SOS Lusitania by Kevin Kiely Review

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Reviewed by Lee-Anne McCarthy

As a teacher of literacy I spend many hours trying to engage young boys in the intricacies and beauty of the written word. To a find a book that captivates and interests reading reluctant young men is a real nightmare so when the opportunity came to review this book I jumped at the chance. Immediately from the cover it is clear that this book is going to interest those boys intrigued by history and the maritime. Also the blurb is one that provides just enough detail to encourage reading but also enough to build a suspense in what events that are to come.

The story tells of a young man called ‘Finbar’ who stows aboard his father’s cruise liner the Lusitania. Based on the great historical sinking of the formidable liner Lusitania interwoven in fact is the fictitious story of Finbar Kennedy. Finbar while on his travels experiences controversy, suspense and intrigue. The story is highly engaging especially for young men with a love for history, spies, adventure and conspiracy theories.  This book was also read by members of my year 7 class aged 11. They were wholly enthralled in it from the outset. It was described as a ‘great adventure’, ‘an awesome read’ and a book ‘we should read together in class Miss’. I felt that young readers could really identify with the main character and his love of the high seas and great adventure. My readers and I were particularly impressed with the inclusion of the historical notes in the book. It made the story feel all the more real and the possibility of actual occurrence all the more plausible.

The language of the book is aspirational yet understandable. The book was easily understood and decoded my helpful readers. The chapters are of a manageable length for short spurts of reading that tweenage readers will be able to engage well and fully in. Overall SOS Lusitania was a very good engaging read.

Rating: 5/5

RRP: £7.50 (Paperback) / £4.99 (Kindle)

Available to buy from Amazon here.

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