Unsinkable is the remarkable story of Abby Sunderland, who at the age of 16 attempted to sail solo around the world. Let me just say at the beginning, I couldn't recommend this book enough! The book is very well written and moves at a very rapid pace. There are very few books I have read in the past years that I simply had to make myself put down so I wouldn't abandon all my other responsibilities in life. This is one of those books!
I have only been on a sailboat one time in my life (quite a funny story that took place in Hilton Head on my honeymoon), so I am very unfamiliar with much of the nautical terminology that is used in the book. Although, I did realize after reading the book that there was a nice section in the back of the book called "Brief Guide To Basic Nautical Terms." That would have been helpful as I read it. Even though I didn't know the terminology, it was written in such a way that I could picture it in my mind.
Far and away the greatest thing I took from this book was that young people can attempt to do amazing things, and probably should be challenged to do them. I recently reviewed a parenting book that I reviewed, but this book taught me more about parenting than that one. I think I often times keep my kids from doing things so that they would be safe, because that makes me feel better. It would probably be better for me to encourage them to think big as to what they could do in life. Abby's parents, Laurence & Marianne, from the time their kids were young sought to teach their kids responsibility instead of watching TV or playing video games. This developed in her a desire to attempt things that people said was impossible. Abby herself says,
"It seems like people my age are over-protected today. Even to the point where a lot of parents refuse to put their kids in the position to make important decisions, to aspire to great things, because they don't want to put them in a position to fail. I mean, there are all these minivans driving down the road with bumper stickers that say, 'My child was Student of the Week at Smith Elementary,' or whatever. But guess what? Every child gets to be student of the week. It's like we, as kids, aren't expected or required to reach higher, to be different, to do anything special in order to get some kind of warm, fuzzy award. It's just weird" (92-3).
She ends the book with these very thoughtful words:
"I'm living proof that not everything works out the way you planned. But I have learned an important truth: In stepping out and trying to achieve great things, the only way I can truly fail is never to try at all" (199).
Great book. You will be challenged if you read it. Let me leave you with a trailer for the book that might encourage you to purchase it and read it. Enjoy!
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