction that sweeps across ages and nationalities. In rich yet accessible narrative verse, it draws the reader into the drama of sea rescue without losing the tender and impetuous voices of youth at the core of the story.
"Major (Hold Fast) relays this historically based tale of a young Newfoundland woman's heroic role in a real maritime rescue as a series of short poems from two characters' perspectives, Ann and Seamus. In 1828, the Irish immigrant ship Despatch runs aground, Ann, along with her father and brother, rises to the occasion, rescuing 163 of the passengers (many others died) with only their 12-foot skiff, tossed by rough waters in heavy fog. One rescued passenger, Seamus, who narrates the middle section of the book, also dreams of seeing the world. He feels an instantaneous attraction to Ann, who likewise feels drawn to him. At the end, she must wrestle between the temptation to go off with him and her desire to remain loyal to (and safe with) her family. Blackwood's hauntingly beautiful ice-colored illustrations confer a dignity on the tense, highly dramatic proceedings. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In 1828, off the Newfoundland fishing village of Isle aux Morts, Ann Harvey, her father, and her younger brother came upon the wreck of the Despatch, an Irish immigrant ship originally destined for Quebec City. In thick fog and fierce wind it had run aground and broken apart. Ann's courage and strength at the oars of the rescue boat were largely responsible for the saving of more than 160 dirt-poor passengers stranded amid the raging storm, left "like seabirds clinging to the rocks." Also at the story's center is Seamus, a young Irishman who had set sail with hopes of a new life in North America.
This historical fiction's rich yet accessible narrative verse draws the reader into the drama of sea rescue, without losing the tender and impetuous voices of youth at the core of the story. David Blackwood's illustrations present stark, intense impressions of life at the edge of the North Atlantic.
About the Author
Kevin Major is the author of ten novels for young people and adults. His books have been published in several languages and include the award-winning titles Far From Shore, Eating Between the Lines, The House of Wooden Santas and Free the Children. Kevin Major lives with his wife, Anne, and their two sons in St. John's, Newfoundland.
David Blackwood has received many national and international awards, including the Order of Canada. His etchings, paintings and monotypes appear in numerous private and public collections, including those of the National Gallery of Canada, the National Gallery of Australia, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Uffizi in Florence, the Chase Manhattan Bank, and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. David Blackwood lives with his wife, Anita, in Port Hope, Ontario. He still maintains a studio in Wesleyville, Newfoundland.
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