Sunday, May 20, 2007

Attack of the Turtle


Carlson, Drew. 2007. Attack of the Turtle.

Last year, I read a nonfiction book about the invention of the first submarine, the American Turtle. (Bushnell's Submarine by Arthur Lefkowitz) ATTACK OF THE TURTLE is a fictionalized account of the invention and launch of the first submarine. David Bushnell, the inventor, comes to town and his brother and cousin (invented, fictionalized cousin) are there to help him every step of the way. Blending history with fine storytelling, ATTACK OF THE TURTLE is a fine story of a young man's coming of age. Nathan Wade, though tall for his fourteen years, has many fears. He's afraid of the local bully. He's afraid of the water. It's not that he lacks the ability to excel, he just lacks confidence in his ability. He thinks he's not good at farming. He thinks he's not good at fishing. He thinks that he'll never find a place where he fits in. And then the war starts. He thinks that there is nothing he can do. He's too afraid to fight--and too young. He feels lost and confused. His father is fighting in the army. His cousins are preparing to fight. Every day more men are joining the army and preparing to fight for what they believe in. Yet he's scared that he'll be picked on by a few local boys? It just doesn't seem fight. Then he decides to fight a war of his own--a war against fear. Can Nathan learn about real courage? Can he make a real difference in his own way?

Attack of the Turtle is historical fiction at his best: a blending of everyday struggles that everyone can understand, and some important 'historical' events.

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