2021 Bluestem: Lifeboat 12

Posted by Kerrie Huizinga on 4/2/2020

Lifeboat 12: Hood, Susan: 9781481468831: Amazon.com: Books

During this remote learning period I have challenged myself to read as many of the books on the 2021 Bluestem Award Nominee List.

I recently finished Lifeboat 12 by Susan Hood. (Book is available as an ebook from the Digital Library of Illinois. Access through Bloomington Public Library.)

This is an exciting true story about Ken Sparks, a British 13 year old boy whose parents decide to send him to Canada at the start of World War II. On his journey, Ken makes friends with other children being sent to Canada on the ship the SS City of Benares. Only a few days into their trip, the ship is attacked by the Germans. Ken and 5 other boys and about 40 adults manage to make it to lifeboat 12. Unfortunately, the lifeboat was not made to hold so many people and food and water supplies are running out fast. Will Ken and the others be rescued in time?

This book is actually a very fast read so don't be intimidated by the amount of pages. Also, there are lots of pictures of the real Ken Sparks and other passengers from the SS City of Benares at the end of the book. This is an amazing true story that will teach you a lot about WWII, ships and survival.

BBC Article about SS City of Benares

Author Susan Hood's website