When the Dikes Broke

When the Dikes Broke

by Alta Halverson Seymour, Al Schmidt (Illustrator)
Publisher: Purple House Press
Trade Paperback, 113 pages
Price: $8.99

Historical Setting: The Netherlands, January 31, 1953

The wind was screaming around their house, banging at the shutters and threatening the roof, when the Van Rossem family went to bed. They were accustomed to heavy winds, the house was strong and solid, and the dikes that held back the sea were strong too. But during the night they woke to the sound of shrieking sirens and clanging church bells. Even more frightening was the water splashing right inside the house.

That was the beginning of a night of terror, and dreadful days followed. People were swept off their roofs, and clung to anything they could find in hopes of being rescued. Through it all, the people of the Netherlands rallied to search for the missing, and the dike army worked non-stop to prevent further disaster.

Alta Halverson Seymour wrote this gripping tale a short five years after the great flood swept over the Netherlands on January 31, 1953—their worst flood in over five hundred years. Through it all, the Dutch people showed great courage reclaiming homes and farms, in an agelong battle against the sea.

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