Left for Dead: A Young Man's Search for Justice for the USS Indianapolis

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9780385730914: Left for Dead: A Young Man's Search for Justice for the USS Indianapolis
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For fans of sea battles, adventures, and war stories like Unbroken, this is the incredible true story of a boy who helps to bring closure to the survivors of the tragic sinking of the USS Indianapolis, and helps exonerate the ship’s captain fifty years later.

 
Hunter Scott first learned about the sinking of the USS Indianapolis by watching the movie Jaws when he was just eleven-years-old. This was fifty years after the ship had sunk, throwing more than 1,000 men into shark-infested waters—a long fifty years in which justice still had not been served.
                It was just after midnight on July 30, 1945 when the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. Those who survived the fiery sinking—some injured, many without life jackets—struggled to stay afloat as they waited for rescue. But the United States Navy did not even know they were missing. As time went on, the Navy needed a scapegoat for this disaster. So it court-martialed the captain for “hazarding” his ship. The survivors of the Indianapolis knew that their captain was not to blame. For fifty years they worked to clear his name, even after his untimely death.
But the navy would not budge—not until Hunter entered the picture. His history fair project on the Indianapolis soon became a crusade to restore the captain’s good name and the honor of the men who served under him.
Praise for Left for Dead:

Christopher Award Winner

An ALA-YALSA Best Nonfiction for Young Adults Book

“Compelling, dreadful, and amazing.”—VOYA
 
“This exciting, life-affirming book about war heroics and justice . . . proves without question the impact one student can have on history.”—Booklist

“Well written and well documented ... this excellent presentation fills a void in most World War II collections “—School Library Journal
 
“Young readers . . . will no doubt be inspired by the youth’s tenacity—and by the valor of those who served on the Indianapolis.”—The Horn Book

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Review:

It's an unlikely beginning to what became a momentous, history-changing history fair project. Eleven-year-old Hunter Scott was watching Jaws one day when he first heard about the World War II sinking of the USS Indianapolis. Intrigued, he investigated further, and discovered a shocking, heartbreaking story behind what should have been a tale of heroism and patriotism. Torpedoed by a Japanese submarine, the Indianapolis went down in minutes, taking more than 800 sailors with it. Several hundred survived, but only after spending days in the open sea with sharks diminishing their numbers hourly. This is only the beginning of the tragedy, however. In an effort to make an example of the ship's captain, and in order to deflect blame from itself, the U.S. Navy unfairly court-martialed the captain, painfully changing the lives of all the men involved.

Basing much of his text on young Hunter Scott's research, author Pete Nelson does a fine job of presenting this story through the eyes of many of the survivors. Old and new photos allow readers to know many of the men of the ship, and personal accounts reveal the horrors of those days in the ocean--and later in the courtroom. A bittersweet ending will leave the reader pensive and deeply moved. (Ages 12 and older) --Emilie Coulter

From the Inside Flap:

Just after midnight on July 30, 1945, the USS "Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. The ship sank in 14 minutes. More than 1,000 men were thrown into shark-infested waters. Those who survived the fiery sinking--some injured, many without life jackets--struggled to stay afloat in shark-infested waters as they waited for rescue. But the United States Navy did not even know they were missing. The Navy needed a scapegoat for this disaster. So it court-martialed the captain for "hazarding" his ship. The survivors of the "Indianapolis knew that their captain was not to blame. For 50 years they worked to clear his name, even after his untimely death. But the navy would not budge--until an 11-year-old boy named Hunter Scott entered the picture. His history fair project on the "Indianapolis soon became a crusade to restore the captain's good name and the honor of the men who served under him.

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9780385729598: Left for Dead: A Young Man's Search for Justice for the USS Indianapolis

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ISBN 10:  0385729596 ISBN 13:  9780385729598
Publisher: Delacorte Books, 2002
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9780440229452: Left for Dead

Laurel..., 2005
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