The Seas of Language

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It also details the effects the war had on the everyday life of those in Europe- from rationing, to blackouts and the changing role of women in the workforce. Adam also learns the importance of loyalty to fellow sailors and the ways of the sea, including the league of nations working on the ship. One impact war had on seamanship was the necessity to keep destinations and itinerary's secret in order to limit the damage the German U-boats could inflict.

As well as experiencing the misery of seasickness in the middle of a violent ocean Adam gets to visit far off places that the ordinary Britain of the time would have had limited chance to see. His first trip sees him visiting the coast of the USA and Canada to obtain cargo of food and other rationed items as well as mainland Europe.

This would be a fantastic novel to use to create historical connections and contexts in the Australian Curriculum History. With his mother recently dead, no siblings and a father who tells him that he is moving away to Glasgow, Adam looks to life at sea as his new home now that he is 15 and can join up.

The story, To Brave the Seas , told in the first person, engages the reader from the first page to the final one. On his first ship, Adam soon finds that the life of a deck boy holds many challenges. Not only does he have to learn what his job on the Staplehurst entails, he has to adapt to the different personalities of the seasoned sailors and learn the language of seafaring at the same time. It is April and life at sea can be perilous as Adam finds out. He soon faces the threats of torpedoes and the destruction of ships causing death and injuries. On successive ships, the Staplehurst , Rosario and Thistle, Adam experiences first-hand the fear, the uncertainty, the bravery, the mateship and the loyalty of the men who face the threats of enemy attack in the Atlantic Ocean.

At the start of each chapter an interesting full page of pencil sketches and maps adds another dimension to the storyline. As Adam learns the new language of seafaring, so also does the reader. Just in case a reference is needed a glossary of terms used in the book is included. Students in upper primary and junior secondary will appreciate this engaging and informative novel. Margaret Warner, NSW. Luckily he was spared the life-and-death gamble played out by Adam and his fellow seafarers in every convoy crossing of the war-torn North Atlantic.

Eventually torpedoed and cast adrift in a lifeboat, Adam and the surviving crew chance upon a deserted oil tanker mid-ocean, echoing a real event from World War II. Somehow they return the ship to running order and bring it safely home to Scotland, much to the astonishment of the shore authorities.

Most definitely. McRobbie uses the technique of creating a character based on historical research as well as lived experience. McRobbie makes the historical facts he has researched very accessible to a younger audience. He presents the voice of Adam, his protagonist, in first person narrative. This day is marked by the third complication, in that Neville Chamberlain announces that Britain was at war on the same day. Thus he becomes a Merchant Seaman at the age of fifteen, right at the beginning of World War 2.

McRobbie creates an authentic picture of life aboard a ship for a boy amongst men.

Adam learns the necessary terminology, which is very well researched, and takes to shipboard life very successfully. Adam has a short time to become accustomed to the life before the ship is pressed into war service, and that is when the epic events of the adventure unfold. Suffice to say there is enough action to keep the boys happy, and enough character development and even romance to keep the girls happy. Along the way young readers will gain real knowledge about history, World War 2, and especially the nautical life of the era.

There are also lessons about cowardice, self-interest; and justice, bravery, courage, and self-sacrifice. For the adult reader, McRobbie provides perspective on what war means for the young: and on what some young people are capable of, even when presented with inadequate parenting.

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'The Seas' By Samantha Hunt Puts A Feminist Twist On Mermaid Mythology

Helen Wilde, SA. Battling seasickness and getting used to his new role on board, as Peggy, the lowest of the jobs, taking meals across a cold wet deck to the mess, fetching and carrying hot cups of tea, everything is new to him. But he survives, partly through the kindness of the other sailors who help him, teaching him the way of the ship and the new set of words to learn. This most unusual background will entice readers to hear of the war from quite a different perspective. Crossing the Atlantic, they are torpedoed and scuttle onto the lifeboats to try and survive.

When all luck has run out they are rescued when a passing ship, abandoned by its crew, becomes their new home. They take control and steer it to a port, only to be chastised for their blocking the way. Later they are in harbour in neutral Portugal, when the captain decides that they will do something about the German submarine moored nearby.

An adventure story which exposes a great deal of information about the Merchant Navy and the men who sailed during the war, this book will readily find a place in the reading list of schools, libraries and students, wanting something a little different from the huge range of books about war on offer at the moment.

At the end of the book, McRobbie includes a list of all the words Adam must learn, and devotes several pages to the real story of the Merchant Navy and its role in war time history. Fran Knight. There are times when I read a book and I find myself immersed in the life and world of the characters. This was one such book.


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Set in , in war-torn Britain, David McRobbie so masterfully evokes the sense of time and place in this interesting and unique take on serving your country, that you can almost smell the sea. Fifteen year old Adam Chisholm is a boy abandoned. His mother dead; his feckless father has disappeared; Adam is too young to fight, so he decides to enlist with the Merchant Navy. This leads him into many adventures, meeting many interesting characters and causing him to face death and disaster on a daily basis. Boys become men very quickly.

This is depicted very well in his conduct aboard ship, and when tested by both happy times during shore leave, and in disaster, when his ship is attacked.

'The Seas' By Samantha Hunt Puts A Feminist Twist On Mermaid Mythology

A good discussion point for students. The author himself served in the Merchant Navy and this is evident in the authenticity of the descriptions of life at sea. If I had one quibble with the book, it would be with the lack of vernacular language when the action is set in Birkenhead and Liverpool. Download cover. We had trained for emergencies. Every man knew how to launch a lifeboat. Joe Joe 1, 9 9 silver badges 25 25 bronze badges. We need more context, Joe. What gave you the impression that "ocean sea" is a valid term, i.

The title awarded to Christopher Columbus.

English translation is: "Admiral of the Ocean Sea". StoneyB StoneyB I've seen this term used as a title for the Atlantic Ocean before the time of Columbus. Cecilia Cecilia 1. While your answer appears to be correct, it has already been given above, with additional information. When answering questions, you should first check to see whether somebody else has already posted what you're about to write.

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