Reviews of Big Water

“A riveting story of survival, friendship, and the power of the human spirit.”
—Caroline Pignat, Governor General’s Award–winning author

Big Water is a gripping adventure…Curtis manages to convey the horror of the experience in a believable way, but without being overly morbid…News accounts at the time tended to focus on the boy’s story rather than that of the girl. Curtis, by contrast, gives the heroine her due.”—Quill and Quire

“This story offers an interesting look at a piece of history and a compelling disaster narrative. The author taps into feelings not just of terror but determination and self-reflection, as Christina fights for her life in an increasingly grim lifeboat. A partnership with her fellow survivor helps move the plot along, and a mystery around his life adds some intriguing historical context…Curtis’ novel will make an exciting read for any historical-fiction fan.” —Booklist

“Curtis provides readers rich details of life in Victorian-era Canada…This novel adeptly combines historical fiction with a heavy dose of adventure and even some romance. A must-buy for where Victorian-era historical fiction or survivor tales are popular.”—School Library Journal

“Curtis has managed to engage the complex subject matters of mortality and grief in a surprisingly accessible and appropriate manner for young readers. Her philosophical observations on the topic manage to provoke thought and lend themselves well to the profundity of the historical event and the fictional representation. Curtis also throws in allusions to the poems ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ and ‘Kublai Khan’ by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, again demonstrating the intelligence behind this book, and its homage to romanticism and human virtue. Big Water is an excellent read for young readers and adults alike.”— Resource Links

“Curtis’ choice of the present tense brings immediacy, allowing readers to feel that they are going through the ordeal hand in hand with Christina. Presenting the story through Christina’s stream-of-consciousness brings the story “up close and personal” and allows readers to share Christina’s thoughts, fears and memories as they occur to her.”  * Recommended  —Ruth Latta, CM Magazine

“Andrea Curtis weaves together an intense story…. This novel has the reader ride the waves of a horrific shipwreck and dive into the hidden lives of two characters bound together by a terrible catastrophe…. Big Water carries its weight in emotions and suspense…. The novel is a great way to explore the many shipwrecks in Ontario and will engage readers who like historical fiction and survivalist themes.”— Recommended— Christine O’Sullivan, Canadian Children’s Book News


← back to main page