Everyone knows the story of the Flood, the men God chose to survive, the animals that went in two-by-two. But what about the others that sailed on the Ark, the women and the children? This adventure story asks what it was really like when the heavens opened and the world drowned - and what might have happened in the days that followed. With a frighteningly zealous and single-minded Noah; Japheth and his young wife, Zillah concerned for the welfare of the animals; the stowaway boy and baby found by Noah's daughter, Timna; and the animals themselves, continuing to act as animals do, whatever their surroundings, this is an extremely compelling and at times very frightening story, beautifully written as ever by Geraldine McCaughrean.
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Winner of Carnegie Medal, Smarties Bronze Award (3 times), Whitbread Award (twice), Blue Peter Book of the Year Award, Blue Peter Special Book to Keep Forever Prize, and Guardian Fiction Award. Previous titles include A Little Lower Than the Angels, A Pack of Lies, Plundering Paradise, Gold Dust, The Stones Are Hatching, Forever X, The Kite Rider, and Stop the Train, as well as the special World Book Day title, Showstopper! She lives in Newbury.From School Library Journal:
Starred Review. Grade 9 Up–McCaughrean moves far beyond cozy picture-book images of arks and animals to what life onboard might really have been like for Noah and family. The monstrous tidal wave that crashes in the first pages sets the scene and puts the huge boat afloat. Although McCaughrean allows both human and animal narrators to offer their perspectives on the ordeal, the main storyteller is Noah's daughter, Timna. Despite Noah's warnings that demons might seek a place onboard, she helps rescue a young boy and his baby sister from drowning. Japheth and his reluctant wife help her care for the children but devote most of their attention to the animals. Shem, convinced of his own righteousness, cares only for his own unborn child and the future glory of his line. The foul air, rotting food, and continuing crises take their toll on all of the creatures trapped in the huge boat. Yet Noah never doubts God's plan or the persistence of miracles. Only his wife, in the presence of the other women, ultimately questions God's reasons and figures out a way to save Timna and the stowaways. Vivid descriptions help readers hear the cries of the drowning and experience the claustrophobia of shipboard life. Distinct voices for humans and animals add to the textual richness. The novel, which won the Whitbread Children's Book Award, raises thought-provoking questions in its expansion and exploration of an ancient tale.–Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato
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