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Storm Warriors Kindle Edition

13 customer reviews

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Length: 176 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Age Level: 9 - 12
Grade Level: 4 - 7

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The year is 1895 and young Nathan Williams wants nothing more than to be a "storm warrior," one of the brave men of the U.S. Lifesaving Service on Pea Island, off the North Carolina shore. Again and again, Nathan has helped the team rescue frightened sailors from floundering ships during the winter storm season. But Nathan's father is a fisherman, and he expects Nathan to be the same. After all, Pea Island is the single station open to African American surfmen, and the precious few jobs are passed from father to son. Still, Nathan is coached in lifesaving skills by the Pea Island crew and dares to hope that one day he may share in their ranks. But after helping with a particularly difficult rescue, Nathan is forced to face the truth: "In that moment I knew, without a shred of doubt, that I did not have the courage to risk my life that way. The dream, and all the months of hoping, blew away as quickly as the foam off the waves." After a close friend makes clear the obvious, Nathan realizes that there are other ways to save lives and discovers his true destiny.

With Storm Warriors, Elisa Carbone has illuminated a fascinating corner of history that is both exciting and meaningful. The novel, based on real people and actual shipwrecks, will be devoured by fans of true adventure stories such as Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild and Jennifer Armstrong's Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World. (Ages 11 and older) --Jennifer Hubert

From Publishers Weekly

Carbone (Stealing Freedom) bases her inspiring and little-known tale on actual rescues made by seven courageous African-Americans during the late 1800s on Pea Island, on the Outer Banks of N.C. The island acted as the base for a division of the United States Life-Saving Service (precursor to the Coast Guard). Twelve-year-old narrator Nathan lives close to the station with his grandfather and widower father, both fishermen who often assist in the rescues. From the outset, Nathan outlines the cause of racial tension between the Pea Island crewmen and the nearby Oregon Inlet crewmen ("Grandpa says they have the same surnames because back before the war the granddaddies and great-granddaddies of the Oregon Inlet crew used to own the granddaddies and great-granddaddies of the Pea Island crew, and they shared their family names with their slaves") and sets the stage for several incidents that discourage the boy's dream of someday joining Pea Island's Life-Saving crew, the only such crew manned by African-Americans. Yet the determined boy pores over books he finds in the station's library, learning about rescue procedures and first aid, proves himself a competent helper in sea rescues and eventually finds his own calling. Though a surfeit of detail occasionally encumbers the story's pace and weakens its impact, Carbone includes some suspenseful descriptions of the rescue crew's feats, and the affecting passages between Nathan and his loving grandfather are the novel's greatest strength. Ages 10-up. (Jan.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By hrladyship on September 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In the world of 1895, Nathan, a young Negro boy, dreams of becoming one of the black surfmen on Pea Island, saving the lives of sailors and passengers shipwrecked off the coast of North Carolina. When his father tells him the odds are against him, Nathan believes the problem is racism. However, in his first summer on the island, he learns there are other hindrances, and perhaps other dreams.
This book, inspired by real life characters, tells a part of American history many of us have never seen or heard. The men of the life-saving stations, both black and white, were brave and true to their professions. It's a good read for young and old.
The only thing that did not quite ring true was the language of the characters. Most spoke near perfect English and given their times and their backgrounds, there should have been at least a hint of a lack of education, perhaps even of their southernness.
Elisa Carbone has created a good read, a story for anyone interested in the dangerous North Carolina coast, American history in the late 19th century, or in the dreams of the young.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bradley on February 6, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Twelve-year-old Nathan Williams lives on Pea Island, off the shore of North Carolina, with his fisherman father and grandfather. They share the island with the "storm warriors," a heroic crew of the U.S. Lifesaving Service. Nathan watches the only African-American crew in the Service with admiration, even getting the chance to help in some of the rescues. He dreams of becoming one them, even though Nathan's father is expecting him to follow in his fisherman footsteps. Being told only the sons of the current crew will ever become "storm warriors," Nathan makes it his mission to learn anything any member of the "storm warriors" is willing to teach him, to buck the odds and become one of them. His dreams and hopes are washed away when he is thrown in the middle of a very dangerous rescue and discovers he doesn't have the courage to risk his life like the real members of the crew. New hopes for a future in lifesaving are quickly realized by Nathan and his future life becomes known to the reader.
This story, based on real people and real events, is a fascinating tale of historical fiction and high adventure, and will be a favorite with reluctant readers and sea adventurers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Wilson-Tucker's Reading Classes on March 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
Do you enjoy the vast powerful ocean? Do you like small, almost private islands? How about shipwrecks and huge storms? If you like these things, Storm Warriors, by Elisa Carbone, is a wonderful historical fiction novel to read. Nathan is an eleven-year-old African American boy who lives in the late 1800s on a small island off the coast of North Carolina. Nathan's family used to be slaves before the Civil War. After the war, they were granted their freedom. Although slavery was eradicated through the country, Nathan and his family were still treated badly. The family had to move out of Raleigh to an island because of "the clan". The family moved to a small quiet island. The only other people on the island are the surfmen, who rescue sailors from shipwrecks along the coast. These men fight against ripping currents and huge storms. Nathan dreams of being a surfman at the Pea Island Life Saving Station. This is the only station that allows blacks to work at it. Everybody tells Nathan to give up wanting to be a surfman because it will never happen. Times come where Nathan starts to give up hope. That is the main problem in the story. Other small problems arise like Nathan getting punished or big storms that destroy homes. The author's writes in first person. Nathan is the narrator. "I closed my eyes against the blowing sand and felt its grit under my eyelids." I would recommend this book to people who love the sea. It gives a perspective of what it was like to live on the ocean at that time. There are some very bloody scenes in the book. I would rate the book four out of five stars and, if it were a movie I would rate it PG. It was great to read and I learned a lot about life saving stations and surfmen. My favorite things about the book were the intense storms, shipwrecks, and learning about the time period. Review by Erick Z.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lots of books on November 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is an interesting book because it is about an unfamiliar subject and time in history. Readers will learn a lot about the "surfmen" who rescue crews of crashed ships as they follow the story of Nathan, a boy who wants to someday be a part of it all. I purchased the book because it is nominated for the Rebecca Caudill Award this year, but I have yet to read it with or to any students. Due to some images and language I would recommend it for students older than 5th grade. As a read-aloud, it could be thoroughly discussed, which would be necessary for understanding for middle school children.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Teacher lady on October 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wonderful historical account of the lifesaving endeavors of an all-black rescue team during a time of great segregation. Has been made into a movie - RESCUE MEN- that is worth viewing in conjunction with this book.
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Format: Paperback
There are three responses to the tragedies of life:

1) resignation and acceptance
2) rage
3) changing the game

This books gives each main character (Nathan, his father, and his grandfather) one of those approaches, and they flow and complement each other, giving the characters real personalities.

With a cast of black heroes in the post-Civil War south, this book is well-written and exciting. Based on the real Surfmen at the Pea Island Rescue Station, this book teaches more than history. It teaches persistence and a good attitude and hope.

Superb.

I'm raising a family of boys. This book is thrilling and inspirational. Highly recommend.
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