Project Description


The Wreck of the Ethie

by Hilary Hyland
illustrated by Paul Bachem

“It was an avalanche of water bearing down on them, rushing toward them. The pillar of water grew higher and higher…As if daring the sea to their final battle, the captain swung the Ethie around to face her enemy head on. All aboard saw the wave surge…”

In 1919, just before Christmas, the S.S. Ethie departs Port Saunders, Newfoundland, for St. John’s Harbor with ninety-two passengers and crew, all eager to be reunited with family for the holidays. After several difficult days at sea, a violent winter storm casts the coastal steamer Ethie onto rocks one-half mile off the jagged cliffs of northwest Newfoundland.

Guided by his fisherman master, and following his own instincts, Skipper, a hardworking and courageous Newfoundland dog, braves the icy, dangerous waters to carry a lifeline from the sinking ship to shore. A seat is rigged to this cable, which carries each person onboard to safety. All 92 passengers and crew were saved from probable death in the icy Atlantic waters by the actions of this brave dog.

In this minute-by-minute fictionalized account of the S.S. Ethie’s dramatic voyage, the author vividly brings the adventure to life, showing the spirit of survival amongst the passengers and crew, as well as the strength and determination of a poor fishing family and their courageous dog to save those ninety-two souls.

Paperback: $7.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-198-2
Total Pages: 115
Size: 6 x 9
Language: English
Format: E-book
ISBN: 978-1-56145-678-9
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English

Purchase this E-book through the following vendors:

Baker & Taylor
Barnes & Noble
Recorded Books

Accelerated Reader
AR Quiz#: 36397
AR Reading Level: 5.8
AR Points: 3

F&P (Fountas & Pinnell)
F&P Level: S
F&P Grade: 4

Reading Counts
Reading Counts Level: 5.1
Reading Counts Points: 6
Reading Counts Interest Level: 3-5


“The fast-paced action, easy reading level, and black-and-white drawings will appeal to reluctant readers.” ―School Library Journal


Dog Writers Association of America Writing Competition (children’s book category) ―Dog Writers Association of America 2000

Georgia Children’s Book Award (nominee) ―University of Georgia 2000-2001

Volunteer State Book Awards (master list, 4-6) ―Tennessee Association of School Librarians 2002-2003

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Meet the Author

Hilary Hyland is the author of the award-winning book,The Wreck of the Ethie. A popular speaker, she has given author presentations at more than 200 schools. She lives in Virginia. You can visit her website here.

Meet the Illustrator

Paul Bachem has worked for many years as an award-winning freelance illustrator, producing work for most of the major book and magazine publishers. He lives in New York. You can visit his website here.