Cover image for Thar she blows : American whaling in the nineteenth century
Thar she blows : American whaling in the nineteenth century
Currie, Stephen, 1960-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Minneapolis, MN : Lerner Publications, v2001.
Physical Description:
96 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
Reading Level:
990 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 7.0 3.0 58614.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 6.9 8 Quiz: 27369 Guided reading level: X.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
SH383.2 .C87 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Supports the national curriculum standards Time, Continuity, and Change; People, Places, and Environments; Individuals, Groups, and Institutions; Production, Distribution, and Consumption; and Science Technology and Society as outlined by the National Council for the Social Studies.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 6-9. Whether they signed on for money, adventure, or to avoid the law, the men who served aboard whaling ships often got more than they bargained for. Voyages sometimes lasted several years, and wages were usually pitiful. One sailor made only six-and-a-half cents after spending five months at sea. Details such as these, which Currie often quotes directly from diaries, letters, and newspaper stories of the day, raise this volume in the People's History series a notch above standard series fare. Currie's coverage is concise and thorough (though he focuses mostly on New England whaling) as he explores aspects of the industry, from living conditions and discipline aboard ship to racial diversity and the impact of whaling life on families. Although Jim Murphy's Gone a-Whaling (1998) has a stronger narrative and gives an in-depth look at modern-day whale hunting, Currie's capably handled treatment will be a helpful additional resource. Illustrated with sepia-tone photos and engravings; a glossary and a list of further readings are appended. --Randy Meyer

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6 Up-A visually appealing, highly informative book. The 19th-century myths that promised high adventure are dispelled and the sad truth about the industry is revealed. Currie describes the grim reality, from the tedious hours aboard ship waiting to spot a whale to the homesickness that so many of the men endured away from their wives and children, sometimes for years. Through the use of diaries and letters, readers are given a firsthand look at what whalers experienced, including seasickness, bad weather, and ill health as a result of poor diet. Currie graphically describes the chase, as well as the killing and dismembering of the animals. Black-and-white archival photographs and reproductions support the text. Readers who are interested in whaling or are writing reports on the subject will find this authoritative book useful.-Jessica Snow, Boston Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.