Thursday, June 24, 2004
Plum-Ucci, Carol. 2003. THE SHE. New York: Harcourt Children’s Books. ISBN 0152168192
[Suggested Grade Levels: 8 and up].
SUMMARY and ANALYSIS
At the age of nine, Evan Barratt’s parents disappeared into the ocean, leaving Evan and his older brother orphans. Now Evan is 17 and has blocked out of his mind the terrible things he heard as a child as his mother called mistakenly called in the mayday over the ship-to-shore radio right before the disappearance of their ship. However, Evan’s mind has been unlocked through a prank played on him when a classmate slipped one single tablet of LSD into his drink, opening up his memories of the violent storm, the frantic mayday, and the hopelessness that he and his older brother could do nothing to stop the tragedy. Evan must face the tragedy of his past, confront his fears of the ocean and the legendary sea-hag known as The She who as legend tells eats ships off the New Jersey coast, and find out the truth about his parents disappearance.
Well-researched details of seafaring lore provide a strong thread of intrigue in this story filled with twists and turns, failure and success, friendship and family ties, and speculation of all sorts. In this mystery-laden story, the characters are well developed and real to the reader. The trials and tribulations that each character faces in his or her own life, and the steps each character takes to handle these experiences, create characters that are individual and unique, while intertwined by the events of the story. The reader is drawn in to the story and finds himself sitting on pins and needles as the story unfolds, unable to put the book down even for momentarily relief from the levels of anxiety felt as each action quickly builds into a climax. As the story finishes, the reader finds himself filled with relief that things have been resolved and hope that there will be future resolutions to come for the characters involved.
Research other legends and myths.
Learn about ocean-related careers.
Learn about historical tragedies that have occurred at sea, i.e. the sinking of the Titanic.
Discuss the elements that make these characters so real and create a character profile of each.
Other stories of the sea:
Rylant, Cynthia. THE ISLANDER. 0789424908.
Taylor, Theodore. ROGUE WAVE: AND OTHER RED-BLOODED SEA STORIES. ISBN 0380729385.
Other stories dealing with a parent’s death:
Holt, Kimberly Willis. KEEPER OF THE NIGHT. ISBN 0805063617.
Other books by Carol Plum-Ucci that could be compared to this one:
THE BODY OF CHRISTOPHER CREED. ISBN 078616414.
WHAT HAPPENED TO LANI GARVER. ISBN 0152168133.
By Kirsten Murphy