Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Shipwreck Search: The Discovery of the H.L. Hunley

Shipwreck Search: The Discovery of the H.L. Hunley

Sally M. Walker
Illustrator:  Elaine Verstraete 
For ages 5 to 8
Lerner, 2006   ISBN: 978-1575058788

Ever since the H.L. Hunley mysteriously disappeared after it attacked the USS Housatonic, the submarine has fascinated marine archeologists who have done their best over the years to try to find the wreck of the submarine. Time and time again divers dragged hooks through the murky waters of around Charleston harbor. When they towed a magnetometer through the water scientist found plenty of iron objects but none were the Hunley.

Then, on May 3rd, 1995, three divers were using a probe to look for the submarine and this time they struck it lucky. They soon found that what the probe had hit was a hinged tower and that the tower looked just like the one they had all seen in pictures of the Hunley. Though it had been hard finding the submarine, an enormous amount of work still lay ahead, for the vessel would have to be excavated and then, somehow, it was hoped that she could be brought to the surface.

This interesting account shows young readers how hard it is to work underwater to retrieve a historic artifact. Often new ways of doing things have to be developed and new equipment has to be created to deal with the various problems associated with such a job. Readers will be astonished to find out how long it took to raise the Hunley and how much work the process took. Needless to say the work on the submarine is not yet over and we still have a lot to learn from this Civil War vessel.

The simple text in this book is interesting and it is full of careful explanations which will help the reader understand the language used and the processes described.