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book Inns and Adventures
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AMC guidebook Best Day Hikes Near Boston
So Close to Home


A hard working blue collar family from Texas was trying to get ahead in the lean post-Depression years. But when war broke out they unknowingly entered the cross hairs of a German U-boat on a killing spree right off America’s shores. A heartbreaking true story, So Close to Home takes you into both the struggle to get ahead as experienced by the Downs family and the U-boats’ race against the American war machine. Neither won.

at Sea


A plume of sooty smoke spewed from HMS Laconia's single stack as she left Cape Town, South Africa in September, 1942. The ship, filled to the brim with nearly 3,000 people, was sailing to Britain, hoping to avoid German U-boats hunting close to Africa's western coast. Passengers felt the ship's exhaust was ominous but tried to stay upbeat.

On September 12, 1942 the ship shuddered with the impact of the first German torpedo -- then another! Passengers ran for their lifeboats, only to find that many were damaged and useless. Deep in the ship's holds, men fought and prayed, screaming for guards to let them out of the cages they were held in. These 1,800 Italian prisoners of war, thin and weak from low rations, had little chance of survival when they jumped from the sinking ship -- until the German submarine crew stopped to save them.

This incredible true story of the war is told in the words of the youthful passengers and soldiers aboard. It includes photos of the event, taken at sea as German U-boats saved Laconia prisoners and passengers alike.

"Pulse pounding.." -- Kirkus review

In 1942 the Downs family, together with 8-year-old Sonny and 11-year-old Lucille, were aboard a freighter ship returning from South America when they sailed into the crosshairs of a German submarine lying in wait in the Gulf of Mexico. What ensues is a story of survival and perseverance, both for the family and the German sailors.

"This exciting, highly readable story of survival deserves a place on most library shelves. Perfect for young history buffs and older fans of the 'I Survived' series." -- School Library Journal

"Quotes from letters and diaries evoke the historical era. A well-researched account of one American family during a little-known episode of World War II." -- Kirkus Reviews

"After hours of dehydration, hypothermia, and shark threats, the survivors were sighted by plane and rescued by smaller craft . . . in this true survival story that judiciously carries forward beyond the relief of the rescue. The peril facing two children lost at sea is convincingly conveyed, and the lasting effect on their family life is equally sobering." -- The Bulletin for Children's Literature

Inns & Adventures


Before you jump on a highway and zip past winding rivers and picturesque church steeples rising from the greenery, read this. Inns & Adventures will make you slow down, explore and stay the night. A combination of hiking, history and hospitality with a dash of humor, this blends guidebook nuts and bolts information with hard-earned wisdom and backwoods knowledge.

Best Day Hikes Near Boston

Outdoor adventures and hikes don't always require long drives and extensive planning. With this guidebook you can zero in on hikes close to home or those that offer specific opportunities (birding, fishing, mountain biking etc). This updated version has several new destinations like the very popular Massasoit State Park and Burrage Pond to fill out a well-rounded menu of options from the North Shore to Cape Cod. Enjoy!

Middle Reader Edition
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Middle Reader Edition


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