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Authentic archival material preserved at The Mystic Seaport Museum helps children experience the lives of those involved in the American whaling industry.
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Gr. 5^-8. If you think whaling isn't interesting, think again. Gourley, in association with Mystic Seaport Museum, dredges up enough fascinating information about the once vital American industry to satisfy almost anybody--using the words of the whalers themselves to do it. Excerpts from diaries and books, most written during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, are the heart of her presentation, and her excellent connecting commentary is delivered with flair and enthusiasm. The men and women whose words flow across the pages tell of excitement, hardship, and horror at sea--the drama and viciousness of the kill, the harsh treatment, the poor conditions, the disillusionment. They also speak of adventure and camaraderie. The cover is rather drab, but the format is inviting, with lots of white space and attractive placement of headings and illustrations. Reproductions of lithographs and period photos add interest, and Gourley uses the margin for definitions of odd terms that appear in the first-person accounts. There's not enough frame of reference for the description of the "Cruise of the Portuguese Princess," the last part of the book, but apart from that, this is a engaging, exceptionally well-designed look at a vital part of maritime history. A bibliography and sources of further information are appended. Stephanie ZvirinFrom School Library Journal:
Grade 4-7?Using excerpts from the writings of the whalers themselves (and some of their sea-going wives), Gourley sketches a clear picture of life and work aboard American whaling ships during their heyday. The sometimes lengthy quotes add interest and color to the presentation. The details of the hunting, harpooning, and processing of the whales are clearly laid out, along with a description of who went whaling, why, and how they lived at sea. Black-and-white and full-color photographs, prints, and paintings appear throughout. Carol Carrick's Whaling Days (Clarion, 1993) covers similar ground for a slightly younger audience. While its bold woodcuts are more lively, they are less informative than Gourley's illustrations, and Carrick's book lacks the immediacy provided by Gourley's use of primary-source material. Elizabeth Gemming's Blow Ye Winds Westerly (Crowell, 1972; o.p.) contains substantial information on the subject for older students. Gourley's book will be especially welcome where whaling is included in the curriculum.?Elaine Fort Weischedel, Turner Free Library, Randolph, MA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Millbrook Press, 1995. Library Binding. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # mon0000058539
Book Description Millbrook Press, 1995. Library Binding. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX1562945343