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Heroes of Isle aux Morts Hardcover – February 15, 2001


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Tundra Books (February 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0887765017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887765018
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 11 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,095,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 2-6-Anne Harvey is a young girl "born to the sea." Living in Newfoundland, she experiences firsthand not only the beauty, but also the harshness of the Atlantic coast. Fierce storms and shipwrecks plague the rugged waters around Isle aux Morts-Island of the Dead. When Anne hears a distress signal early one morning in July 1832, she, her father, her brother, and their dog bravely set off in their small dory to help the doomed passengers. The dog, Hairy Man, heroically swims to the sinking ship and returns to the Harveys with a rope that enables them to rescue 163 passengers. Butler's accomplished oil paintings are dark and brooding. The whiteness of the battled ship reinforces its "ghostly shape." Based on the true story of the wreck of the Despatch, the narrative is enriched with dramatic details: "Waves broke under the boat, nearly capsizing it. At times they curled over the bow, sending showers of sea spray down upon them." An author's note describes some of the special jobs Newfoundland dogs have been trained to do-from laying telephone lines to transporting ammunition. An exciting historical adventure in picture-book format.

Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Ages 4-8. With dramatic, beautiful oil paintings, this picture book tells an exciting true ocean rescue story through the eyes of a young girl. In a raging storm in 1832, a ship, the Despatch, was wrecked near an island off the coast of Newfoundland. Anne Harvey tells how she rows out with her father, her small brother, and her Newfoundland dog, Hairy Man, to save the passengers. The most intense moment is when Anne hugs her dog, and tells him, "Go, Hairy Man! Go b'y." The dog swims through the raging waves to the battered ship, the crew ties a rope round his middle, and he swims back. When he reaches his master's boat, Anne's father fastens the rope to a pole on shore, and all 163 passengers and crew are rescued; a double-page painting shows the action. The full-page paintings in impressionist style capture the wildness of the ocean, the terror of the passengers, the courage of the human rescuers, and their bond with the amazing dog. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Alice Walsh writes fiction and non-fiction for adults and children, and her articles and short stories have been published in various magazines and anthologies. Her published work includes eight books for children and two books for adults. A number of her books have been short listed or won awards. Her juvenile novel, Pomiuk: Prince of the North (Beach Holme) won the 2005 Ann Connor Brimer award. Another YA novel, A Sky Black with Crows (Red Deer), was nominated for the same award. Several of her books have been listed as Best Books for Children and Teens in Canada.
Alice has degrees in English and Criminology from St. Mary's University, and an MA in Children's Literature from Acadia University. She has worked as a pre-school teacher, a creative writing instructor, and a probation officer.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Gates on August 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
My kids and I love this book, not only because this true story is exciting and inspiring, but also because our own ancestors were on the rescued ship, the Despatch! This story was recorded in handwritten notes in our family archives, and it was wonderful to see it captured so well in print by this author and illustrator.

I've brought the book in to read at my childrens' school and it easily captures the attention of the class. It's inspiring to hear stories of ordinary people (and animals!) exhibiting courage and a can-do attitude, and doing extraordinary things.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The illustrations in this book are superb. The story of the rescue of the passengers of the Despatch by a Newfoundland dog are so vivid due to the bold, colorful pictures. My older daughter loved another Newfoundland dog rescue book called "The Wreck of the Ethie" & my 6 yr.old loved the pictures in this book. What fun to read & enjoy such exciting stories w/ my children!
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Format: Paperback
I'm always on the lookout for interesting true stories that might appeal to my 5-year-old daughter and when I saw this title at my local library, I decided to give it a try. My daughter loves dogs and the focus of this story is on a Newfoundland dog named Hairy Man. Early one morning in the year 1832, young Anne Harvey who lives on Newfoundland, is awakened by a fierce storm and the call of a distress signal. Prior experience tells Anne that a ship is in grave danger and she awakens her father, George who tells her to get ready. Together with her younger brother Thomas and Hairy Man the four of them row across the raging sea in their dory. True enough, a ship "Despatch" is in danger of sinking with all the passengers on board. It is left to the Harveys and their brave Newfoundland dog to rescue the passengers from almost certain death. How they accomplish this makes for an exciting and fascinating read.

The beautiful full-color illustrations in the form of artist Geoff Butler's vivid paintings lend a realistic feel to the story and the prose by author Alice Walsh, herself a resident of Nova Scotia brings the story to life. This is an inspiring and heartwarming story that will appeal to young readers who have a sense of adventure and an appreciation for stories rooted in actual events.
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Format: Hardcover
Isle aux Morts means "Island of the Dead" and was thus named because of the number of ships and lives lost near its shores. One early morning in June, 1832, Anne Harvey was awakened by two familiar sounds: the howling wind of a storm and the distress call from a ship offshore. The pounding waves prevented Anne's family from approaching the ship in their small boat. The only hope was to send their dog Hairy Man into the sea with a rope. Hairy Man was a strong swimmer and reached the ship safely. Using a breeches buoy the Harveys were able to rescue 163 passengers, one-by- one, from the sinking ship. Splendidly illustrated in a 19th century evoking style by Geoff Butler, Alice Walsh's Heroes Of Isle Aux Morts is a vivid, engaging, and highly recommended retelling of a true story for young readers ages 8-11.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Janet F. Guerrin on November 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book takes place in Newfoundland and should NOT be listed under "the Isle of Man" which is on the other side of the Atlantic. It seems like a cute book, and I'll keep it for the grandsons, but it doesn't make much sense as a companion to the Isle of Man coins I'm giving them for Christmas. Disappointing.
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