Cover image for Dead in the water
Dead in the water
Lynch, Chris, 1962- , author.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic Press, 2014.
Physical Description:
188 pages ; 22 cm.
After America is drawn into World War II, Hank McCallum finds himself on the USS Yorktown, an aircraft carrier in the Pacific, separated from his brother Theo, in constant danger from torpedoes, and just learning about the prejudice and segregation that plague his new friend from Tonga Bradford.
Reading Level:
1020 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 6.3 7.0 165166.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 8.6 10 Quiz: 63401.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

On Order



The author of the acclaimed Vietnam series sets his sights on World War II.

Hank and Theo are brothers who share everything, including a sense of duty a love of baseball. They have been inseparable for their entire lives. But when America is drawn into World War II, the young brothers find themselves fighting the same war on opposite sides of the globe.

As an airedale in the Navy, Hank now lives aboard an aircraft carrier, the USS Yorktown. His job is to assist the pilots who soar off each day to engage Japanese forces in the Pacific Ocean. It is a crucial and terrifying duty in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

As the days at sea become weeks and months, Hank adapts to life apart from his family. He even adapts to the fear of torpedoes. But in an era of prejudice and segregation, it's Hank's choice of friends that might prove most dangerous of all.

Author Notes

CHRIS LYNCH is the author of numerous acclaimed books for middle-grade and teen readers, including the Cyberia series and the National Book Award finalist Inexcusable . He teaches in the Lesley University creative writing MFA program, and divides his time between Massachusetts and Scotland.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Author Lynch pulls no punches in the second installment of his WWII series. This time his attention focuses on the Pacific theater and the experiences of narrator Hank, a baseball obsessive from small-town Maine aboard the doomed aircraft carrier USS Yorktown. Unsophisticated and optimistic, Hank is proud of his work as an airedale on the flight deck, making sure that the pilots take off and land their planes without incident, and he uses baseball as a way to make friends among the crew, particularly Bradford, a former Negro League player. Lynch's storytelling is unflinching in its descriptions of the reality of the combat and the racism that permeates life onshore and off. Fast paced, with spare, riveting prose, this is brimming with moments that should inspire readers to further research events, like the vividly described Battle of Midway, as well as feel sympathy for Hank as he comes to understand the true horror of war.--Szwarek, Magan Copyright 2014 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-Hank McCallum is a Navy airedale, helping prepare planes for the fighter pilots serving on the USS Yorktown as they battle the Japanese during World War II. Hank is proud of his work and his skill as a baseball player, until he meets Bradford, a fellow crewmember who plays in the Negro Leagues. Bradford opens Hank's eyes, not only to ways to improve his game but also to the condition of the African American Navy men, who are forced to wear white gloves and serve food to the pilots aboard the ship. As the war progresses, the battles become increasingly dangerous. When the Yorktown,Åbadly damaged by torpedoes, has to return to Hawaii for repairs, Hank witnesses first-hand how his friend Bradford is confronted by the Hawaiian police simply for visiting the beach. But both men face an even greater challenge as their barely-repaired ship is sent out to intercept the Japanese forces near Midway Island. InÅThe Right Fight (Scholastic, 2014), Lynch portrayed the U.S. Army's battles against the Nazis in North Africa through the eyes of baseball player Roman Bucyk. In this sequel, Lynch follows one of Bucyk's baseball rivals, who appears briefly in the opening chapters of the first title. The characters and situations in this story are compelling, especially Hank's love for his brother, Theo, and his fierce 10-year-old sister, Susan. The questions and challenges raised by his friendship with Bradford convey the unfair treatment of African American servicemen. The battle scenes are gritty and gripping, building to a shockingly abrupt and inconclusive ending (readers can infer what happened from the title of the book as well as from the actual events on which the story was based). Hopefully Lynch will address some of the unanswered questions about these characters in a later volume. This book will easily appeal to middle grade fans of World War II fiction and would make a good choice for historical fiction assignments.-Ashley Larsen, Pacifica Libraries, CA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.