The Bravest Woman in America

by Marissa Moss and Andrea U'Ren

Young Ida Lewis loved the sea and longed to go with her father, a lighthouse keeper,... read more

Young Ida Lewis loved the sea and longed to go with her father, a lighthouse keeper, to check the light. He would only take her if she could row the distance from shore, so the stubborn, determined girl set out to prove she could. “It was slow. It was hard. Her shoulders ached and her hands blistered.” But she did it. From that day on she regularly accompanied him, often rowing to improve her strength and skill. She was fifteen when her family moved to the Lime Rock Lighthouse. When her father became ill, Ida and her mother took over the light, and Ida kept watch for boats in distress. When she saw a sailboat capsize, sending four boys into the ice cold water, Ida enacted a dramatic rescue, rowing out and hauling them all safely into her boat. In an author’s note following this account, Marissa Moss notes this was the first of a number of rescues with which Ida was credited over her lifetime. Moss’s lively narrative is illustrated by Andrea U’Ren, whose illustrations are particularly adept at capturing land- and seascapes. (Ages 5–8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2012

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