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Capsized!: The Forgotten Story of the SS Eastland Disaster
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Capsized!: The Forgotten Story of the SS Eastland Disaster

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  85 ratings  ·  33 reviews
New York Public Library's "100 Best Books for Kids" 
Kirkus Reviews' "Best Books of 2018"

On July 24, 1915, the SS Eastland, filled to capacity with 2,500 passengers and crew, capsized in the Chicago River while still moored to the pier. Happy picnic-goers headed for an employee outing across Lake Michigan suddenly found themselves in a struggle for their lives. Trapped be
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published July 1st 2018 by Chicago Review Press
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Psutton01 First of all, thank you for reading Capsized! I agree that telling our family stories is so important. Some of my classroom lessons would involve just…moreFirst of all, thank you for reading Capsized! I agree that telling our family stories is so important. Some of my classroom lessons would involve just that. I'm glad that you think Capsized! could be a way to introduce that aspect of writing. Years ago, my students conducted family interviews to capture those memories and write those lost family stories.(less)

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4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  85 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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Ailynn Knox-Collins
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great read for adults and kids alike. Lots of information and anecdotes about a little known tragedy. Loved it.
Kate Berry
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
With her debut book, Patricia Sutton thoughtfully draws upon her years as an educator to craft a compelling, articulate, and thoroughly researched history of a forgotten tragedy. Like other reviewers, I devoured Capsized! in one sitting. The book is as engaging for adult readers as it is for students, although note the recommendation that is best suited for readers aged 10 and up. In addition to presenting an important historical event in an approachable manner, the book prompts critical convers ...more
Sutton has written a compelling account of a tragic disaster that occurred on July 24, 1915. The SS Eastland, a steamship, was loading up for a trip across Lake Michigan to deliver over two thousand people to a Western Electric picnic celebration. The ship capsized sending hundreds of people into the water, and trapping hundreds more inside the ship. Sutton takes the reader through an account of this event, detailing both general events and specific experiences. The actions of both crew and pass ...more
Paula Drews
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a page turner. I literally could not put this book down. I live in the Chicago area and was glad to learn how and why the passengers of the Eastland met their fate that July day in 1915. Sutton's research made the characters jump off the page. I highly recommend this book.
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Tragedy often causes great sorrow among many but its memory lives longest with those directly involved. It is good sometimes to reflect on these lesser known events and remember the victims just as on this historic day we think of those killed in the collapse of the Twin Towers in New York.

My thanks to Patricia Sutton for bringing the story of the SS Eastland to light.

Capsized!: The Forgotten Story of the SS Eastland Disaster presents the story of those who suffered and died that day in a fact
Laura Salas
Wow. This gripping nonfiction story of the most deadly disaster on the Great Lakes is awesome! I tend to read picture book nonfiction (or adult nonfiction), but not a lot of middle grade nonfiction. I'm so glad I made an exception in this case. Sutton follows the stories of nine individuals or families on July 24, 1915, the day of the annual Western Electric picnic. The U.S.S. Eastland is one of several ships scheduled to take employees and their families from Chicago to the picnic site across L ...more
Melanie Dulaney
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
If your child, students, or library patrons can’t get enough information on the Titanic, “Capsized” is a must read on a different nautical disaster with several similarities. However, due to the very intense descriptions of the victims as the Eastland keeled over, I would not recommend it to those younger than 11 or 12 or anyone whose heart is especially tender. The book does not contain anything gruesome, but the fear and loss is palpable. Author Patricia Sutton is incredibly thorough in her co ...more
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids, nonfiction
Really well researched and presented book on the SS Eastland Disaster, a ship disaster that I had never heard of. The book is very well laid out, with a great image-text ratio, and a well-paced movement through the day. Works well for 4th-5th grade+, if the kids are ok with a very high mortality rate, especially when the dead are children. I also really like how Sutton explores what the life of a Western Electric employee was like, and talks a little bit about why this tragic occasion has not re ...more
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I don't usually read middle grade books, but I've been trying to find some good nonfiction to showcase in a YA book presentation, and the premise of this book was appealing. Since this book is right on the edge (for those 10 and up) I thought I'd give it a chance. The story of the SS Eastland is fascinating, and I thought Sutton did a great job of trying to add a human element to the story without overwhelming the reader with characters (although they were still hard to keep straight). I stayed ...more
Claire Murphy
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Through meticulous research and vivid prose, Sutton brings to life the little-known story of the Eastland ship disaster. Based on firsthand accounts of passengers, ship workers and bystanders, readers can experience firsthand the unfolding events that led to the sinking of the fastest steamship on the Great Lakes and its tragic aftermath that lingers still today. This is riveting true story with appeal for readers, ages ten-adult. This tragic story is long overdue to be told and Sutton's researc ...more
Terry Southard
Feb 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Really a high middle grade book, which I didn't realize when I picked it up. But it involved a disaster on Lake Michigan that killed more people than the Titanic disaster, and I had never even heard about it. Very good, though heart-wrenching. I think this is the author's first book (she is/was a teacher) and I think it's a great first effort at history for tweens, young teens. I learned a lot from it and it would spark good discussion with that age kid. I'm not sorry I read it at all!
Zan Porter
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is an excellent source of information regarding a horrible accident which took place in Chicago over 100 years ago that, compared to the Titanic, is fairly unknown. Patricia Sutton provides lots of interesting facts that I had never heard of before, including the reason why the Titanic disaster 3 years earlier was an ironic contributing factor to the tragic series of events that led to the Eastland disaster. Two thumbs up!
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Like many, I had never heard of this ship disaster. I found this on the new shelf at our library. The vintage-style cover of the book caught my eye immediately and I wasn't disappointed. This is not a long book, but it packs a good punch. The eyewitness accounts, along with the black and white pictures made this sad news real, to me. The "notes and Bibliography" really added to this books testament of the disaster. I will be doing more research on the people involved!
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-for-nls
A clear, sobering account of a forgotten American tragedy. Written for a young adult audience, the book may not go into quite the detail that a fully realized study would, but the story is clear and the emotional impact is strong. Putting focus on a half-dozen people and families affected draws us into the account and keeps us connected throughout.
Dec 01, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a bit of a middle grade/chapter book crossover in terms of the language and content. It is fairly upsetting, although not hugely graphic, so parents really want to be sure their kids are up for it. There's a good selection of photographs as well, which may add to the disturbing factor for some readers.
Sean Kottke
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, michigan-books, ya
An excellent middle-grades informational text on a mostly forgotten maritime disaster. It is its vivid evocation of young working class Chicagoans daily lives in 1915, whose excitement for a day at the beach turned to horror in mere minutes.
Theresa Grissom
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I had not heard about the SS Eastland before reading this story. This book was an eye opener to the disaster that happened in 1915. This gripping story, full of real life photographs will be liked in my library.
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Greatly written book that captivated my fifth-grade students as we learned about some of our country's history. There were a lot of characters that were difficult for us to keep track, but next year I'll have my students write some character profiles to help us.
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
This is a wonderful book. Well written and answers most questions that may arise while reading. There are pictures and diagrams and the point of views from the passengers is monumental in understanding the tragedy of the event.
At port on the Chicago River, July 24, 1915, just loaded with 2,500 passengers from Western Electric ready for a celebration picnic day, this ship built for the Great Lakes lists and capsizes before pulling away from the dock. Includes photos and diagrams.
So compelling and well told!
Ms. Yingling
Jan 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Cybils Junior High Shortlist. Giving all of these the same three stars, and waiting until after 2/14/19 to post reviews.
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Could not put it down.
Nov 23, 2018 rated it liked it
This is one of the most depressing children’s nonfiction books I have ever read. It left me super pissed at the maker of the boat for not doing an original stability check on the boat.
Jeanne Frantik
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful non fiction i couldn't put down. Great for 4th grade thru adults. 844 people died on this morning in the Chicago River and SO many of us never heard this story.
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great quick read. Chock full of facts and details, you can’t help but feel that you’ve been transported back to Chicago in the day. Wonderfully done.
Debbie Ladd
Nov 23, 2018 rated it liked it
I had never heard of this until I picked up the book at my local library.
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Informative and enjoyable. An important look at a tragedy that didn't get the attention it deserved because the victims weren't the "right" kind of victims.
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very well-written story about the Eastland. How is it possible I never learned about this, growing up in the suburbs of Chicago? It’s a young adult book but worth the read.
Allison Parker
rated it really liked it
Nov 30, 2018
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