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Writer and historian David Long is the author of the acclaimed Animals' VC: For Gallantry and Devotion and more than twenty other non-fiction books on a wide range of historical subjects. Jet the Rescue Dog the first of several titles for younger readers, was published by Faber in 2014. He lives in Suffolk and has two teenage sons.
Interest Age 8+ Reading Age 8 | Over one hundred years since it happened, the story of the sinking of the Titanic still grips the imagination. After all, as David Long says in this new book, ‘almost everything about [its sinking] sounded extraordinary’. Long is a Blue Peter Book Award winner and knows exactly how to describe the events to convey the facts, share the drama, and capture the effect on history. The book explains how the Titanic and her sister ships the Olympic and the Britannic, were designed to be both huge and luxurious, with details that bring this home – the ship was as long as three football pitches, there was a squash court, swimming pool and Turkish baths on its ten decks. There are human details too, such as the fact that passengers took advantage of its state-of-the-art technology to send 200 ‘Marconigrams’ from the ship to friends and family back home. Ably assisted by illustrator Stefano Tambellini, Long relates just how this extraordinary ship sank, but ends by describing the positive changes that came about as a result – new rules about lifeboats and drills, new rules for radio operators, new safety measures for ship design, all designed to prevent future tragedies. Together, it makes for a fascinating record of this unique story and remind us why the Titanic is the ship no-one can forget. Published by dyslexia specialist Barrington Stoke, this is accessible to all readers. Discover David Long's fascinating Apollo 13 space mission facts!
May 2020 Non-Fiction Book of the Month | Interest Age 8+ Reading Age 8 | It’s exactly fifty years since the infamous Apollo 13 space mission took off for the moon. For any young person who doesn’t know what happened – and indeed for those that do too – David Long’s retelling will keep them on the edge of their seats, awed by the challenges of space travel, and by the ingenuity and determination of those who work in it. Survival in Space describes with just the right level of detail, how a broken electrical wire led to the explosion that left astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise stranded 200,000 miles from home, and how they and the team on earth worked to engineer their eventual successful return. In Barrington Stoke style, this is accessible to all readers, including those with dyslexia, but is without any trace of simplification. David Long has a great track record in non-fiction and this will be another firm favourite. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 8+
Whether you travel on the London Underground every week (as millions do) or just once in a blue moon, this fascinating and beautifully illustrated book will intrigue you. It seamlessly mixes facts and human stories to explain the history of the tube from 1845, when Charles Pearson proposed an ‘Arcade Railway’ to cope with congestion on the roads, to today when 100 million people travel through Waterloo station alone every year. You’ll meet the people whose vision shaped the trains, their lines and the stations, and learn quirky facts about everything from lost property to ‘Mind the Gap’ announcements. Sarah McMenemy’s pen and ink illustrations are equally atmospheric whether representing passengers in Victorian times or today, and David Long, a Blue Peter Prize winner, knows just how to entertain and inform at the same time.
Winner of the Blue Peter Book Award 2017 - Best Books with Facts In a nutshell: jaw-dropping true stories; survival against the odds | Proof that true stories can be every bit as remarkable as the most fantastic fiction, David Long recounts twenty plus astonishing true life adventures; from different times, starring different types of people, and set in different parts of the world, they are all stories of incredible bravery, resilience and the strength of the human spirit. Those who managed to survive against the odds include Antarctic explorers, including Shackleton; people shipwrecked or stranded during the second World War; individuals caught in natural disasters; plus the remarkable girl who survived falling from a plane two miles high. Both terrifying and inspiring, the stories make compulsive reading and will leave young readers gasping. Kerry Hyndman’s colour illustrations make this handsome to look at too. ~ Andrea Reece On his Blue Peter win David Long said: he was “overjoyed” not least because he too grew up watching Blue Peter. “My sons never missed an episode, and now I’m going to visit the studio and meet the team. It’s fantastic news,” he said.
An amazing collection of 33 short stories about all kinds of animals and their exceptional feats of bravery in war time. In the title story which is set in the Blitz during the Second World War, Jet of Iada, an Alsatian from Liverpool, travels with his handler to help pull those trapped in bombed buildings to safely. Jet has a gift for finding those who are trapped. This combined with his bravery makes him the perfect dog for the job. There are many other remarkable dogs in this volume but also a cat, a bear and several birds who make a substantial contribution in times of conflict. ~ Julia Eccleshare
September 2014 Book of the Month An amazing collection of 33 short stories about all kinds of animals and their exceptional feats of bravery in war time. In the title story which is set in the Blitz during the Second World War, Jet of Iada, an Alsatian from Liverpool, travels with his handler to help pull those trapped in bombed buildings to safely. Jet has a gift for finding those who are trapped. This combined with his bravery makes him the perfect dog for the job. There are many other remarkable dogs in this volume but also a cat, a bear and several birds who make a substantial contribution in times of conflict.
Millions live there, millions more visit each year - but how many really know London? Do you know when Big Ben first bonged - or even who Ben was? Why the River Thames is so-called? Which top Nazi was locked up in the Tower? Or what runs through the more than 50 miles of train-size tunnels which ring the city, stretch further than the Channel Tunnel and lie deeper than the Tube - and, no, the answer's not trains. The world's first celebrity chef, its oldest club, the worst ever mockney accent, a chapel full of prizefighters and the last Prime Minister to challenge a rival to a duel with pistols - from the truth about Handel's ears to hippos living in Trafalgar Square, it's all in When Did Big Ben First Bong?, the ultimate trivia guide to the greatest city on Earth.
With a quarter of million cars a day crowding onto the M25, and millions more standing nose-to-tail on our A-roads, Britain is now officially Europe's largest car park. In Germany it's illegal to drive on a motorway at less than 37mph, but over here it can be a struggle even to reach such a speed during daylight hours. Over-stressed, over-taxed, with petrol at well over a pound a litre and the morning and evening rush hours merging into one, UK motorists have become the slaves of the machine rather than its master. People, even so, are still keen to go places - according to the Times the A-Z to of London is the most shoplifted book in Britain - and so far at least there's not better way of doing it than by car. Written with the suffering millions in mind, Blood, Sweat and Tyres is the antidote. Casting a wry eye over the world of modern motoring, and highlighting some of its strangest and more bizarre aspects, it seeks to put the sheer awfulness of commuting into some kind of perspective. Or at least to give the victims - motorists, their passengers, friends and families - something funny to read and to reflect on whilst they join the queue. Find out: why the most successful Le Mans driver of all time wishes he could race a 90 year old lady; why the Fab Three bullied Ringo into selling his favourite French supercar and how big a forest your average football team would need to plant to offset the massive carbon footprint of all the gas-guzzlers in the players' car park.
With 980 million passengers a year, more than 250 miles of track, literally hundreds of different stations and a history stretching back nearly 150 years, the world's oldest underground railway might seem familiar, but actually, how well do you know it? Do you know, for example, who the Queen sat next to when she first went on the Tube in 1939? Or what they did with all the earth dug out to make way for the Piccadilly Line? Or indeed why it is that without the common shipworm, Teredo navalis, the Tube network might not even exist? Thought not. But now, with 10,000 wacky facts at your fingertips, The Little Book of the London Underground will tell you everything you need to know - and plenty more that your probably don't.
The Little Book of London is a funny, fast-paced, fact-packed compendium full of the sort of frivolous, fantastic or simply strange information which no-one will want to be without. London's looniest laws, its most eccentric inhabitants, the realities of being royal and literally hundreds of wacky facts about the world's greatest city combine to make it required reading for visitors and locals alike.
Tunnels, Towers & Temples takes a sideways look at London, revealing the hidden stories, curious histories and sometimes comic assocations behind dozens of often quite familiar places. Through their stories, the author reveals a strange side of London most people never come to know, even though they walk its streets every day and take much of what they see entirely for granted. Typical examples include extensive networks of tunnels running beneath high street pavements, secret transport and signalling networks crisscrossing the capital, genuine oddities such as streetlamps powered by sewer gas, a street where you can legally drive on the right, a future Russian Tsar working incognito in a British naval dockyard, even a Nazi memorial sited among the real heroes and adventurers of the British Empire. This companion to Spectacular Vernacular: London's 100 Most Extraordinary Buildings is the best possible start for anyone who wishes to get off the beaten track and under the skin of the hidden city that is modern-day London.
Lifting the lid on London, Spectacular Vernacular reveals the stories behind its 100 strangest and most enigmatic buildings. Some are open to the public, if you know who to ask. Others remain strictly off-limits, thus heightening the sense of mystery surrounding them. But many are so familiar that few of us ever stop to consider just how curious they are. In the heart of Kensington, for example, a 300ft tower attracts few glances that even most locals don't know it's there. South of the river the city's widest building at nearly 1,000ft has been favourably compared to the Winter Palace at St Petersburg. And in Chelsea a medieval hall, once home to a king and moved brick by brick from the City to excape demolition, is now being remodelled as London's largest private house. Elsewhere one finds an arts centre built of old shipping containers, a Victiorian explorer lying dead in a tent, literally acres of secret undergound government offices, even a private tunnel used for running cable-cars under the Thames. Think you know London? Well, it's time to reconsider.
A respected writer of naval history, Long is most qualified to write this first biography of Mad Jack, an unusual and controversial figure in the early days of the U.S. Navy. Using family accounts and primary materials, Long recounts the 40-year naval career of this maverick naval officer and in doing so gives the low-down on how the Navy worked in its nascent years. Anyone interested in eighteenth and nineteenth century military history will find this engrossing reading. This popularly written but scholarly study covers the unusual Navy captain, whose career spanned the globe. Long provides a chronological account of Captain Percival's early years; his command during the War of 1812; his administrative duties at the Boston Navy Yard; his trips to the Pacific; mutinies; an incident with missionaries in Hawaii and the subsequent trial; cruises to the Caribbean; South America; and the Mediterranean; a trek around the world in the mid-1840s; his retirement; and his final years. Extensive notes and a bibliographical essay guide the reader to other important sources for those studying the period. Numerous maps are also provided.
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