In May 1915 the ocean liner Lusitania sails from New York. It is rumoured to have spies on board. Thirteen-year-old stowaway Finbar Kennedy finds works as a deck-hand. He begins to understand what’s happening, but there’s nothing he or the crew can do. Then a torpedo from a german submarine hits ...
Category: Children's fiction, Historical Fiction, Lusitania
One of the most dramatic seafaring tragedies ever …
Thirteen-year-old Finbar Kennedy runs away from home in Queenstown (Cobh) to follow his sea-captain father onto the Lusitania. On the return journey from New York, Finbar works as a deck-hand, and running messages gives him a lot of information. He begins to understand that something strange is happening. But what can he do? And whom can he trust?
Fact is stranger than fiction: In May 1915 the huge liner, the Lusitania, sank off the Cork coast near the Old Head of Kinsale. This happened during the First World War. But, unlike the Titanic tragedy, this was no accident. The ship was torpedoed by a German submarine. Rumour had it that there were spies, arms and gold on board the Lusitania. These rumours were true.
atmosphere of wartime threat keeps the story bowling along … tense and action-packed
powerfully descriptive … an excellent read … stranger than fiction
an ingenuous mix of fact and fiction ... a compelling read
a moving story that pays great attention to detail in bringing history to life
a lovely children’s novel written in the overall brand of The Da Vinci Code
a good account of life in Queenstown in 1915
well suited to novel reading in senior classes of both boys and girls, with possibly the boys enjoying the talk of spies and war a little more
a novel that runs smoothly from start to finish, where all that you see is not as it seems!
an exciting story based on a real event which is sure to appeal to boys of 10 plus
a work of fiction to entertain the younger reader - something it will do in aces
a great story … told extremely well
will bring a lump to the reader's throat more than once
an excellent read for girls and boys alike. And I'm sure there are bits of history adults will meet for the first time too
an exciting seafaring adventure
this is Finbar’s story, and the narrative from his young viewpoint is both fascinating and immediate
an uncomplicated easy read
fans of Nicola Pierce’s Spirit of the Titanic will enjoy this action-packed book
a deftly plotted novel which skilfully captures the significance of the momentous tragedy, SOS Lusitania will appeal to history fans young and old
I thought the book SOS Lusitania was brilliant. I liked it so much that I am doing a project in school on it … I wish the book was longer and I have recommended it to all my friends
'a fantastic read … fascinating'
'well researched and contains many fascinating nuggets of historical fact'
'an intriguing read'
'I just couldn’t put it down! Brilliant … I would absolutely recommend this book to my friends'
'Kevin Kiely manages to capture the essence of the early 1900s using subtle apt language, home life and innocence'
'Kiely uses genius foreshadowing in this plot to build suspense and hope'
'Kielys book would be perfect as a class novel'
'this fictional reworking is intriguing and fleshes out a past event'
'it would suit young and old in any setting, be it at home or school'
'a most enjoyable book'
'Kiely’s well-plotted story, told by Finbar himself, is deftly knitted into the true story of the [Lusitania]'
'a tense and dramatic story'
'a compelling mix of fact and fiction … gripping'
Author Kevin Kiely talks about his inspirations for SOS Lusitania on the eve of the centenary of the ship's tragic sinking.
Download Teaching Guides: Teaching Guide by Peter Heaney
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