The Scoop on Children & Adolescent Literature

Secrets of a Civil War Submarine: Solving the Mysteries of the H.L. Hunley by Sally M. Walker

Posted by caribookscoops on May 11, 2009


I absolutely love this book! Imagine, a secret weapon so new and dangerous that many of the first several people who tried to use it died. Knowing this would you be willing to risk your life for such a weapon? This is what George Dixon did when he led a crew on the Civil War submarine, the H.L. Hunley a submarine of the Confederate States of America to sink a United States ship. Tragically, they never made it home and the submarine was discovered in August of 2000. Sally M. Walker painstakingly interviewed researchers, submarine veterans and combed through thousands of records in creating the book. Beautiful colored photographs and charts of the submarine help reader’s understand the text and help the reader feel like they are on board the submarine. In addition, an extensive glossary of terms and logical explanations of archeological research and its risks and rewards, help the reader learn more about this fascinating piece of history.

Walker accurately depicts the innovation and bravery of the Hunley’s makers and crew using both primary and secondary sources. This excellent book engages readers with a love of science, math, history, archeology and even modern forensics science. When I taught the Civil War I had students read a book from this era that and this was one of the few picture books I would allow my 8th graders to read – it is amazing! I highly recommend it.

What’s the scariest thing you have ever done or what would you be willing to risk your life for? For me I would definitely risk my life to save my family and I might even risk my life to teach reading – if I lived somewhere were it wasn’t allowed – like educating women in some areas of the world. It’s easy for me to say that because I am allowed to read, and teaching reading is not illegal where I live. I like to think that I that passionate about reading and promoting literacy so I hope I would.

nonfictionmondayThis review is part of Nonfiction Monday, which we are hosting! If you would like to participate click on our Nonfiction Monday Post.

6 Responses to “Secrets of a Civil War Submarine: Solving the Mysteries of the H.L. Hunley by Sally M. Walker”

  1. At Lori Calabrese Writes!, please check out my nonfiction article, “Big Jobs for Little Stamps,” in the May 2009 issue of Stories for Children Magazine!

  2. Jennifer said

    My contribution for Nonfiction Monday – Nic Bishop’s Forest Explorer.

  3. Over at Great Kid Books, I’ve reviewed Celebrate! Connections Among Cultures, by the amazing photojournalist Jan Reynolds. It’s a beautiful book that will fascinate kids, and help them see the similarities between different cultures.

  4. [...] are excited to be hosting this week and for today Cari reviewed Secrets of a Civil War Submarine: Solving the Mysteries of the H.L. Hunley by Sally M. Walker. A wonderful book full of adventure and intrigue about the first successful [...]

  5. Sounds interesting and looks beautiful if you can judge by the cover.

    Also, thanks for hosting!

    Violet (Book Brew)

  6. Violet – yes the pictures are beautiful, not in a scenic mountain view way, but in a historical underwater wrecked submarine way. Thanks for stopping by.

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