By: Ruth Brown
Publisher: Anderson Press
Publication Date: January 2011
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: March 14, 2011
Gracie and her kitten sat on the wide windowsill in the lighthouse as the rains lashed against the window. She closed her eyes to sleep, eyes that didn’t see a ship being battered in the raging seas or people stranded on rocks in the distance. Most of all, she didn’t see her kitten jump down from the sill to chase after young Grace Darling who ran down the winding steps to join her father as he prepared a boat to rescue the shipwrecked men and women. The kitten peered out the door as Grace and her father prepared to launch their rowboat while waves pummeled the lighthouse rocks.
The curious kitten soon met with calamity himself when “The wind caught the door and slammed it shut, hurling him out into the storm.” Just as the kitten was thrown from the doorstep and Grace and her father began to row frantically in the choppy, windswept waves, Gracie woke from her nap. She began to call to her kitten and search for him. She “climbed out of the cellar window,” but her cries went unheeded and unheard “by the howling wind.” Would Gracie be able to find her wayward kitten? Would Grace and her father be able to save anyone in the treacherous storm?
The rescue of shipwrecked people by young Grace Darling will thrill the young reader. This amazing story is based on the true story of a daring rescue of several shipwreck survivors. Grace’s father was the lighthouse keeper of the Longstone Lighthouse in England. There are two stories told in this book, the story of Grace and her father’s rescue are portrayed in pictures while that of the fictional Gracie and her wayward kitten are portrayed both in pictures and text. The magnificently expressive artwork brings both of the stories together and the excitement of both rescues comes alive with each swirl of Ruth Brown’s brushes. In the end pages there is a brief portrait of Grace Darling, the rescue, and subsequent fame.
Quill says: This exciting, inspirational tale of two heroines will soon become a cherished classic by young and old alike!