Synopses & Reviews
Fourteen-year-old Jack is a daring, impulsive boy, who lives to sail, have adventures and get into trouble. When the Noronic docks at Ward Island, he and his friends gather to admire it. But you need an invitation from one of the passengers to board the ship. So when Jack meets Henry, a lonely 13-year-old passenger from Boston, he talks Henry into inviting Jack's group on a tour of the ship. In the course of the tour, Jack and Henry become friends.
But that night, when Jack wakes up and looks out at Pier Nine and the Noronic, he sees, to his horror, that the ship is on fire and sinking. He races down to the harbour and takes out the island's only motorboat, hoping to help passengers. People are stuck on the upper deck because the only way off the ship, three decks below, is already engulfed in flames. Jack spots Henry and calls to him just as Henry's dad helps him jump into the water. Jack is able to rescue Henry and many others, although Henry's dad is lost. Jack is a hero to many, but not everyone agrees.
Peril at Pier Nine is based on a true story. On September 14, 1949, the cruise ship Noronic, caught fire with 524 passengers and 171 crew members on board. Between 118 and 139 people died. The cause of the fire was never determined.
Penny Draperis an author, a bookseller, and a storyteller who lives in Victoria, BC. Coteau Books for Kids Disaster Strikes Series includes Terror at Turtle Mountain, Peril at Pier Nine, a finalist for the Silver Birch Young Reader's Choice Award, Graveyard of the Sea, winner of the Bolen Book Prize and a Moonbeam Children's Award, and her latest A Terrible Roar of Water.
A daring, impulsive boy, Jack lives to sail, have adventures and get in trouble. When the Noronic docks at Ward Island, he and his friends gather to admire it, but you need an invitation from one of the passengers to come on board. Jack spots Henry, a quiet, lonely boy from Boston with not much knack for making friends, and talks him into inviting Jack and his group to tour the ship.
The Noronic is everything Jack has dreamed of, a grand Great Lakes cruise ship, equipped with the latest features, its top three decks full of fashionable passengers. Jack vows that one day he will captain this ship. And in the course of the tour, Jack and Henry become friends.
Jack can't sleep that night and looks out towards the pier. To his horror, he sees that the ship is on fire and without thinking he tears down to the harbour and takes out the island's only motorboat, hoping to help the passengers. People crowd the deck because the only way off the ship, three decks below, is already engulfed. Jack sees Henry on deck and calls to him as Henry's dad helps him jump in the water. Jack is able to pull Henry and many others from the water although Henry's dad is lost. Another rescue boat joins him and between them they save 51 people, although 118 perish. Jack is a hero of sorts, but many people blame him for taking the boat out on his own instead of calling someone older to help.
Jack Gordon and Henry Addison meet when the Great Lakes cruise ship, the Noronic, docks at Ward Island, just before the ship catches fire--with Henry on board.