July 1, 2015
 New Title with Author Note, Book Giveaway, and More



Dear Readers,     


In this issue of KidsBookClubbing,, you'll meet Patrick and Teddy, two stowaways trying to reunite with their families, in INTO THE KILLING SEAS, a harrowing tale of survival and suspense by Michael Spradlin


Warm wishes,             


Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp




Ages 8 - 12 / Middle Grade Historical Fiction / Scholastic Press 


Win a set of INTO THE KILLING SEAS  by Michael Spradlin for your book club. Enter to win by emailing the author (please write "KidsBookClubbing" in the subject line).

Dear Bookclubbers,

INTO THE KILLING SEAS is full of action, suspense and danger and based on a real event, the sinking of the USS Indianapolis in the last days of World War II. It was the greatest naval disaster at sea in U.S. history. And for years it has fascinated me. I often wonder, when I'm writing a historical novel, if I could have survived the hardships and challenges my characters face. I don't know if I would have survived what these men endured, but I am in awe of them.

When the Indianapolis sank, the surviving crew had the misfortune of finding themselves in the middle of some of the most heavily populated shark habitats in the world. Even worse, the ship sank so quickly they had no time to send out a complete distress call, so no one was looking for them. For nearly five full days these men survived with no water or food, blistering heat, running seas and relentless shark attacks.

Patrick O'Donnell was on a plane home from the Philippines when the Japanese attack stranded him on Guam. With no room on the plane for his mother and father, Patrick was placed in the care of an elderly nun and he and his brother Teddy were separated from the family. It's been nearly four years and Patrick is desperate to reunite his family. And one day a gleaming ship sails into Guam. The USS Indianapolis. And its next stop is the Philippines.

With the help of his friend, a young Marine named Benny Poindexter, Patrick and Teddy sneak aboard the Indy. Two days out of port, a Japanese submarine sends two torpedoes ripping through the Indy's hull. Now, Patrick must save not only himself but also his brother and a gravely injured Benny.

I can't wait to hear what you have to say about INTO THE KILLING SEAS!

Michael Spradlin

Book reviews:

"Entirely gripping!"
-Kirkus Reviews

"...the story is enjoyable and reveals a tender theme about the power of the human spirit. Patrick finds strength and courage from unusual sources and manages the impossible in order to save his brother and himself."
-School Library Journal

A Junior Library Guild Selection

Discussion questions:  

  • How would you describe Patrick's relationship with Benny Poindexter?
  • How does Benny and Patrick's relationship change over the course of the book?
  • Teddy is a damaged character, one who can't fend for himself physically or vocally. Why do you think this is?
  • How do you think you would survive a shark attack?
  • At the beginning of the novel, an admiral in the U.S. Navy is trying to get Patrick to describe the events of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis and ensuing shark attacks. Why do you think Patrick is so reluctant to answer his questions?

To learn more about Michael Spradlin and his other books full of action and drama, find out about giveaways and how to connect with Michael, and read an excerpt of INTO THE KILLING SEAS, visit his website.

Author call-in information: Michael is happy to speak with your group via Skype or phone. Email Michael to submit your request.     

  • A maximum of 10 books is available for each book club giveaway.
  • Contest entries are sent directly to the authors administering each contest.  Our Privacy Policy does not apply to emails sent as contest entries.  You must be 18 years or older to enter the contests.

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