________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 24. . . .February 26, 2016


Shipwreck! (Survival).

Frieda Wishinsky. Illustrated by Don Kilby.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2015.
107 pp., trade pbk., ebook & Apple ed., $6.99 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4431-4641-8 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4431-4642-5 (ebook), ISBN 978-1-4431-4643-2 (Apple ed.).

Subject Heading:
Empress of Ireland (Steamship)-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 2-4 / Ages 7-9.

Review by Alicia Cheng.

*** /4


A light fog began to roll in. Albert and Grace lingered near the railing for a few more minutes hoping the fog would pass, but it only grew thicker.

“This fog isn’t letting up,” said Albert, yawning. “And I’m getting really tired. I’m ready to head in.”

Grace nodded. “Me, too.”

As Grace and Albert made their way to their cabins, a blast from the ship’s horn made them jump.

“What was that?” asked Grace.

“I don’t know. Listen! There it goes again. One. Two. Three.”

“Albert, something’s wrong,” said Grace.

Albert peered through a porthole. “I can see some lights. Maybe it’s that big dark ship we saw before.”

“Or—” The floor shook beneath them. “Did you feel that?”

“Yes! It felt like we hit something,” said Albert. “But how could we hit something?”


Shipwreck!, by Frieda Wishinsky, is about two new friends, Albert and Sarah, who meet on the Empress of Ireland on their six day trip sailing from Canada to England. The journey begins with great excitement as the two new friends explore what the Empress has to offer. But just nine hours into their journey, the excitement turns into fear. The Empress has hit something, and the ship begins to go down. Albert watches as his new friend, his family, and the other passengers jump for their lives, and he, too, jumps into the water.

     Shipwreck! is part of the “Survival” series in which the protagonists are placed in dangerous natural disasters. This survival tale is a journey of loss and of hope. Although loved ones are lost, this tragedy brings friends, family, and even strangers together. Using a real life situation, Frieda Wishinsky takes the tragedy of the Empress to set this story of a young boy growing up in the face of tragedy and finding the strength to pick up the pieces and continue his life. Very well written, Shipwreck! is a recommended read for those who enjoy history and adventure. Also included are facts about the Empress of Ireland.


Alicia Cheng is a Children’s Librarian at the Vancouver Public Library in Vancouver, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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