"Though this story of loss is set in the 1940s, its message is timeless." Horn Book
When Mrs. Linsay, the fourth-grade teacher at Beechwood School, asks the class to write letters to servicemen overseas, nine-year-old Molly Crenshaw immediately knows to whom she should write. Her next-door neighbor, Ted Walker, is a young naval officer stationed aboard the USS Albacore, a submarine somewhere far away in the Pacific Ocean.
While home on leave before being sent to the Pacific, Ted patiently answered the eager questions of all the Orchard Road children, showed them how to build a "snowsailor" complete with his own officer's hat, and gave Molly lessons in polishing her Sunday shoes.
Molly, her younger brother, Sam, and her friends at school, Amy and F.G., write faithfully to Ted every week. Molly decorates each envelope with a small sketch of Buttons, Ted's mother's Border collie.
Two days before Christmas, when Mrs. Walker receives an MIA telegram, Molly must confront one of the cruel realities of war that she had not foreseen: Ted may not be coming home.
Days turn into months, and when the war ends and Ted still has not returned, Molly seeks comfort in her memories and learns the importance of sharing anecdotes with the other children so that Ted will live on through their stories.
Based on the true story of author Louise Borden's uncle, Theodore Taylor Walker, who died when his submarine, the USS Albacore, struck a mine in the Pacific, Across the Blue Pacific: A World War II Story is a sensitive exploration of a timely issue: how the people left at home during war manage their fear, and how they may ultimately cope with the loss of a friend or family member in the military service.
Accompanied by beautiful watercolor illustrations by Robert Andrew Parker, this book serves both as a touching and artistic portrait of a sad loss and as an important lesson, gently taught, on how to preserve the memory of a loved one.
has written many books that remember the past, including, most recently, The Journey That Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H. A. Rey
"I think that the best kind of writing comes from inside writers," Borden says. "All of my books touch my life in some way. They often come from personal experience, or in the case of my historical books, from a deep interest in a certain subject."
Borden graduated from Denison University with a degree in history. She lives in Terrace Park, Ohio. Her Web site is www.louiseborden.com