The Little Ships by Louise Borden

The Little Ships

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.

Details The Little Ships

TitleThe Little Ships
Release DateApr 1st, 1997
PublisherMargaret K. McElderry Books
GenreChildrens, Picture Books, Historical, Historical Fiction, War, World War II

Reviews The Little Ships

  • Luisa Knight
    A great tale about a little girl and her fisherman father going to assist with the Dunkirk rescue!Ages: 6 - 12**Like my reviews? I also have hundreds of detailed reports that I offer too. These reports give a complete break-down of everything in the book, so you'll know just how clean it is or isn't. I also have Clean Guides (downloadable PDFs) which enable you to clean up your book before reading it! Visit my website!
  • Shiloah
    An excellent story told in the first person of a young girl who went to Dunkirk to help her fisherman dad to help rescue the 338,000+ English and French soldiers evacuate from Dunkirk. The author’s notes and the end were helpful as well.
  • Athena
    Outstanding juvenile historical fiction about the WWII Dunkirk evacuation targeted to 8 - 12 year olds, but a worthy read for grown-ups who like kid fiction and anyone who gets a tear in their eye thinking of all those little boats voluntarily going into the way of grievous harm to rescue allied troops.The hero is anonymous: a sturdy, strong, helpful and hardworking GIRL - thank you, gods of historical fiction. Her dad, Martin Gates, is a fisherm...
  • Alex (not a dude) Baugh
    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. ...
  • Sandy
    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 Dun...
  • Connie
    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 b...
  • Amanda
    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 rema...
  • Shawn Thrasher
    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 par...
  • Heather
    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 had...
  • Anna
    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.
  • Kellyn
    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.
  • Stephen
    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.
  • Linnet
    Have to read! This book is a powerful short children's story.
  • Bernadette Kearns
    A beautifully written fictional story of a young girl aboard a small fishing boat during the rescue of soldiers at Dunkirk. The lines "I had to stand taller and help my father I had to help soldiers whose names I never knew. And not say that I was afraid to see war." captures the dedication of these ordinary citizens during this intense moment of British history. The illustrations capture the action, but I did wish they were paintings with more c...
  • Courtney Stevens
    Initially I thought I would not like this book, but I was pleasantly proven wrong. A historical fiction book about a girl who follows her father to help rescue the soldiers in Dunkirk. Descriptive poetry that paints images in my mind of what the girl is seeing and experiencing. Also impactful forward and author's note.
  • Linda
    I recently read Paul Gallico's Snow Goose and then discovered this picture book that highlights the courage of those 'little ships' that saved thousands of soldiers at Dunkirk during World War II. It is a story that shows how many working together can make a huge difference. For anyone studying war and highlights of courage, this is a great picture book.
  • Jane Scholey
    Came across this by accident whilst looking for narrative non-fiction. Loved the story. But might be biased as I’d just watched Dunkirk again. A special true story about special people. Exciting and well told. Beautiful pictures also.
  • Justin Dolezal
    Cool idea for a story. It comes from the point of view of a little girl from Deal and she must help her father save British soldiers from the shores of Dunkirk. Amazing historical fiction story from a cool point of view!
  • Deana Metzke
    I'll be honest, I read this book right after I finished reading The War That Saved My Life, so this book made a lot of sense to me because I had the background knowledge from that book. For children who don't have background knowledge in WWII, this book may be a struggle for them to understand.
  • Allison
    Beautiful art, and a great introduction to the events of Dunkirk.
  • Sean Harding
    A nice brief tale about the Dunkirk rescue and the little ships that assisted and in particular the role of a young girl and her father. The way to make history relevant and alive.
  • Pamela Powell
    Factionalized account of one small fishing ship and the part it played in the evacuation of Dunkirk. Beautifully written and illustrated. Made me tear up!
  • Melissa
    Another story of WWII. There are so many it would be hard to know them all. This one is about one of the fisherman's boats used to rescue soldiers form England and Dunkirk and bring them to safety.
  • Nicki
    Genuine perspective of that time
  • Erica
    "...over 338,000 men came home."
  • Mrs.E
    Wonderful way to introduce the events of Dunkirk.
  • Karen
    Read for cc2 wk 16...krb 3/17/17
  • Kristin Nelson
    The poetry of the narrative and the detailed watercolor illustrations together tell the story of the Dunkirk Escape in a beautiful way that makes it authentic for the reader. I recommend this for any age studying WWII, adults included!
  • Sue
    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 par...
  • Shelli
    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 success...