Big Water

Big Water

By Andrea Curtis

Inspired by the true story of one of the worst shipwrecks in the history of the Great Lakes, Big Water is a tale of survival, loss and love. When the passenger boat they are on sinks in a terrible fall storm, two 17-year-olds find themselves the only survivors. Adrift in a lifeboat full of corpses, Christina and Daniel must find a way to help one another if they both want to live.

*young adult fiction 12+

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

“Big Water is an excellent read for young readers and adults alike.”—Resource Links

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 & Quire

Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year list (2019) for 14 years+

Christy Ann Morrison was the only female survivor of the wreck of the Asia. She posed for this photo in a Toronto studio.

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Big Water is available everywhere great books are sold. Visit your local independent bookstore or order online.

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Discover the S.S. Asia

If you’d like to read more about the real life shipwreck that inspired Big Water, you’ll find information, links and resources below.

The steamboat Asia  sank in September 1882  (image from a postcard)

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I did an interview with Orca on the publisher’s blog. Check it out here.

Why did you write this book?

After I finished researching, writing and promoting my first book, Into the Blue: Family Secrets and the Search for a Great Lakes Shipwreck, I swore I’d never write about shipwrecks again. I’d worked for several years on the book and felt I’d exhausted my interest. But one story from my research stayed with me. It was the tragic tale of the S.S. Asia, one of the worst disasters in the history of the Great Lakes, with more than 100 people lost and only two survivors: a teenage boy and girl.

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For teachers & students


I co-wrote a song about a shipwreck with the singer/songwriter Tim Magwood. The song is called “Metamora,” and it’s named after a shipwreck from 1906 that rests on a rock in the middle of a wide inlet along Georgian Bay’s eastern shore.

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