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by Brian Floca

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25826101,786 (3.94)1
Lightships once served where lighthouses could not be built. They helped to guide sailors safely through the fog.

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A lightship is a small ship but it has a big responsibility. It stays in its place giving light to the other ships that come in. The crew play a big part in her care by making sure that she has enough energy (making sure that the engine works correctly). The lightship also takes care of the crew as well by giving them somewhere to sleep and food. The message I got in this story is not to count something out because of its size. You never know what it can do. ( )
  Ken80 | Jan 23, 2020 |
This book was named a 2008 Robert F. Sibert Informational Honor Book. Author and illustrator Brian Floca uses ink and watercolor illustrations with interesting perspectives (and an ever-present curious cat) to tell us about lightships, essentially floating lighthouses in use in the United States through 1983. My husband, a recreational sailor, loved the cutaway view in the end papers of the Ambrose, Light Ship (or LS) 87, now docked at the South Street Seaport Museum in New York City. Floca provides historical footnotes in his acknowledgments and author's note that will be appreciated by adults and older readers. ( )
1 vote rdg301library | Oct 2, 2019 |
This book tells all about lightships, which once sat anchored in the middle of the sea to act as a lighthouse for other ships. The book explains what the lightship was like and the lives of the crew on board. It also explains how a lightship works. Includes notes from the author/illustrator with more information and the history of lightships. This book would be good for a lesson on sailing or how ships work. ( )
  JenniferSprinkle | Jun 26, 2019 |
Summary: Lightship is a nonfiction book that is told in a fictional story about a lightship holding her place. The lightship holds her place through the snow, wind, and waves, with a crew of a helmsman, oiler, engineer, deckhand, fireman, radioman, messman, cook, captain, and a cat, too. They all work together to help the ship run and hold her place, so that she can guide other ships to safety in the foggy weather.

Personal Connection: I really enjoyed reading this book, and reading up on lightships in the back of the book. I had no idea that lightships were real, and that they stood where lighthouses could not be built. I also enjoyed the diagrams, easy to read text, and bright illustrations.

-Personal website for author: http://brianfloca.com/
-Interview: http://www.spokenartsmedia.com/prod07.htm
-Robert F. Silbert Informational Book Medal, 2008
**Mentioned in class- book pass!

Application to Teaching: Although I do not have an ideal unit to use this text in, it could be supplemented in any unit that could benefit from high quality nonfiction text. It could be used to spark discussions- looking deeply at the illustrations, what job appears to be the most difficult? What season do you think is the most difficult aboard the ship? Imagine that you are aboard the ship- what would your life be like? ( )
  alliecipolla | Jul 26, 2017 |
Author-artist Brian Floca, whose other non-fiction picture-books include the Caldecott Medal-winning Locomotive, as well as the gorgeous Moonshot, turns here to the subject of lightships, small vessels that held their place in the sea, functioning as lighthouses in places where lighthouses could not be built. The text explores life on board a lightship, and looks at the various crew members and their diverse tasks, while the watercolor artwork depicts the ship and crew performing their important function in circumstances both safe and dangerous.

I'd never heard of lightships before picking up Floca's picture-book, although it makes perfect sense, now that I think about it, that mariners would need such a service. Lightship is both educational and entertaining, pairing a simple but informative text that will keep young reader/listeners engaged with appealing artwork. For my part, my favorite 'character' was the ship's cat! The decorative end-papers provide a depiction of a lightship, with all the important parts labeled, while a foreword and afterword give more detailed information, both about lightships in general, and about the sources Floca used to create his book. Recommended to all young boat and seafaring enthusiasts, and to anyone looking for children's stories that explore interesting aspects of maritime history that might otherwise not have been addressed. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jun 23, 2017 |
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Lightships once served where lighthouses could not be built. They helped to guide sailors safely through the fog.

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