Read Lightship by Brian Floca Online


You may never have heard of a lightship. Once, lightships anchored on waters across America, on the oceans and in the Great Lakes, floating where lighthouses could not be built. Smaller than most ships, but more steadfast, too, they held their spots, through calm and storm, to guide sailors toward safe waters. In these pages one lightship and her crew (and cat) again holdYou may never have heard of a lightship. Once, lightships anchored on waters across America, on the oceans and in the Great Lakes, floating where lighthouses could not be built. Smaller than most ships, but more steadfast, too, they held their spots, through calm and storm, to guide sailors toward safe waters. In these pages one lightship and her crew (and cat) again hold their place. The crew goes again from bow to stern, from keel to mast, to run their engines, shine their lights, and sound their horns. They run the small ship that guides the large ships. They are the crew (and cat) that work to make the ocean safe, that hold their place, so other ships can sail. Come aboard!...

Title : Lightship
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781416924364
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 48 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Lightship Reviews

  • (NS) - Heather Hayman
    2019-06-22 06:29

    This powerful story, written by Brian Floca, is an actual nonfiction account of a lightship, which was once anchored across America. It travelled to places where lighthouses were impossible to be built in order to guide ships into safer water. The illustrations literally make you feel as though you are one of the crewmen, where life is depicted aboard one of these vessels. Whether they are cooking, sleeping or working, you become a part of their daily operation. This book also brings to life the hazards involved and is fascinating to every child who ever showed interest in the sea. The illustrations are so gripping in this book that you are simply drawn to it. It is not only filled with wonderful text, but is extremely educational as well. Fabulous nonfiction material for primary grades is not always easy to find, but this is a must on the list for any classroom library. Any kid with any type of interest in maritime topics will be fully engaged in this book time and again.

  • Daniela
    2019-06-11 10:22

    Excellent description of the old lightships that used to lead ships safely into harbor without moving. A good narrative nonfiction read aloud with plenty of details to help you understand the subject. Read to K-2 students. Several made the connection with lighthouses.

  • Brenda
    2019-05-31 09:31

    A Lightship was used to mark navigational where it wasn't possible to build a lighthouse. They no longer exist. This book is well illustrated with friendly colors. The text was simple but interesting. Also, the author's note at the beginning and end inform the reader (parent or teacher) so that the child can learn even more background about these historic ships. My husband loved the book and we both wished we had owned it when our kids were little. Even with the simplicity of the book - this might be a nice visual history to accompany units about the ocean or ships. As I read it, I kept thinking about the little lightships as symbols of hope and light - perhaps the book could represent such a theme to older students.

  • Heather
    2019-06-23 07:23

    I was intrigued by Brian Floca's Lightship because they are mentioned several times in Arthur Ransome's Peter Duck which is part of the Swallows and Amazons series. I didn't have a good understanding of what they do until I read Floca's book. And he even slips in some tribute to Edward Ardizzone to the delight of observant fans. He is one of my new favorite authors. Check out his other books like Locomotive and Moonshot.

  • Jim
    2019-05-29 08:44

    Terrific book about a vessel i'd not heard of - lightships. Floating lighthouses required to wait in place no matter the weather. Floca's writing builds suspense.Why do they wait?

  • Becky B
    2019-06-01 13:31

    Before machines were built that could float in places that needed a lighthouse but where a lighthouse couldn't be built, there were lightships. Floca tells what life was like for a crew on a lightship and the important role they played on the seas.There's a group of young readers absolutely fascinated by any kind of transportation. This is a good nonfiction pick for those readers who think they've read about all the cars, planes, and boats out there. The book also serves to record for modern memory a historic service that has faded from common knowledge.

  • Sarah
    2019-06-16 09:34

    In the narrative nonfiction style that he wrote Locomotive, Floca teaches us about lightships that were used to warn ships in places where lighthouses could not be built. Love his art style too. Guaranteed to please gear-heads and boat lovers. Nonfiction text feature: diagram and labels

  • Rachel Smith
    2019-06-21 10:38

    Brian Floca creates some cool children’s lit that show distinct characteristics of ships and other locomotives and mechanical things. Students who fancy mechanics of any kind get to dive into a deeper look at the creations that fascinate them and their purpose. I like this one especially because it’s unique and introduces readers to a particular ship they may have not heard of.

  • Mary
    2019-06-02 05:49

    I love finding quality non-fiction picture books for my boys. So many of the fact-based non-fiction books are super short and uninspiring. LIGHTSHIP has engaging illustrations with a central narrative that unfolds as the reader learns about the ship and her crew.

  • Justine
    2019-05-31 07:32

    Title: LightshipAuthor: Brian FlocaGenre: Sibert MedalTheme(s): Loyalty, companionship, teamworkOpening line/sentence: “Here is a ship that holds her place.”Brief Book Summary: Lightship is an informational book that takes readers on a journey. Ambrose is a ship that holds her place. She is a lightship that keeps the night sea lit up. The books is about the crew and the hardships that come and go when floating in the sea. Professional Recommendation/Review #1: The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (Starred Review):What could possibly be the raison d'être of a ship that puts out to sea and then, well, stays put (“She holds to one sure spot as other ships sail by. She waits”)? As Floca guides his audience on a tour of the Ambrose, viewers begin to understand just what she’s waiting for—the need to warn passing vessels that danger is imminent. Most of her time is spent in patience, keeping the engines and crew in working order, keeping the anchor in position, and dodging (with the occasional salvo of salty verbiage: “#@*%&!”) the huge cargo ships that barrel down upon her closer than they should. But “when the fog comes creeping in, the crew knows what to do. They sound their horn so loud the whole ship SHAKES” (“BEEOOH,” says the sound bubble for the horn in huge letters) so the other ships at sea will navigate past underwater perils and safely into port. While the prose unreels in graceful simplicity, line-and-watercolor paintings capture the inner working of the Ambrose and the changeable environment in which she stands guard. Even the endpapers are worth close inspection, featuring a labeled cutaway view of the Ambrose, from the deck hoist fore to the gin rummy game aft. Listeners are bound to be so caught up in the immediacy of the present-tense narration that Floca’s revelation in a concluding note may come as a bit of a disappointment—the last lightship station was closed down in 1983. Still, there’s always room in the picture-book collection for books about heroes past or present, and these guys will stand up (okay, float) with the best of them. EBProfessional Recommendation/Review #2:The Horn Book:Unlike many ships, which set sail and go interesting places, the job a lightship is to hold its place at sea. When other ships might try to avoid bad weather, it’s the job of a lightship to stay put and “sound their horn so loud the whole ship SHAKES.” Without running aground on the shoals of too much or too little information, Floca skillfully details the crew, equipment, and routine for all aboard. He’s especially good at working in extra information through pictures with a minimum of words—a dinghy approaches, with a speech balloon saying “Mail’s here!” (Speech balloons also catch the authentic flavor of seaboard dialogue, as when a larger ship comes too close and a sailor on the lightship shakes his fist and lets fly with “#@*%&!”) The watercolor-and-ink illustrations gracefully depict the beauty of the ocean on both calm and turbulent days as well as the massive vessels the lightship protects, all seen from many perspectives. Endpapers include a cross-section diagram labeling everything from the gin rummy game taking place in the stern to the anchor at the bow, and an author’s note at the end explains (in letters too tiny for most child readers) that the last U.S. lightship was retired in 1983, making the present tense of the main text a decidedly odd choice. Susan Dove Lempke.Response to Two Professional Reviews: I agree with the reviews in that the illustrations are very beautiful. I definitely think that the focus of the book is the illustrations because the words that accompany each page are very minimal and simple. Floca did a great job educating readers about what lightships did in a very fun, but touching way. There are a lot of emotions felt on each page about trust and teamwork. Evaluation of Literary Elements: One thing I really loved about this book was end pages. As soon as you open the book, there was a beautiful water color illustration of the Ambrose with each part of the ship labeled. Because this book is targeted for students ages 3-7, I think an end page such as this definitely keeps young readers interested. Rather than explaining in long text, having labels makes it easier to learn the parts of the ship. As mentioned in the section above, the text throughout the book is not too difficult. There is minimal text and it is very simple, which allows children more time to look at the pictures on each page.Consideration of Instructional Application: I was never aware of the role that lightships played until I came across this book. A great lesson would be to first show children a video of what lightships do such as this: then read the book. Afterwards, students can draw and write about what they learned. Even thought this book was targeted for a younger age group, I definitely think this activity would be more appealing for grades 2-4, especially because the video I plan to show with it is a little complex for pre-schoolers.

  • Benjamin Elliott
    2019-06-23 12:45

    clean attractive illustrations, and the factual text is given a flow and lightness that makes it easy to read.

  • Lydiathekicker
    2019-05-31 06:38

    Lighthouses and lightSHIPS. Who knew? The last lightship retired in 1983. Interesting read.

  • Rosemary Szczygiel
    2019-06-09 08:49

    Pre-K - 3 Picture book. Why wouldn't I give this book 5 stars? Only technical correctness remains the one criticism to address, and I cannot address that. If the parts of the ship and the daily life of the crew is described correctly, that's great. Still, it's a great story of a great boat, with a great job (keeping others safe) and the illustrations are fantastic! Floca is a watercolor master.

  • Ekassel
    2019-06-06 10:51

    1. Genre and Age Level: This is a concept book about lightships. It could also be considered historical fiction, as lightships do not exist anymore. It should be used for upper elementary (2nd-4th), even though it is labeled as ages 4-7. 2. Summary: This book tells the story of lightships, explaining the job of these ships. The life of a sailor on these ships is explained and a tour of the ship is given through illustrations in the book. 3. Curriculum Connection: This book would be appropriate for a lesson on ships, particularly during the 19th and 20th centuries. Technology can also be incorporated, as these ships no longer exist and have been replaced by new technology. This book is also a good introduction to nonfiction literature. 4. Critiquea. Literary Area for comment: Accuracy b. The factual information is indeed accurate, as it describes the many parts of the lightship. It is appropriate for elementary students because it presents this information in an easy to understand story format that helps them from becoming overwhelmed. The text and the illustrations work together to accurately portray life at sea for a lightship. One negative, however, is that lightships no longer exist, and this is not mentioned in the main text. It is explained in the author’s note at the end, but the average elementary reader would probably not come to the conclusion that this is a historical book. c. The author puts much work into making this story as accurate as possible. To begin, the endpaper contain labeled illustrations of a lightship, showing where everything is on the ship. Actual symbols from navigational charts were used on the first title page. The author based the story and illustrations on a real lightship, Light Vessel 87, found docked at the South Street Seaport Museum in New York City.

  • Janna Gifford
    2019-06-11 09:37

    Lightship by Brian Floca is a nonfiction book that won the 2008 The Tobert Sibert Award Book. This book is intended for the primary age level. The book is about a ship that would stay at one place to act as a lighthouse to guide ships. This book talks about the crew and their life aboard the ship. I would rate this book with four stars based on the illustrations and the theme. I think that this book is great for young children to get a sense of the ships history as well as there is a diagram of the ship that tells the children what every part of the ship is called. I think that the illustrations were bright and colorful and they will capture children’s attention. I thought that it was really cute that the author added in the crew a cat because then the children get excited about the cat. I really think that this will engage a lot of the boy’s attention because then they all will look at the ocean and the ships and want to learn more about the crew. I think that there is some language that will have to be explained to the children, especially the swear bubbles as well as the names for some of the parts of the ship. I would love using this book in the classroom since the children can have an interest in marine life as well as using this book to educate the students about ships. I wish that there was more factual information that was provided and not just in the author's note at the end. The children will love this book because of the illustrations that are shown throughout the book.

  • Rachel
    2019-06-20 06:24

    The first thing you see when you open up the cover is an illustration naming the parts of a boat. A good start which will catch the attention of many a young boy. Floca phrases his story to benefit from the fact that most people don`t know what a lightship is. Why? is constantly in the back of our minds. First he goes about the ship showing what the crew is doing, every so often reminding us that the boat remains anchored to the same place no matter what. Only when the fog rolls in does the purpose of the aptly named lightship become clear. As is explained in the author's note, lightships were used in places "where a lighthouse could not be built." Historical information is also included here. The author does not glorify this life, rather he gives some sense of the monotony, the dedication, the danger, and the importance of this duty. His watercolour illustrations too, while at times beautiful or even humourous, try to give the same impression. This was hard work. Floca does a wonderful job of focusing on the subject, giving the necessary information, as well as a sense of the experience.

  • Carmine
    2019-06-16 12:48

    There once were ships that did not travel to distant ports, that did not carry passengers or cargo, but gave their all to hold their place through fair weather and fowl to mark a sure spot for other ships to set course by. At one time lightships were anchored near harbors around the US in places where lighthouses couldn’t be built including locally off the mouth of the Columbia River and near Cape Flattery. Author/illustrator Brian Floca celebrates these hardworking vessels with his sparse text and watercolors in this fascinating look at a forgotten piece of maritime history. The last lightship station was decommissioned in 1983.a bit more about lightships off the Washington coast from being stationed on a lightship was very, very harsh work. The Coast Guard eventually shortened a tour of duty from 4 months to 30 days. In foggy weather, it was difficult to sleep through the bone rattling blast of the fog horn and in weather they could not seek a sheltered cove but rode out even the worst.

  • L12_sarah
    2019-06-08 09:29

    Lightshipis the story of lightships, which are ships that serve the purpose of lighthouses in locations where building a lighthouse is not feasible. The book describes what each member of a lightship does, what life aboard a lightship is like, and why lightships are so valuable. According to the author's note, the last lightship was retired in 1983, so these historical ships are no longer in use. However, Light Vessel 87 is one such lightship that is on display in New York city and on which the author based this story.The watercolor pictures of the book are nice, but the story is not much of a story, as it lacks a clear story arc. One interesting moment for a children's book occurs toward the middle of the book, when a steamer almost runs over a lightship and a lightship crew member yells out in a speech bubble: "#@*%&!" Most children would probably not know what these symbols mean, so they would have to be explained, which begs the question, are they really necessary? Does the crew member HAVE to swear at the other ship?

  • Hannah Rich
    2019-06-19 08:22

    This informational book provides the readers with simple facts about life on a lightship. Brian Floca not only states the information about this ship through text, but he also uses illustrations to relay the information. I love how beginning and end of the book illustrate a skeleton image of the ship and all of its compartments (which are also labeled). Floca states the individuals who work on the ship, some of the different rooms, what happens on the deck, etc. Furthermore, towards the beginning and end of the picture book, Floca repeats the phrase, "She does not sail from port to port. She does not carry passengers or mail or packages. She holds to one sure spot another ships sail by. She waits." By repeating this phrase, the reader will make a reference that this is probably an important piece of information about a lightship, which could maybe even stand as a definition. I love how at the end of the book, an author not is provided which further explains more detailed information on lightships and what they were used for. The last lightship station was discontinued in 1983.

  • Lynsey
    2019-06-06 07:21

    3rd-6th gradeThis book talks about the workers aboard the ship and how they keep it running. The share the importance of the ship and stress the most valuable part is that the ship keeps her perfect spot. The book is easy to read however, I think that most children aren’t going to be familiar with the vocabulary used for total understand. The illustrations are very sketch like to me and are again filled with what appears to be watercolor. Kids would enjoy this book because most children are fascinated by the sea and ships. It has just enough to keep their interest but enough of a challenge they may investigate further for greater understanding.Classroom Connection=Language Arts- Look up unknown vocabulary and make flashcards to quiz each otherArt- Make a ship out of popsicle sticks and paper then paint it.

  • Sarah Hutchinson
    2019-06-05 11:47

    This informational book is great way to introduce the different kinds of ships used at sea. The book goes through the different types of jobs found on a lightship and in a creative way reveals the purpose for this type of ship. This book would be great for a unit on ships and going over the many different type of ships there are and their uses. The illustrations for this book are great for students to see what different types of things happen on ships and how many different types of rooms there are. The front and back pages of the book have diagrams labeling what each part of the ship is and where is they are located. This book is a great informational projects that children can do but I would not use this book as read aloud. I would recommend this book for 2nd grade through 4th grade.

  • Dannie Gonzalez
    2019-05-28 13:44

    This short picture book is fun to read and informational as well! Great read for students who are in their early reading years. Floca makes great use of his watercolor images and his double page spreads to emphasize the importance of lightships. In the story, the lightship is personified making the reader feel an attachment to the ship itself. Moreover, this short story is based on an actual lightship, the Ambrose, stationed across America, therefore the authenticity of the book is incredible. Floca remarkably ties together information with creativity making the learning of historical lightships entertaining and appealing to younger children. Greatly recommend this book for younger children!

  • Becky
    2019-06-24 08:51

    A lightship was a floating lighthouse. They were used in the United States from the 1820s to 1983, lightships did not sail, but made it so others could sail safely. They were anchored wherever a lighthouse could not be built, but where there where "underwater hazards or shipping channels" needed to be shown. Life on a lightship was hard due to cramped quarters, long tours do duty, and rough weather. The weather could be especially tough, because when other ships would sail into port, the lightship was especially needed to stand her ground.Floca's book shows, both in words and illustrations, what life aboard a lightship would have been like.

  • Courtney
    2019-05-25 13:46

    I did not know what to expect going into this book. Nonfiction pertaining to the mechanical working of things has never really appealed to me, nor did I have any idea what the function of a lightship actually was. In reality, I was pleasantly surprised by Flocca's work. He turned the workings of the Lightship into a vibrant story, coupled with in-depth, eye-catching illustrations. The illustrations also contain many hidden surprises, which is sure to please the younger crowd. I could see this book being a valuable resource for 3rd through 5th graders.PS Lightships are what they used before lighthouses, they operated as floating lighthouses, if you will.

  • Kathryn
    2019-06-21 12:42

    Though I didn't love this quite as much as Floca's "Moonshot" this is a very nice tribute to the lightships that helped protect other ships at sea for many years before they were retired thanks to newer technology. I really didn't know anything about the lightships--basically, a ship very different than every other ship--it isn't meant to travel, it must stay fixed, a floating lighthouse. Floca does a wonderful job, in few words and personable illustrations, of conveying the special spirit of those who served on lightships. An author's note at the end explains more details and the overall history of lightships.

  • Abby Crompton
    2019-05-31 11:26

    In Lightship the author informs readers of what exactly a lightship is. The author tells of information such as: all the people on the ship, what life is like on the ship and the weather conditions. The author emphasizes how other ships pass by the lightship but the lightship stays anchored in one place. In the end the author explains how when the fog rolls in the ship honks its horn and shines its light so other ships can it make it home safely. It is illustrated beautifully and a very fun book that can teach readers about Lightships. I would highly recommend!

  • Eva Kelly
    2019-06-14 09:49

    Wow, was THIS one ever interesting! It's about a boat that warns other boats, like a lighthouse. I just felt like I could look at the pictures forever! It really really made me want to go on a boat, especially when it's snowing. But then I like being ANYWHERE when it's snowing.I liked the way the cat was in almost every picture. It was like playing I Spy trying to find him. And he was always in the picture.This was a really good one and I had no idea that it would be. It just looked like it might be good and guess what? It WAS good. Those are the best ones.

  • Reet Champion
    2019-06-09 09:25

    My opinion is one is never too old for picture books. So DON'T give me THAT look.In all seriousness, this was a fun little book. A great way for young learners to become acquainted with lightships while having engaging illustrations to view, as well.The reason four the four-star rating is due to a section where the lightship is nearly run down and a crewman is swearing, albeit the word(s) is replaced with symbols. This was unnecessary in my opinion and could have been left out altogehter

  • Luann
    2019-05-26 06:32

    Did you know there used to be ships that acted as lighthouses in places where lighthouses couldn't be built? I had no idea! This book is very interesting and informative, yet the text is quite simple. The illustrations are great! Lots of fun details, and students can play "find the cat." I especially liked the page showing the cat walking along the deck underneath the sentence "And when the fog comes creeping in..." Shades of Carl Sandburg. There is also an author's note at the end explaining the history of the lightship.

  • Meredith
    2019-06-04 05:27

    It must be very hard to write nonfiction books for very young readers. It must be hard, because there aren't very many, and many of the ones that exist aren't very good. Brian Floca came to the library today (he's very handsome-a meaningless but potentially interesting fact), and since I'd never read any of his books before, I thought I'd give this a shot. It's a very good nonfiction picture book. Interesting, informative, great illustrations, and minimal text. I could read this out loud! To children! Good stuff. I'll be checking out more of his books.