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Carbone, Elisa Lynn.
New York : Knopf, 2001.
IL 5-8, RL 6.5
ISBN 0375806644

(2 booktalks)

 Booktalk #1

                 The year is 1895 and young Nathan wants nothing more than to become a surfman. He wants to learn how to row the heavy surfboat, breathe life into half-drowned sailors and fight the fiercest storms and win.
                    But his father angrily discourages his dream. “There’s a lot you don’t understand,” he says. “You won’t ever be a surfman. Now put it out of your mind.” Even small Pea Island, along the Outer Banks of North Carolina is not immune to the effects of post-Civil War racism. If Nathan wants to become a storm warrior, he must find another way to win the battle. Does he?

                    Read Storm Warriors, a moving tribute to the brave African-American crew of the Pea Island Life-saving Station. This crew was awarded the Gold Life-Saving Medal - the highest honor in the United States Life-Saving Service - one hundred years after they had performed one of the most heroic rescues in history. The ceremony came as the result of research performed by 2 graduate students and a fourteen-year-old student's letter to President Clinton and Senator Jesse Helms in an attempt to right racial wrongs and to bestow honor long overdue.  (Marsha Carlan,, Benton Elementary School)

Booktalk #2

Langston Hughes wrote, "What happens to a dream deferred?"  Nathan Williams was twelve years old and he had dreams.  He saw his granddaddy struggle after being freed from a life of slavery because of the Civil War.  Granddaddy's dream had been to own a piece land and live with his family.  He was still searching for his wife who was sold before the war ended.  Nathan's daddy had dreams of being a successful businessman.  He was struggling as a fisherman, earning half the price for his catch as the white fishermen.  His wife died of diphtheria because the white doctor was reluctant to treat African-American patients.  Life on the Outer Banks in 1895 was hard, but Nathan had his dreams.  He dreamed of being one of the surf men at the Pea Island Lifesaving Station because he wanted to battle the elements and win.  The Pea Island Lifesaving Station was the only lifesaving station with an all-black crew, and someone had to die before a new crewmember was added. New crewmembers were usually found in the sons or cousins of the current crew.  Nathan and his father helped with many rescues after they moved to the island.  Nathan read and memorized the lifesaving manuals from the station.  One night, on a short-handed crew, Nathan jumped into the surfboat as the crew was rowing out for a rescue.  He had dreams of being the hero, but instead he acted foolishly and was hit in the head by a floating plank.  His injury did not dim his desire to become a surf man, but his father continued to discourage him.  What will become of Nathan's dreams?  Will his desire to battle the elements and win lead him to become a surf man or will he heed his grandfather's advice to "be ready in case what you hope for doesn't come looking the way you think it should?”

Prepared by: Sheri Carpenter for South Carolina Junior Book Award 2005

SUBJECTS:      African Americans -- Fiction.
                        Fathers and sons -- Fiction.
                        United States. Life-Saving Service History -- Fiction.
                        Race relations -- Fiction.
                        Pea Island (N.C.) -- Fiction.
                        Historical fiction.


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