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Victoria, Australia
I am an author of Young Adult Fiction books. I worked as a teacher in the Pacific Islands for seven years. Whilst in the Solomon Islands I taught PSSC English before the ethnic tension in 2000 forced a change of plans. I love Pacific literature, art and music. You can find me on Facebook at Beth Montgomery Author.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Ghosts of Iron Bottom Sound by Sandy Nelson

The Ghosts of Iron
 Bottom Sound
(2010, Harper Collins)
I was really interested to read this thinking it would have scary ghosts haunting Honiara or Bonegi Beach but no, it's not so dark. They are actually quite benevolent ghosts that reside in a book that the protagonist Paddy repeatedly borrows from the library. They hound the boy to ask his grandfather about the battle for Savo Island and the sinking of HMAS Canberra during WW2. Paddy's grandfather was a crew member on the fated ship and was rescued but hundreds weren't so lucky. Unfortunately his grandfather doesn't like to talk about his war experiences but he lets Paddy read his journal which outlines the full horror of the sea battle.
   The story is pitched at younger readers and the journal account of life on board the warship is fascinating and well presented for 8 to 12 year olds. I get a feeling older readers wouldn't be as captivated by the plot however.
   Nelson has obviously done a lot of research and the photographs in the back are a great addition to the story.

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