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Dark Water Rising by Marian Hale

Dark Water Rising

by Marian Hale

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I read this book with my 8th grade classes and while I'd say it was a solid example of historical fiction, most of the book is repetitive and does not sustain the students' interests. The story is about the Galveston Storm in the early 1900's that swept away most of the town. The actual scene with the storm takes place relatively early on in the novel and the entire second half describes the rebuilding process. However, the part that captured the students' attention was the actual storm, so when there are over 100 pages of just rebuilding, that gets very redundant after a while and makes for a slow read.

If you are looking for an example of historical fiction that anyone could read, this would be a great one. However, it is not one that I plan on teaching again. ( )
  dingesa27 | Dec 6, 2016 |
3.5 stars, but I'm rounding up. Hale doesn't fully capture the historical tone--her history is factually accurate, but it doesn't feel genuine somehow. She does, however, capture the sadness of a boy walking around the shell of Galveston in the immediate aftermath of the 1900 hurricane. I haven't read anything better on the topic (nothing realistic, anyway; Sean Stewart's Galveston was amazing in the magic realism genre), but that doesn't automatically make it a great book. I'd pass it to kids doing the historical fiction assignment, but it's not a must-have beyond that. ( )
  librarybrandy | Mar 29, 2013 |
Excellent story. I felt like I was experiencing everything the family went through during and after the hurricane of 1900! ( )
  koenigp | Jul 1, 2010 |
A story of the Galveston hurricane of 1900, told from the point of view of a boy. I picked it up without giving any thought to the story it would tell -- it was quickly apparent disaster was coming and as I thought about the time and the location I realized what was coming. It was painful enough that I considered just putting the book down, but the story is well told and I was drawn in to a story that while painful was not as horrific as I first imagined. ( )
  alice443 | Oct 4, 2009 |
Too often historical fiction concerning the 1900 Storm is riddled with inaccuracies presented as fact or suffers from weak characters and a forced plot to incorporate the Storm. Marian Hale surpasses all of this.

I fell in love with the Braeden family and even though I knew what was coming next, Ms. Hale wrote it in such beautiful, flowing language I found myself looking forward to the rest of the story.

Ms. Hale treated her characters with respect and honesty--especially Seth's observations and relationship with Ezra and Ben--without resorting to exaggeration.

On a personal level, I appreciated Ms. Hale's ability to incorporate many real-life characters and situations of the first hand accounts reproduced in my own publication, Through a Night of Horrors: Voices from the 1900 Galveston Storm. I easily recognized familiar settings and stories experienced by Seth and the Braeden family, and found a loving tug at my heart that Ms. Hale had given so much thought and attention to bring them into her novel seamlessly.

Under my ever-searching intense eyes I found only only one teensy historical error that can easily be overlooked. This is a Galveston I recognize, with factual history blended smoothly in a way that propertly sets the touching story and characters.

I highly recommend this novel for use and will be giving it to my own 4th grade daugther to read - especially since she's not interested in reading mine just yet. Thank you Ms. Hale for an excellent novel. ( )
  Islandgal | Jun 30, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805075852, Hardcover)

A poignant coming-of-age novel set during the Galveston Storm of 1900
I looked south toward the gulf, trying to keep an eye on the stalking sea. Wild waves rose up like a great hand and wrenched loose the Pagoda’s long staircase, sending planks tumbling through the air. With horror I watched the end of one twin building sway and dip into the surf.

I yelled at Josiah, but my words disappeared on the wind. I grabbed his arm, pointed, and we stood together, shoulder to shoulder, mouths gaping, watching the impossible.

Like a wounded Goliath, the great bathhouse shuddered, folded in on its long legs, and collapsed into the sea. 
Galveston, Texas, may be the booming city of the twentieth century, but to Seth it is the end of a dream. He wants to be a carpenter like his father, but the family has moved so Seth can become a doctor.

Just as things begin to look up for Seth, a storm warning is raised one sweltering afternoon. A north wind always brings change, but no one could have imagined anything like this.

The acclaimed author of The Truth About Sparrows has crafted an unforgettable story set during the Galveston Storm of 1900.
Dark Water Rising is a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:24 -0400)

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While salvaging and rebuilding in the aftermath of the Galveston flood of 1900, sixteen-year-old Seth proves himself in a way that his previous efforts never could, but he still must face his father man-to-man.

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