Sink The Armada
This book is aimed at 7 to 11 year olds and is part of the "Coming Alive Series". Child author Ross, tells the story of the Armada's demise from the point of view of Duke Medina Sidonia, and his very mournful steward along with that of Tom Barnecut - a ship's boy aboard the Revenge. A simple, but vivid account of the battle is given. There are conversations between the duke and his steward and between Tom and Drake. These are spiced with the type of humour appealing to this young readership. The characterisation is excellent - the dithering duke who finds that he can be decisive when the occasions demands it, is contrasted by the dynamic and charismatic Drake, who is sympathetic to perceive that Tom does not really like the sea. Drake encourages the lad to plan his future. During the battles, Tom progressively realises that life at sea during war, is not a glamorous game and that nobody and not even his hero, Sir Francis is perfect. Ross seems to be making the point, that Drake's personality, such as being kind and caring towards his men, was more important than his achievements. Finally, the steward who, having all of his gloomy predictions amply fulfilled, returns to Spain to spend the rest of his life saying to the duke, "I told you so."