It wasn't Seth's idea to move to the booming city of Galveston on the sweltering August day. It wasn't even his idea to become a doctor. It was his father's dream for him, and Galveston offered the best medical school in the United States at that time. Seth wanted only to become a carpenter like his father. Would that still be possible?
It turns out that Galveston wasn't really so bad. He had even snagged a job as a carpenter's helper, and then there was that pretty girl with golden hair who lived across the street that really made things look up for him.
Instead, on September 8, 1900, his world exploded in the fury of a devastating hurricane.
Woven from historical accounts of the storm's survivors, this is a fictionalized story of the most deadly natural disasters in U. S. history. Hold on to your seat as Seth takes you into Dark Water Rising where fierce winds and floods dictate the horrendous change in this bustling seaport, Galveston, and courage, heroism, sacrifice, and loss live on in the stories of the survivors.
Dark Water Rising contains vivid, gory descriptions of the damage and loss of life during this huricane. For this reason, it would best be aimed at grades 6 and up. Startling figurative language like "Wild waves rose up like a great hand and wrenched loose the Pagoda's long staircase, sending planks tumbling through the air... like a wounded Goliath, the great bathhouse shuddered, folded in on its long legs, and collapsed into the sea" transports the reader into the violent scene. Descriptions of the dead and dying sear into the reader's memory. It is still considered the deadliest disaster in United States history, one that will forever define the early history of the Texas coast.
The "Author's Note" at the end of the book provides more historical fact and primary source photographs. Dark Water Rising should be a part of every middle and high school library and history class.
The Kids Wings literature guide by Dixie West and Suzy Red contains the following activities in both PowerPoint and PDF formats:
Pre-reading Discussion Cards
What do you know about Galveston Life Before the Storm?
1-page Readers’ Theater Introduction--Galveston Under Water!
A Vocabulary Log
Chapter 1: Vocabulary, Quick Writes-Read-Predict Confirm, Venn-Diagram
Chapters 2-3: Vocabulary, Quick Writes-Read-Predict Confirm, Writing Persuasively
Chapters 4-6: Vocabulary, Quick Writes-Read-Predict Confirm, Rewriting Slang
Chapters 7-10: Vocabulary, Quick Writes-Read-Predict Confirm, Map Smarts
Chapters 11-14: Vocabulary, Quick Writes-Read-Predict Confirm, Using Primary Sources
Be a History Detective
Chapters 15-18: Vocabulary, Quick Writes-Read-Predict Confirm, Using Dialogue
Chapters 19-21: Vocabulary, Quick Writes-Read-Predict Confirm, Conflicts in the Story
Chapters 22-26: Vocabulary, Quick Writes-Read-Predict Confirm, Help Comes!
Chapters 27-29: Vocabulary, Quick Writes-Read-Predict Confirm, Reflections
Page 22: Where in the World? Map Quiz
Plus, a BONUS Interactive Jeopardy-type Game in PowerPoint format
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