Posts tagged ‘USS Indianapolis’


I Escaped the World’s Deadliest Shark Attack: The USS Indianapolis Disaster: WW2

Written by Scott Peters and Ellie Crowe

A powerful story of a historical adventure narrated through the eyes of a sixteen-year-old survivor. Josh enlisted with forged papers to avenge the death of his father at Pearl Harbor. He is straight out of boot camp serving on the USS Indianapolis when the battleship is struck by a Japanese torpedo. He struggles to escape the burning ship, but that is just the beginning of his troubles. No help is in sight; sharks infest the waters, and the survivors begin to turn against each other.

This book is a powerful story filled with raw emotions, adventure, and history. The authors provide readers with an action-packed tale filled with interesting facts about sharks and military history. It contains actual photographs, maps, and hand-drawn illustrations.

The book is little more than one hundred pages. Reluctant readers can easily navigate the short chapters with graphics. Targeted for middle grades but just as appealing to young adult and adult audiences.



The True Story of the Greatest US Naval Disaster: USS Indianapolis American History

Written by Patrick Spencer

This book is a fictional reenactment of the true story of what happened to the USS Indianapolis in July, 1945, and the trial of its captain, Charles McVay. The cruiser has just completed a mission that was even secret to her captain and crew and was on her way back to base in the Philippines. On a foggy night, she is torpedoed by a Japanese submarine under the command of Hashimoto. In a matter of minutes, the American ship sank below the black waters taking 300 of her crew with her. Some eight or nine hundred men, many burned and injured, were floating in the shark infested seas. It would be five days until they were spotted by air, and by that time less than half remained.

The most important part of this story is why was the ship was never reported missing, and how could the captain who has acted so valiantly to keep his men alive be charged with disobedience and negligence in the loss of his ship. This trial had a serious impact on the captain’s career and later life. What is even more astonishing is that it was not until a sixth grader named Hunter Scott decided to research the McVay trial that the true story became known. What was the mission of the USS Indianapolis and why was its disappearance never reported? Spencer’s reenactment of the tragedy allows the reader to experience the full range of emotions associated with this tragedy.

Recommended for readers age ten and older, particularly those interested in American history and politics.

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