So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Taffy of Torpedo Junction

Taffy of Torpedo Junction by Nell Wise Wechter
Taffy of Torpedo Junction is a children's book originally published in 1957 that tells of the time German U-boats preyed on the shipping routes off the North Carolina coast in 1942, sinking tankers, and other vessels bound for England. Taffy was based on the real life Carol White Dillon (1928- ), who is now the owner of the Outer Banks Motel in Buxton, NC, when she was a girl of 13. In 1942 the author Nell Wechter was a school teacher living in a boarding house run by Carol's mother.
At that time Hatteras Island was served by a ferry rather than a bridge and had no tourist industry. Mainlanders on the island were rare. In 1942 the Coast Guard and Nazi submarines brought the war to this tranquil setting with the sinking of more than 60 ships in a six month period. Taffy and her friends experience the war right off their shore as tankers explode in the night, bodies are washed ashore, and talk turns to saboteurs and spies. Although this is a children's book, it can be of interest to adults interested in this unique part of the war. Dennis Rogers of Raleigh's News and Observer called this book "The best piece of children's literature ever produced in this state."
Readers can see a picture of the current day Carol telling of the war here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/blairpub/3447424643/ and hear her talk about about it online: http://monitor.noaa.gov/obxtrail/carol.html.

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