Cover image for The Mary Celeste : An unsolved mystery from history
The Mary Celeste : An unsolved mystery from history
Yolen, Jane.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1999.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
A young girl relates the facts that are known about the unexplained disappearance of the crew on the ship Mary Celeste in 1872, and challenges the reader to solve the mystery.
Reading Level:
AD 630 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.5 0.5 2106.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 5.7 2 Quiz: 20808.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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In 1872, another ship came across the Mary Celeste adrift on the open sea.
Her captain, crew, and passengers -- the captain's wife and two-year-old daughter -- had vanished.
Did a storm over take them? Did the crew mutiny? Were they attacked by pirates?
No one ever found out.
Become a detective as you read this true story, study the clues, and try to figure out the fate of the Mary Celeste . The Unsolved Mystery from History series is written by acclaimed author Jane Yolen and former private investigator Heidi Elisabet Yolen Stemple. Read carefully and check your clues. You might be the first to solve a puzzle that has baffled people for years.

Author Notes

Jane Yolen was born February 11, 1939 in New York City. She received a bachelor's degree from Smith College in 1960 and a master's degree in education from the University of Massachusetts in 1976. After college, she became an editor in New York City and wrote during her lunch break. She sold her first children's book, Pirates in Petticoats, at the age of 22. Since then, she has written over 300 books for children, young adults, and adults.

Her other works include the Emperor and the Kite, Owl Moon, How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? and The Devil's Arithmetic. She has won numerous awards including the Kerlan Award, the Regina Medal, the Keene State Children's Literature Award, the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, two Christopher Medals, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Fantasy Awards, the Golden Kite Award, the Jewish Book Award, the World Fantasy Association's Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Association of Jewish Libraries Award.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3^-5. Hoping to follow in the footsteps of her father, a detective, the child narrator takes on the historical mystery of a merchant ship called the Mary Celeste. In 1872, the ship set sail carrying a captain, his wife, his daughter, a crew of seven, and a cargo of petroleum. Nearly three weeks later, another ship discovered the Mary Celeste unmanned and adrift. The supplies and cargo were intact, but no signs of violence were seen, and no one aboard was ever found. Alongside the text, in which the narrator tells what is known of the mysterious voyage, pages from her notebook appear with background information about the case. The book offers six theories of what happened, raises questions related to each, and leaves it to the reader to mull over the evidence and, possibly, reach a conclusion. Boxes with defined words supply an ongoing glossary. The three kinds of boxed text on each spread, give this picture book a visually chopped format. Still, Roger Roth's handsome watercolor-and-pencil artwork is absorbing. An intriguing book for history buffs, mystery buffs, and classroom discussion. --Carolyn Phelan

Publisher's Weekly Review

PW said that this tale of a crewless ship, the Mary Celeste, found adrift in 1872, "may well have amateur sleuths lying awake at night." Ages 6-up. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Gr 3-5-Fans of detective stories will be thrilled to try their hands at solving this true historic mystery. In 1872, the Mary Celeste sailed out of New York and into the realm of bizarre puzzles. When found by the crew of the Dei Gratia less than a month after setting sail, the brig was in seaworthy condition and almost completely in order, but everyone on it had vanished. The tale is told by a fictional character who shares her methods of investigation and the known facts of the case. Warm, double-page watercolors with details highlighted in pencil show each aspect of the discovery and exploration of the derelict ship, and enhance the drama of the story. Maritime terms and supplemental information on the individuals involved appear on panels drawn to resemble sticky notes and lined notebook papers that are superimposed on the illustrations. The book includes a listing of a half dozen of the most popular theories, accompanied by questions that can be answered from the text, thus encouraging readers to exercise keen observation and deductive reasoning to form their own opinions. While the answers to the mystery of the Mary Celeste may never be known, this is an intriguing story.-Ann G. Brouse, Big Flats Branch Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.