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The Little Ships: The Heroic Rescue at Dunkirk in World War II
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The Little Ships: The Heroic Rescue at Dunkirk in World War II

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  87 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
More than 500,000 British and French soldiers were trapped in France in May of 1940. To their rescue came several men who sailed the "little ships" across the English Channel as part of a legendary armada. Many people wanted to be a part of the mission -- including a girl who wanted more than anything to be part of a worthy cause.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 1st 1997 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (first published March 13th 1997)
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Alex Baugh
Apr 18, 2011 Alex Baugh rated it it was amazing
Shelves: world-war-2
After the Germans did the very thing that no one expected them to do, entering France from the north through Belgium instead of trying to cross the well fortified Maginot Line, they were able to trap British Expeditionary Force (BEF) on beaches of Dunkirk. Operation Dynamo was immediately organized to evacuate the BEF using small fishing and pleasure boats to ferry the soldiers from the beach to larger ships anchored a little further out to sea.

Louise Borden has written a lovely children’s book
May 13, 2010 Sandy rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, ww2, england, hist-fiction
This simple and beautifully illustrated book relates the extraordinary and monumental rescue of hundreds of thousands of Allied soldiers from the shores of Dunkirk, France in May/June 1940. In response to a call by the British government for volunteers-with-boats, thousands of boats, large, small and absolutely tiny joined the rescue efforts. Together this motley armada sailed, motored or rowed the 50 or so miles from England's south coast to Dunkirk where they went into the shores and ferried a ...more
Jun 05, 2010 Connie rated it really liked it
The rescue at Dunkirk is, with good reason, considered one of the shining moments of the Second World War.

And yet, there's not much written about it for children. Isn't that funny? It has all the characteristics of a good inspiring story for them - an insurmountable difficulty, a heroic effort, many saved by the efforts of the small and weak. Heck, there isn't even any Holocaust, so it can't run into the same difficulty as many WWII era picture books.

This book is from the viewpoint of a young gi
Nov 08, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
I was trying to prove Lucy wrong and show her an exciting non fiction children's book. I found this on our shelf. It's a fantastic read aloud. Very exciting and moving with great illustrations that tell as eloquent a tale as the text does. It brought an event previously unknown to her, to life in her imagination. this book may not be a literal true tale, but as a means to capture a child's imagination and introduce her to the story of a very remarkable event in wwII in a way that engaged her and ...more
Shawn Thrasher
Aug 25, 2011 Shawn Thrasher rated it really liked it
The "heroic rescue at Dunkirk" is a fantastic story, full of incredible bravery sadness. Louise Borden's story of Dunkirk, told from the point of view of a fisherman's daughter who dresses as a boy (with her father's knowledge!) to accompany him on the dangerous journey ferrying soldiers back from Dunkirk. Her poetic prose captures the excitement, adventure, enormity and chaos of the adventure. Foreman's illustrations are always a pleasure; I particularly liked the illustration of the enormous n ...more
The boys were very engaged while listening to this book. It was a fascinating story about the rescue at Dunkirk. The illustrations were great.

The worst thing about this book was that it wasn't true - based on true stories, told as if it were true, but the author did not, in fact, participate in the rescue. The boys were MAD. They had been pulled into the story so strongly they were SURE that the author had been there and then to find out she hadn't....oh, they were steamed.

But that aside, it wa
Madie Marie
Apr 06, 2016 Madie Marie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
Historical book number 5- This book is about the rescue at Dunkirk during world war II (1940). It starts off with the little girl talking about how her dad and his friends were fisherman and their boat the Lucy. Next, it talks about how the town hears about some trouble across the channel where a bunch of british and french soldiers were trapped and German tanks were on their way to capture them. The little girl talks about how her brother is a british soldier fighting in the war and she is worr ...more
Mar 29, 2009 Anna rated it really liked it
This is one of a few books I'm reading to learn more about the Battle of Dunkirk, and this time of history that made a significant impact in my grandfather's life. A quick read, this book is geared towards children. It offered an interesting child-friendly "story" for such a complex time in history. Difficult to suspend knowledge and "logic" in reading a child's book as an adult. Given the personal relevance of this topic, it was worth the read.
Feb 28, 2008 Kellyn rated it really liked it

I love the books illustrated by Michael foreman and this is no exception. The text describes the historic rescue of hundreds of thousands of soldiers who were stranded on the beaches of Dunkirk. Even though the subject matter is difficult, Borden’s text is not overwhelming. She effectively conveys the horrors of war in an approachable way.

Would be great to use with Middle school kids too.
Feb 04, 2012 Stephen rated it it was amazing
This is an outstanding history book for young children! The story is told from the perspective of a girl who plays an active role in this historic rescue. It had a perfect combination of detail and suspense and beautiful watercolor illustrations to hold the attention of my 5- and 8-yr-old.
Dec 10, 2011 Linnet rated it it was amazing
Have to read! This book is a powerful short children's story.
Jan 04, 2016 Sue rated it really liked it
I'm reviewing this book from the perspective of an adult who is interested in history and who enjoys books of all types, for all age groups. This book did a good job of helping one experience what it might have been like for a young person helping out with the evacuation of Dunkirk. The illustrations were nicely done. "The Little Ships" would probably not be a good choice for the youngest of young children, but I think would be a good one for parents to share with children who are old enough to ...more
WOW!!! I loved reading this powerful and emotional historical fictional account of the rescue of 338,226 soldiers at Dunkirk in World War II. While the storyline is fictional it is based on real events. Brave fisherman from England and other nearby Allied countries rushed to join the English Navy in their attempts to rescue cornered troops, their backs to the sea facing German tanks, machine guns and air strikes. Hopes for this mission to successfully bring more than 45,000 souls were low, yet d ...more
Meghan Gaston
May 10, 2016 Meghan Gaston added it
Shelves: ls3013
WWII, military, disguise, ships, history
Nov 01, 2015 Wendy added it
Shelves: world-history
Jul 31, 2014 Kami rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this to my kids and it definitely held their interest, (I didn't think it would). I thought the pace of the story was odd, it was such an exciting story, but told in such an unexciting way. And I while it told the story of the rescue well, it kind of left out any background of what was going on, why the soldiers needed rescued, what war it was even, etc. But it had my kids asking tons of questions and they studied the pictures forever. So all in all a win!
Jan 13, 2016 Jaguar rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-kids
"The Little Ships: The Heroic Rescue at Dunkirk in World War II" by Louise Borden is a book about a girl who accompanies her father and his sail mates as they go to pick up and rescue wounded soldiers. The pictures were good, and it was written well.

Jan 29, 2008 Daniel rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: all
not only was it these little ships that saved the British Expeditionary Forces but the fact that the weather was foggy and Goering's Luftwaffe couldn't get to them and sink them all as they would have done in fair weather.

The Lufwaffe only sank a few.
Jul 16, 2009 Cws added it
Shelves: je
Cristal Romero Ramírez
Cristal Romero Ramírez marked it as to-read
Aug 27, 2016
Rick Christiansen
Rick Christiansen rated it liked it
Aug 15, 2016
Dani marked it as to-read
Jul 17, 2016
Julie Kirchner
Julie Kirchner marked it as to-read
Jul 12, 2016
Lauren Waters
Lauren Waters marked it as to-read
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Joyce Yattoni
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Amie marked it as to-read
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Jun 21, 2016
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There were already two Louises in my family when I was born: my mother and my grandmother, Nana, who lived with us when I was growing up. So early on, I was given the name Leezie. This is a name that my family still calls me. Years later, my niece was born and also named Louise. Then there were four of us with the same name! Louise is a fine name to have except that people often spell it incorrect ...more
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