In Harm's Way: JFK, World War II, and the Heroic Rescue of PT 109
In Harm's Way: JFK, World War II, and the Heroic Rescue of PT 109

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Annotation: A true story that follows one of America's most beloved presidents, John F. Kennedy, as he fought to save his crew after a deadly shipwreck in the Pacific during World War II.
Genre: World history
Catalog Number: #166745
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 255 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-338-18567-5 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-1916-2
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-338-18567-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-1916-2
Dewey: 940.54
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Martin deftly breathes new life into the familiar story of John F. Kennedy; the 1943 sinking of his boat, the PT-109, off the Solomon Islands; and the breathtaking survival of JFK and 10 members of his crew. A wealth of ancillary material debar features, maps, photographs, and more ovides context for the main story, examining Kennedy's early life and supplying information about WWII in the Pacific. Martin's story continues through the end of the war and briefly covers Kennedy's political career and assassination. The text of this exercise in narrative nonfiction is extremely well written, thrilling in its evocation of the sinking of the PT boat and its aftermath, while creating a vivid, multidimensional portrait of the future president, who emerges as an authentic American hero who repeatedly faced danger in his efforts to save the lives of his crew. It's an epic story that deserves being discovered by a new generation of readers for whom it will be a revelation and may well inspire further reading.
Horn Book
Martin provides a fast-paced account of JFK's heroic actions as commander of a patrol torpedo boat attacked by a Japanese destroyer in 1943. Exceptionally well-researched and -written, the book dramatically portrays Kennedy's courageous efforts to protect his badly injured crew. Captioned archival photos of the Kennedy family and of JFK as a naval skipper are included, in addition to fascinating WWII "Facts and Trivia" sidebars. Reading list. Bib., glos., ind.
Publishers Weekly
In this well-researched, dramatic account of JFK-s life, with a particular emphasis on his naval career, Martin (Gettysburg: The True Account of Two Young Heroes in the Greatest Battle of the Civil War) reprises famous events in short, riveting chapters enhanced by abundant photographs, World War II facts and trivia, Kennedy family scrapbook items, and quotations from contemporary writings. Kennedy-s ambition to -make a difference- drove him from a cushy desk job to volunteering to command the new navy patrol boats at the age of 25. The tension-filled narrative of his assignment to the Solomon Islands in 1943, his rescue of the PT 109 crew, and the later rescue by PT 59 of stranded combatants from Choiseul constitute half the book. Martin argues that these events-along with -Survival,- John Hersey-s widely read 1944 story about them-were formative and crucial to Kennedy-s subsequent political success. Martin-s sympathetic, balanced rendering of Kennedy-s postwar career includes reconciliation with Japan, the two Melanesian islanders who played a determining role in the PT 109 crew-s survival, and the fate of each major figure in the story. Archival photos and illustrations, recommended reading, sources, and an index round out this offering. Ages 8-12. (July)

School Library Journal
Gr 48 In this account of John F. Kennedy's survival following the destruction of his patrol torpedo (PT) boat, Martin provides readers with an exciting and detailed tale. Kennedy, the second son of millionaire and ambassador to Britain, Joseph Kennedy, was a naval officer who sought combat duty. While he was patrolling in PT 109, his boat was damaged in a collision with a Japanese destroyer and set adrift. For the next six days, Kennedy and his surviving crew diligently tried to get rescued while stranded on a desert island. Coconuts were their only nourishment. Due to Kennedy and his crew's tireless efforts, the men were finally returned to U.S. lines. Martin's account is readable and complemented with photographs. However, readers may pause at Martin's reference to "pidgin English" in describing the linguistic abilities of the Solomon Islands' Indigenous people, as no context is provided. That flaw aside, this book provides an exciting read. For those whose interest in President Kennedy was piqued with Shana Corey's A Time to Act: John F. Kennedy's Big Speech, this title offers insight into the young man and how his war experiences affected his subsequent political career. VERDICT An engaging war story about a popular president, this title will entice those with interest in presidential and military history. Margaret Nunes, Gwinnett County Public Library, GA
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (5/1/18)
Horn Book (4/1/19)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (5/1/18)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 233-239) and index.
Word Count: 30,927
Reading Level: 7.1
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 7.1 / points: 5.0 / quiz: 198408 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:9.5 / points:9.0 / quiz:Q73311
Lexile: 1060L

In September 1941, young Jack Kennedy was appointed an Ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve. After completing training and eager to serve, he volunteered for combat duty in the Pacific and was appointed commander of PT 109.

On August 2, 1943, Kennedy's PT 109 and two others were on a night mission to ambush an enemy supply convoy when they were surprised by a massive Japanese destroyer. The unsuspecting Americans had only seconds to react as the Japanese captain turned his ship to ram directly into Kennedy's. PT 109 was cut in half by the collision, killing two of Kennedy's 12 crewmen and wounding several others in the explosion.

In Harm's Way tells the gripping story of what happened next as JFK fought to save his surviving crew members who found themselves adrift in enemy waters. Photographs round out the exciting narrative in the first book to cover this adventurous tale for young readers.


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