The Halifax Explosion

On December 6, 1917, two ships collided in Halifax harbour, resulting in the largest man-made explosion prior to the development of the atomic bomb. The story and scope of the disaster and its aftermath is revealed in fiction and non-fiction narratives for both adults and children in these selections from the collection of the Cape Breton Regional Library.
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This is the unforgettable story told in John U. Bacon's The Great Halifax Explosion: a ticktock account of fateful decisions that led to doom, the human faces of the blast's 11,000 casualties, and the equally moving individual stories of those who lived and selflessly threw themselves into urgent rescue work that saved thousands.

The Great Halifax Explosion by John U. "The astonishing true story of history's largest manmade explosion before the atomic bomb, and its world-changing aftermath, from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author John U.

Barometer Rising by Hugh Maclennan. In the winter of 1917, Penelope Wain is convinced her love, Neil Macrae, is dead--killed in action while serving overseas. That he apparently died in disgrace does not alter her love for the soldier who, unbeknownst to her, has returned to Halifax to clear his name, only days before a catastrophic explosion in the Harbour will forever change their lives.

Barometer Rising by Hugh Maclennan. In the winter of 1917, Penelope Wain is convinced her love, Neil Macrae, is dead--killed in action while serving overseas. That he apparently died in disgrace does not alter her love for the soldier who, unbeknownst to her, has returned to Halifax to clear his name, only days before a catastrophic explosion in the Harbour will forever change their lives.

The Halifax Explosion took place on December 6, 1917 when a French munitions ship and a Belgian relief vessel collided in the harbour and exploded, killing more than 1600 people instantly, wounding more than 9000 others, and damaging or destroying approximately 12,000 buildings.  This book details the devastation and the aftermath. It encompasses dozens of previously unpublished stories, photographs, and documents, along with some thought-provoking coverage of the inquiry into the disaster.

The Halifax Explosion took place on December 6, 1917 when a French munitions ship and a Belgian relief vessel collided in the harbour and exploded, killing more than 1600 people instantly, wounding more than 9000 others, and damaging or destroying approximately 12,000 buildings. This book details the devastation and the aftermath. It encompasses dozens of previously unpublished stories, photographs, and documents, along with some thought-provoking coverage of the inquiry into the disaster.

From award-winning author Steven Laffoley comes a compelling tale of love and loss, despair and hope, based on real people and real events. It brings to life one of the most extraordinary stories of our time - The Halifax Explosion.

Availability: Blue tattoo : a novel / Steven Laffoley.

This is the story of 11-year-old Jess. She lives with her family in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in a house overlooking Halifax Harbour. The First World War is raging in Europe, and the harbour has become a shelter for supply ships. It is there that they form convoys for the long and dangerous voyage across the Atlantic. One morning in December 1917, everything changes and Jess's world is turned upside down. Gr. 2-4

Availability: Hope and survival : a story of the Halifax explosion / story and guilt art by Laurie Swim.

On December 6, 1917,  Canada's worst disaster struck, as two ships -- one carrying high explosives -- collided. The explosion killed and injured thousands, razing the city's North End and destroying nearly everything in its path. The story of the worst human-made explosion before Hiroshima is the account of tremendous human suffering and devastation, yet also of human bravery and survival against all odds.

Availability: Explosion in Halifax Harbour, 1917 / Dan Soucoup.

December 1917 is a photographic guide to the Halifax Explosion by noted local historians Janet Kitz and Joan Payzant. The authors profile locations in both Halifax and Dartmouth that were affected by the explosion, looking at the role of the explosion in the transformation of the two cities. Stories and anecdotes reveal the ways in which the explosion touched the lives of citizens, and original research brings to light new aspects of the explosion.

Availability: December 1917 : re-visiting the Halifax explosion / Janet Kitz and Joan Payzant.

One lucky explosion survivor, ten-year-old newsie Macky, has a key job to do-- get the news out. The beautiful and compelling illustrations in this book help tell the story of what it was like to be a working child of ten in the city that day. Macky, an unreliable and fun-loving boy, has to deliver the news to a confused and wrecked city where the only way to know what happened to missing loved ones was to read the local newspaper.

Explosion Newsie - Share the adventure of a ten-year-old boy who must save the day by getting the news out after the city exploded!

Produced by the Canada: A People's History, this 1-hour documentary  shows the horror, bravery, and destruction of the Halifax Explosion of 1917. Using  stories and descriptions of the day and its aftermath, it is dramatic and moving. Survivors re-live the day with astonishingly vivid memories. Newsreel cameras rushed to film the search for the living amidst the ruins. Still cameras recorded the post-explosion wasteland, the faces of the living and the dead, and the re-building of the city.

Canadian Experience: City of Ruins - The Halifax Explosion

Scapegoat. The Extraordinary Legal Proceedings Following the 1917 Halifax Explosion . The vilification of harbour Pilot Francis Mackey.

Scapegoat. The Extraordinary Legal Proceedings Following the 1917 Halifax Explosion . The vilification of harbour Pilot Francis Mackey.

The little tree in this story that grew on a hill in a city by the sea, becomes a beacon of hope, perseverance and the human spirit. This tale follows a little tree who with the help of some friends will connect with the people of Boston, who's kindness was felt immediately after the explosion, creating a special friendship that will last for years to come.

The Little Tree by the Sea: From Halifax to Boston With Love by John Demont

Black Snow is a love story set during the Halifax Explosion. The 1917 disaster was the largest man-made blast the world had ever known, and it cut Halifax off from the rest of the world for the darkest thirty-six hours in its history. Rich in fact and shocking images, the story sets a blistering pace following one man's search through a ruined city for the love of his life as he confronts the wreckage of his past.

In many ways it was a typical early winter day in Halifax – that December That’s the day of the Halifax Explosion.

A tale of ordinary people in an extraordinary situation, this book retraces the steps of survivors through the wreckage of a city destroyed. Laura M. MacDonald weaves a panoramic chronicle of the astonishing international response to the explosion, especially by the city of Boston, of how the number of horrific injuries to Halifax's children inspired startling developments in pediatric medicine, and exploring the disaster's chilling link to the creation of the atomic bomb.

Curse of the Narrows by Laura M. Mac Donald -- I really enjoyed this book!

The Halifax Explosion, Decembeer 6, 1917.

The Halifax Explosion, Decembeer 6, 1917.

Some say it was the work of German spies. Others maintain that it was a tragic accident of unimaginable proportions. Whatever the cause, on a bitter morning in 1917 in the port of Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1,600 people were killed and 9,000 injured when a French munitions ship exploded after striking another vessel. THE HALIFAX EXPLOSION is a comprehensive examination of the tragedy. Eyewitness accounts capture the force and horror of the explosion the largest non-nuclear detonation in history…

Availability: The Halifax explosion [videorecording].

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