Black Water by Barbara Henderson
The dark, cold water seeps in, destroying any hope of warmth in the flimsy footwear that 13 year-old Henry finds himself in as he crouches down, waiting patiently for a signal from his father.
It’s 1792 and Henry is learning the ropes of life as an Exciseman. The admiration he has for the officers is not lost on him as he hurries to keep up, desperate to prove his worth. When an armed schooner is caught stranded in the Solway Firth, Henry, his father and fellow officers are determined to salvage the goods on-board and bring the tax evaders to justice. Is he brave enough to help? With natures defences of quick sand and the movement of the tide against them, can they board The Rosamund in time as she sits majestically on the dark icy cold water?
Muskets, cannons and battle-ready sailors halt their progress as the events of that dark and eerie night will have you on the edge of your seat, holding your breath until you’ve read the very last page. Will Henry survive? Will his father acknowledge him and the valiant effort he has made to stand in his footsteps?
Barbara Henderson‘s novella is based on actual events that occurred in Dumfries, Scotland in 1792. As illustrator Sandra McGowan’s chapter headings guide you along, her attention to detail is meticulous and eye-catching. The effort and research by the author leave the reader in no doubt of the treacherous journey made by Henry as he fights in vain for his position and acceptance. Barbara Henderson has, yet again, created a masterpiece of historical fact for readers of all ages to devour.
Black Water would make an excellent historical guide for any classroom and I urge you all to read it and catch a glimpse of Henry’s life amid the smuggler’s world of days gone by.
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