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Saved by the Boats: The Heroic Sea Evacuation of September 11

by Julie Gassman

Other authors: Steve Moors (Illustrator)

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705373,959 (4.3)None
"Presents the heroic sea evacuation of September 11, 2001 with narrative text and vivid illustrations"--

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On a sunny day in September, when planes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, and the Twins Towers came tumbling down, hundreds of thousands of desperate people were looking for a way off of Manhattan. With the bridges, buses, subways, and commuter trains shut down as a security measure, it seemed they were trapped on the island. It was then that the captains and sailors of approximately 150 ships, summoned by a general call for assistance from the US Coast Guard, stepped in to help. From ferryboats to merchant ships, tugboats to party boats, these vessels helped to carry more than 500,000 people away from the smoke and chaos of New York City, and across the Hudson River to safety in New Jersey. It has been described as the largest maritime rescue effort in history...

The story of the maritime evacuation of lower Manhattan on September 11th, 2001 has been told in the immensely moving television documentary, Boatlift, narrated by Tom Hanks, which I highly recommend. I myself was well aware of the importance of maritime transportation on that day, far before I ever saw the film, as my mother escaped Manhattan on 9/11 thanks to these boats. She was taken to New Jersey with a coworker, who then kindly drove her all the way back home, to suburban New York state. So it is that when I happened upon Saved by the Boats: The Heroic Sea Evacuation of September 11 in the children's section of my public library, in their recent 9/11 book display, I immediately snatched it up. The story, written by Julie Gassman, who herself escaped Manhattan on that day thanks to the maritime evacuation, is simple but powerful, and I found myself tearing up, while reading it. The artwork from Steve Moors, in muted grayish tones that are sometimes relieved by a bright blue, didn't speak to me at first, but eventually felt just right for the story, capturing the contrast between the gray dust that coated everything and everyone that day, and the sparkling blue of that September sky.

In the end, this was a deeply poignant read for me, and I came away with a renewed respect and admiration for all of the civilian boat captains and sailors who made the choice to help their fellow human beings on that day, in the face of uncertainty and danger. I think this picture-book, which focuses on the goodness that was displayed that day, rather than on the evil committed, would make a good introduction, for younger children who may have encountered the subject for the first time, and who have questions. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Oct 5, 2023 |
Note: I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. ( )
  fernandie | Sep 15, 2022 |
I loved this book. It was heartbreaking and it took me back to that September day. I knew that this water evacuation occurred but this is the first book that I have read that simply dealt with this topic and the heroes that made this all possible. People trying to get our of Manhattan on 9/11 could have panicked, but the smart thinking of the coast guard and the unselfishness of the many captains and crews of the boats and ships that stepped up, kept this from happening. This book told the story without dealing with the negative fallout so it can be read to and with children. It's told at a pace that would easily allow for teachers and/or parents to stop and have conversations when questioned without disrupting the flow of the story. It's a story that deserves to be told. With all the evil that happened on that day and all the loss of life, it is wonderful to show future generations how a simple act towards others can change lives for the better.

The illustrations are simple line, pen and ink drawings. They are powerful. The blue sky and the comments about what a beautiful sky it was until it was marred by ash and smoke tell that story with simple grey colours and swirls. I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to share a 9/11 story that isn't overwhelming with for children. This would be a good read aloud for late primary and middle grades that may be studying heroes or the history of New York.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Carlathelibrarian | Feb 5, 2019 |
A great positive book to remember the heroic deeds of those on the water surrounding New York on September 11th. ( )
  paula-childrenslib | Sep 14, 2016 |
A non-fiction picture book about 9/11, but from a different point of view. I hadn't known that a good portion of those who evacuated New York on that day did so via crossing the Hudson in boats of all shapes and sizes. 500,000 people. The largest of its kind according to this book.

I really, really liked the drawings of things in the book, unfortunately I didn't like how the people in the book were drawn, they seemed off to me.

I also thought that the Author's note at the end was really really touching.

A book about this topic can be done well or done badly, and this was on the whole a really well done book for children on the date that changed so many lives.

I received this galley through Netgalley on behalf of Capstone Press. ( )
  DanieXJ | May 26, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Julie Gassmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Moors, SteveIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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