With some descriptions of other people lost at sea and the sickening of the eight men in the rafts, this is a suspenseful story of their journey. Much of the book is spent trying to find food and (drinkable) water, which is harder than it may sound in the middle of the ocean. There is little hope for being found as they are like a needle in the haystack in the ocean.
What I loved: The story really pulls the reader in with the narrative style. The characters really come to life with descriptions of their conversations and loved ones. The danger feels very real with sharks threatening them, the rafts constantly leaking, and no drinkable water available. A true story, it comes to life in this book. Adding onto that the photos included throughout, and the men/journey become tangible for younger readers.
What left me wanting more: There is not a lot going on in the story, as they do not have much to do- and some things are mentioned but not really expanded upon. It would have been interesting to hear more about other survival stories on the ocean and smart things to do (for instance with drinking saltwater, more about the sickness one can get and about other things that could be done). In terms of other things mentioned, they talk about their families and girlfriends-for instance, there were letters being sent, and it would have been nice to include samples of the letters or other information that could help increase their characterization to help the reader connect with the individuals.
Final verdict: This non-fiction tale of survival is brought to young readers in a highly engaging fashion as they travel the ocean with these eight men during World War II. Fans of light suspense and stories of beating the odds will enjoy this narrative tale.