Written By Keshav Mohta (Grade 8)

Lifeboat 12 is a fantastic book by Susan Hood. It talks about how England was during the times of World War II. It is from the point of view of a young boy named Ken Sparks, aged 13 who is one of the 90 children to be chosen to leave on the luxury cruise, SS City of Benares to reach the safety of Canada away from the Nazi bombs.

Ken makes many friends while on his journey to Canada. His ship is part of a convoy of 18 ships accompanied by a destroyer ship. Aboard the SS City of Benares there are delicious nine-course meals, a play area, a nursery and a lot more facilities which Ken would never have dreamed of in England. After around a sennight of travel, they are told that they are in a safe zone where they won’t be torpedoed by any German U-boat.

Their destroyer ship leaves and they are alone with their convoy, all headed for Canada. That night Ken sleeps peacefully without any bad dreams or nightmares. However, they are torpedoed at night by a German U-boat. Everyone rushes to their lifeboats following the standard drill they had practised in case of an emergency. Ken got into Lifeboat 12 and with the 40 other people on board started his journey of surprise and adventure.

With water for only a week and limited food, will Ken and his companions make it to safety? Will someone come to rescue them? Read this book to find out.

Susan Hood’s Lifeboat 12 is a super quick read and an inspiring book. It captures all the emotions of people during times of a crisis beautifully. I liked the fact that it is written in verse which gives the book a whole new feeling. I would recommend this book to all World War II enthusiasts. 

Originally published on Goodreads

Featured Image Courtesy – Goodreads

I live in Mumbai, India with my parents. I enjoy coding, robotics, and play the drums. I also write articles and stories. I have written two books which are published and can be found on Amazon and Goodreads. Here is a link to my latest book.



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