Terrible Roar of Water

10 February 2010

Terrible Roar of Water
by Penny Draper
Published by Coteau Books
Review by Karen Lawson
$8.95 ISBN 978-1-55050-414-9

Penny Draper once again hits the mark with her latest young adult novel in the Disaster Strikes Series. This exciting story is set in a remote fishing village in Newfoundland and focuses on the tsunami that hit there on November 18, 1929.

Draper is a gifted writer who understands how to combine historical facts and fiction. It is obvious that she conducts a great deal of in-depth research in order to maintain historical accuracy in her book. Draper weaves a page turner of a story that merges fictional characters and authentic historical facts. She also explores the culture and traditions of a fishing village to show what life was like at that time.

The hero of her tale is Murphy, a twelve year old boy who loves the sea and the life of a fisherman. He lives in a small outport with his aunt, uncle, and cousins. The life of a fisherman is full of struggle and danger but Murphy embraces it with passionate enthusiasm.

Murphy’s life is turned upside down in a matter of minutes one night when his community is demolished by a disaster called a tsunami tidal wave. Homes and buildings are literally torn apart and washed out to sea. Murphy is put to the test and is part of a rescue team that does its best to save as many people as possible. He is forced to grow up fast and live up to the meaning of his name which is “sea warrior”. His love for the sea has been challenged but in his heart he knows that he will do whatever it takes to help rebuild and restore the community after the devastating events of that night. His deep attachment to the sea never falters and he is more determined than ever to become a fisherman.

This book is not only a great adventure story but is also a valuable teaching tool.


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