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The Cruise of the Blue Dolphin

It's 1933 during the grimmest days of the Depression, and the Chandler family is at a turning point. Nina Chandler's father has been fired, her mother is convinced he is having an affair, and the eldest of her siblings will soon be leaving for college. Rather than watch the family shatter, Nina's father decides to set sail on a grand voyage at sea to escape the Depression and to thrive and prosper on their own terms. Aboard the sailing yacht, the Blue Dolphin, the Chandlers cruise the eastern coast of the United States, around the islands of the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal into the Pacific, down to the Galapagos, and back home again. On their voyage they encounter adventure in many forms: a hurricane, a few sharks, hostile ports of call, and of course, themselves.
An insightful narrator, thirteen-year-old Nina introduces us to her rather eccentric family, as well as the sailors of the Blue Dolphin. Together, this unlikely crew celebrates the strength of American character and the ability of individuals and families to flourish even in the worst of times.
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About the Author

NINA CHANDLER MURRAY returned from her voyage and later completed a doctorate in school psychology. She was a lecturer at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Medical Center before retiring. Dr. Chandler lives in Nantucket, Massachusetts.


Retired psychologist Murray waited almost 70 years to write about her experiences as a 13 year old sailing with her family on a chartered schooner in 1933 down the East Coast of the United States, around the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, down to the Galapagos Islands, and back home again. Narrated by the author (then a precocious teenager whose family's wealth made such a journey possible in the middle of the Depression), the account is based on the journal she kept during the voyage, family letters, the journal of a member of the crew, and the memories of her siblings. She recalls storms, exotic ports of call, people encountered along the way, and the interactions of all those aboard the Blue Dolphin. The book is competently written, with fluent dialog and narrative structure, but its being based on the observations of a young teenager may limit its interest. Recommended as a YA title for public libraries.-John McCormick, New Hampshire State Lib., Concord Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

"All 13 year olds have a unique experience of the world. But few sailed with their family around the Western Hemisphere in 1933 and only Nina Chandler Murray has fashioned a remarkable account of her travel adventures."--Howard Gardner

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