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by T.K. Welsh
No current Talk conversations about this book.
I picked this one up because I love history and I love ghost stories, and this is both. I admit, I was also curious to see if Welsh could pull off what Katharine Weber couldn’t in Triangle — successfully combining authentic NYC history with a story that appeals to teens. I think Welsh has succeeded admirably here.
From the publisher:
Mallory Meer has just turned fifteen years old, and within an hour, thanks to the only boy she’s ever loved, she’ll be dead, a victim of the General Slocum steamship disaster. Bound by love to her grieving family, and outraged by the multitude of senseless deaths, Mallory haunts those responsible for the tragedy, determined to see that justice is served.
Young love doomed, a horrific tragedy, and a ghost bound to earth by the terrible event. What more could you ask for? I sped through the first few chapters and then read the end. This is the ultimate test of the “goodness” of a book for me — if I can read the end and then still want to go back and finish the rest of the book, it’s a good’un. The Unresolved is a great one. Mallory is the most well-developed ghostly character I’ve seen in a long, long time…maybe even since my Blossom Culp days. I can’t recall another story where I’ve felt so connected to the ghost, and I was particularly impressed with the way Welsh moved Mallory in and out of other characters and told their stories in that way. Welsh skillfully manipulates emotions and develops characters through the relatively short novel, and I found myself genuinely caring about these people.
My only quibble, and there’s always one, is with the names. We have “Mallory” and “Dustin” — both German, one Lutheran and one Jewish. The names just struck me as very WB and not in sync with the time (early 1900s). I did a little research and found the name Mallory is French, and didn’t come into regular use until the 1960s. Dustin is derived from the Scandinavian, but didn’t come into common use until the 1940s. It seems like Welsh just picked the names out of the air. But, this is a small quibble, and certainly not enough to keep you from reading this fabulous story.
The Washington Post rated this as one of the top ten Young Adult books. In addition, many other awards were given, included the Horn Book’s list of recommended American historical fiction. It is also one of the few books selected by the American Library Association as a best book for young adults.
Highly recommended, I can certainly understand the accolades.
Prior to 9/11/2001, the June 15, 1904 horrific fire aboard the steamship The General Slocum was the worst disaster, and resulting loss of life in the history of New York.
1,342 people boarded the steamship that fatal day for a church outing sponsored by St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. This yearly event had the intended destination of Long Island Sound where the church members would picnic.
The passengers were predominately Germanic settlers, residing in what was then called Kleindeutschland.
Tragically, approximately 1,000 of the excursion members perished.
Through a fictional character of 15 year old Mallory Meer, the author deftly weaves the history of the steamship, the 1904 disaster, an in-depth examination of the immigration experience, and the turn of the century blatant prejudice against the Jewish population.
When Mallory perishes in the fire, she is doomed to live on in ghostly form seeking revenge to the guilty parties and redemption for those who, once they set foot on the steamship, were fated never to step ashore again.
Mallory thought that life was just beginning, when she finds herself dead and drifting as a ghost through the events and people that led to her death. Will the person or persons responsible for her death and the thousands of others go unresolved or will the culprit be caught. A very graphic and detailed story that takes the reader into that fateful day that really happened. A great way to help students understand a true event, but told through the eyes of a fictional character.
The spirit of Mallory Meer, a teenage girl who died on the General Slocum, haunts those involved with the 1904 disaster. While history records that a fire started and spread quickly, this work of fiction explores what might have happened when
two love struck teenagers steal a moment together below deck and another vents his jealousy by causing the blaze and blaming his nemesis.
In 1904 New York City, the spirit of a deceased German American teenage girl searches for the person responsible for the Slocum steamboat fire that claimed her life and the lives of more than 1000 other passengers.
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Of course, while reading the book, I researched on line. What a horrible, horrible disaster. ( )