Lost in the Pacific, 1942 (Lost #1)

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Author(s)
Age Range
11+
Release Date
October 25, 2016
ISBN
0545928117
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World War II, October 21, 1942. A B-17 bomber drones high over the Pacific Ocean, sending a desperate SOS into the air. The crew is carrying America's greatest living war hero on a secret mission deep into the battle zone. But the plane is lost, burning through its final gallons of fuel.

At 1:30 p.m., there is only one choice left: an emergency landing at sea. If the crew survives the impact, they will be left stranded without food or water hundreds of miles from civilization.

Eight men. Three inflatable rafts. Sixty-eight million square miles of ocean. What will it take to make it back alive?

Editor reviews

2 reviews
engaging tale of true survival
Overall rating
 
4.3
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
Learning Value
 
4.0
LOST IN THE PACIFIC, 1942 is a true story of survival. During World War II, a plane is on a mission across the ocean, when they become lost, landing in the ocean. The men on board move to rafts, where they will attempt survival against the odds out on the ocean. One of the men is Eddie Rickenbacker, a World War I war hero and who became the face of the crash in the news. Floating in the ocean, the men have little to no food and water and are thus in for a dangerous and uncertain future.

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.
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A New Story for WWII Enthusiasts
Overall rating
 
4.5
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Learning Value
 
5.0
A true and moving account of a WWII B-17 Bomber crew in 1942. I have to admit, while I read a lot of WWII fiction and nonfiction, and have taken a few courses on the time period, this is one story I was not aware about. I had heard of the World War I Ace Eddie Rickenbacker, but had never come across an account of this event.

Tod Olson presents this true story in a friendly narrative form. There is enough background provided to help the reader understand what is happening without sounding like a textbook. Olson provides great descriptions of the characters and setting making the tension and suspense almost touchable. It is action-packed and the narrative keeps you on the end of your seat. Including the photos of the men involved also helps to put a face to a name creating a more personal link.

Over-all the book is well written and is sure to hook reluctant readers and avid readers alike.

Great for middle school readers who are interested in stories like Unbroken or have read the YA edition of unbroken, survival stories, or stories of friendship and heroism.
Good Points
Well-written
Fast paced
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