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Book Review: Radio Rescue by Lynn Barasch


Book Review

Radio Rescue by Lynn Barasch (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000)

Ages 7-12

Here's a question that captures the imagination of almost any child: how can a kid, stuck in the mundane world of home and school, be part of a real adventure? Radio Rescue tells the true story of the author's father, who in 1923, at the age of ten, became a wireless (ham) radio operator - the youngest ever licensed at that time.

The story tells how hard he worked to learn Morse code well enough to pass the licensing exam, and how he set up his "shack." As the story unfolds, he chats with operators around the world, communicates in Morse code via flashlight with navy ships anchored in the Hudson river, and helps to rescue a family stranded by a flood.

The book does a great job of giving kids a sense of what communication was like in the 1920s. The illustrations are cartoon but include a picture of the boy's radio license, a page of morse code abbreviations, and of course the complete Morse code.

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