September 17

September 17

A Novel

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
Rate this:

In July 1940, a British government-sponsored program called Children's Overseas Reception Board - or CORB - was set up to send children from Britain to Canada and other Commonwealth countries, in order to rescue them from the bombings of British cities. The City of Benares was a luxury liner that was recruited in September 1940 to transport 90 of these children to Canada, along with the ship's regular passenger complement.

A convoy of ships including the The City of Benares set off from Liverpool in mid-September and approximately six hundred miles out, after the naval escorts had withdrawn, the ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat and sank in about half an hour. Only thirteen of the CORB children survived the sinking. As a result of this tragedy, the program was cancelled.

September 17 is a novel that tells the story of three of the children that were on board The City of Benares, as they experience and survive the disaster and wait to be rescued. One lifeboat was not picked up by the destroyer sent to make the rescue, and was at sea with 46 passengers, children and adults for eight days until it was picked up near the Irish coast. Two teenaged girls held onto an overturned lifeboat for 18 hours before they were picked up, while another family, including two children not on the CORB program, floated on a tiny raft for hours before being rescued.

The characters whose adventures are described are all real, though some conversations and encounters have been fictionalized by author Amanda Lewis.

CBC Bookie Awards finalist 2014, Best Canadian Young Adult category

On the 2014 IODE Violet Downey Book Award shortlist

2015 Silver Birch Fiction Award nominee

2014/2015 Red Cedar Fiction Award shortlist

Publisher: Markham, Ont. : Red Deer Press, c2013
ISBN: 9780889955073
Branch Call Number: J Pbk LEW
Characteristics: 313 p. ; 20 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Nov 26, 2015

I like this book so cool

Mar 26, 2015

BEST BOOK EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mar 24, 2015

This book is about a few kids who had to leave some of their family behind because of the war.The people who owned the ship let people from the ages of 5 to 15 free tickets to go to canada to get away from the war. Some of the rich kids got to bring their parents along because they payed for them,their were not many. But trust me...there were not many of them. This book so far is very touching. Kids go through all sorts of things. Imagine 3 days on a boat if you are sea sick.Uuug. They had all the food the needed and whatever else they wanted to eat. What will happen will they get to land safely will they all survive,and most important will the ship make it?

Mar 05, 2015

I liked this book because I didn't know a lot about that time in history. I learned a lot about how the kids lived.

Feb 28, 2015

scary but asome

Feb 26, 2015

I really liked this book.It is really interesting to know about the lives of british children in the war.I thought it would be more about war tactics because I am into that but,it was not so disapointing.

Feb 21, 2015

Really good because its historical fiction but the sad part is that not many people survived when the SS City of Beneres got bombed. so sad

Feb 19, 2015

I really liked this book because of how the boat got torpedoed and how the passengers from the sinking ship were saved.

Feb 19, 2015

Great book but sad as well! :(

Feb 19, 2015

Quentan says he likes this book because he is a fan of historical fiction. He learned about children who were re-located during WW2. He recommends this book to others who like history :)

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at RPL

To Top