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Children's Fiction General

Terrible Roar of Water, A

Disaster Strikes! #5

by (author) Penny Draper

Coteau Books
Initial publish date
Oct 2009
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2009
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 8 to 12
  • Grade: 5 to 9

About the author

Penny Draper is the author of six previous Disaster Strikes! novels,including the most recent, Day of the Cyclone. Her novels in this series have received numerous awards and nominations in competitions across the country. Terror at Turtle Mountain, the “rst book in the series,was a “nalist for the Silver Birch Young Readers’ Choice Award inOntario, as well as Saskatchewan’s Diamond Willow Award and theGeoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Writing for Young People. Penny Draper is a storyteller who lives in Victoria, BC. For many years,Penny shared tales as a professional storyteller at schools, libraries, conferences, festivals, and on radio and television. She has told stories in anArabian harem and from inside a bear’s belly –but that is a story in itself...

Penny Draper's profile page

Librarian Reviews

A Terrible Roar of Water (Disaster Strikes!)

A Terrible Roar of Water (Disaster Strikes!) written by Penny Draper Coteau Books, 2009 978-1-55050-414-9 (pb) $8.95 for Grades 5 to 9 Fiction, Historical Fiction, Newfoundland

A Terrible Roar of Water is Penny Draper’s fourth book in Coteau Books’ Disaster Strikes! series. Unlike the other three authors reviewed here, Draper seems to have no direct connection to either the events that comprise her story or to ‘the Rock.’ However, the author makes the setting of her Newfoundland tale as satisfying as the smell of seafood chowder simmering on the back of the stove on a cold day. In part, A Terrible Roar of Water tells the tale of a tsunami that devastated 50 Newfoundland outports in November 1929. Although this main action doesn’t begin until page 60, readers are so sensually and emotionally embedded in 12-year-old Murphy’s life in the outport that they won’t mind.

Murphy’s father died on the day he was born and his mother moved to St. John’s to work. Although Murphy misses her and hopes to build her a house one day, he enjoys living in the outport with his aunt and uncle. He loves the sea and soon hopes to be a fisherman. Then, just as winter sets in, the terrifying tsunami does unimaginable damage to their isolated outport. Bootless and running around in his socks, Murphy helps heroically. As this engaging book concludes, readers feel optimistic that kitchen parties, mummers and all that Murphy values will be back in his life soon. Draper has done a fabulous job of carving her time and place out of the sources she talks about in her “Author’s Note” and “Acknowledgements.”

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2010. Vol.33 No.2.

A Terrible Roar of Water (Disaster Strikes)

When 12-year-old Murphy reaches the harbour one cold day in 1929, he sees that the water’s been sucked right out of it! Recalling the old-timer’s warning, he must alert his family and friends that a tsunami is on the way. But can a young boy do a man’s work? Can he save his aunt and cousins? Can he save himself? Book Five in the series.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2011.

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