In this historical novel, Welsh uses a supernatural flair to help describe the days following the tragedy of the General Slocum steamship disaster on June 15, 1904. Fifteen-year-old Mallory Meer is one of many residents of New York City’s Little Germany who died aboard the steamship on the East River. Mallory acts as the narrator as she finds herself in the spirits of others, knowing their memories, feeling their pain, and even recognizing their joys. She witnesses the townspeople as they struggle to find someone to blame for starting the fire that resulted in the destruction of the General Slocum. Most are quick to lay blame on Dustin, the young Jewish boy that shared in Mallory’s first kiss moments before her death. The time and place are well-drawn in this brief detailed novel, and the similarities of the pain and destruction in New York City between June 15, 1904 and September 11, 2001 are touching. This story of the steamship disaster is told with a unique feel that readers will likely enjoy.
Call number: YA WELSH (Teen Room)