Left for Dead
By Peter Nelson
(Delacorte Books for Young Readers, Paperback, 9780385730914, 224pp.)
Publication Date: November 11, 2003
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Just after midnight on July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. The ship sank in 14 minutes. More than 1,000 men were thrown into shark-infested waters. Those who survived the fiery sinking—some injured, many without life jackets—struggled to stay afloat in shark-infested waters as they waited for rescue. But the United States Navy did not even know they were missing. The Navy needed a scapegoat for this disaster. So it court-martialed the captain for “hazarding” his ship. The survivors of the Indianapolis knew that their captain was not to blame. For 50 years they worked to clear his name, even after his untimely death. But the navy would not budge—until an 11-year-old boy named Hunter Scott entered the picture. His history fair project on the Indianapolis soon became a crusade to restore the captain’s good name and the honor of the men who served under him.
Pete Nelson is the author of 18 books of fiction and nonfiction and has written for numerous magazines. His most recent adult book is That Others May Live (Random House).
“Two history lessons run concurrently through this exciting, life-affirming book about war heroics and justice . . . which proves without question the impact one student can have on history.”—Booklist
“Young readers . . . will no doubt be inspired by the youth’s tenacity—and by the valor of those who served on the Indianapolis.”—The Horn Book Magazine