Close cookie details

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav
Left for Dead
Cover of Left for Dead
Left for Dead
A Young Man's Search for Justice for the USS Indianapolis
For fans of sea battles, adventures, and war stories like Unbroken, this is the incredible true story of a boy who helps to bring closure to the survivors of the tragic sinking of the USS Indianapolis, and helps exonerate the ship’s captain fifty years later.
 
Hunter Scott first learned about the sinking of the USS Indianapolis by watching the movie Jaws when he was just eleven-years-old. This was fifty years after the ship had sunk, throwing more than 1,000 men into shark-infested waters—a long fifty years in which justice still had not been served.
                It was just after midnight on July 30, 1945 when the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. Those who survived the fiery sinking—some injured, many without life jackets—struggled to stay afloat as they waited for rescue. But the United States Navy did not even know they were missing. As time went on, the Navy needed a scapegoat for this disaster. So it court-martialed the captain for “hazarding” his ship. The survivors of the Indianapolis knew that their captain was not to blame. For fifty years they worked to clear his name, even after his untimely death.
But the navy would not budge—not until Hunter entered the picture. His history fair project on the Indianapolis soon became a crusade to restore the captain’s good name and the honor of the men who served under him.
Praise for Left for Dead:
Christopher Award Winner
An ALA-YALSA Best Nonfiction for Young Adults Book
“Compelling, dreadful, and amazing.”—VOYA
 
“This exciting, life-affirming book about war heroics and justice . . . proves without question the impact one student can have on history.”—Booklist
“Well written and well documented … this excellent presentation fills a void in most World War II collections “—School Library Journal
 
“Young readers . . . will no doubt be inspired by the youth’s tenacity—and by the valor of those who served on the Indianapolis.”—The Horn Book
For fans of sea battles, adventures, and war stories like Unbroken, this is the incredible true story of a boy who helps to bring closure to the survivors of the tragic sinking of the USS Indianapolis, and helps exonerate the ship’s captain fifty years later.
 
Hunter Scott first learned about the sinking of the USS Indianapolis by watching the movie Jaws when he was just eleven-years-old. This was fifty years after the ship had sunk, throwing more than 1,000 men into shark-infested waters—a long fifty years in which justice still had not been served.
                It was just after midnight on July 30, 1945 when the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. Those who survived the fiery sinking—some injured, many without life jackets—struggled to stay afloat as they waited for rescue. But the United States Navy did not even know they were missing. As time went on, the Navy needed a scapegoat for this disaster. So it court-martialed the captain for “hazarding” his ship. The survivors of the Indianapolis knew that their captain was not to blame. For fifty years they worked to clear his name, even after his untimely death.
But the navy would not budge—not until Hunter entered the picture. His history fair project on the Indianapolis soon became a crusade to restore the captain’s good name and the honor of the men who served under him.
Praise for Left for Dead:
Christopher Award Winner
An ALA-YALSA Best Nonfiction for Young Adults Book
“Compelling, dreadful, and amazing.”—VOYA
 
“This exciting, life-affirming book about war heroics and justice . . . proves without question the impact one student can have on history.”—Booklist
“Well written and well documented … this excellent presentation fills a void in most World War II collections “—School Library Journal
 
“Young readers . . . will no doubt be inspired by the youth’s tenacity—and by the valor of those who served on the Indianapolis.”—The Horn Book
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    0
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    8.3
  • Lexile:
    1260
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Text Difficulty:
    7

Recommended for you

 
Awards-
Excerpts-
  • Chapter One Chapter One

    The Sailor

    July 1945

    The horror has seared my mind like a hot poker and I cannot forget it. After fifty years the dates and faces have lost their distinction, but the horror never gives way. The older I get, the more it bothers me. I can still hear the screams of the injured and dying.

    Cozell Smith, 1994

    The sailor finds himself swimming in the open ocean, wondering in shock how it came to this so suddenly. It's just past midnight. He'd been sleeping above deck, because it was too hot below and it smelled of sweat and bad breath and dirty laundry. He woke up at eleven-thirty, half an hour before his turn to stand watch. He went to the mess hall, grabbed a cup of coffee from the fifty-gallon urn and took his coffee topside. A quarter moon appeared briefly in a break in the clouds, high overhead. Now it's dark. He looks up, straining to see the moon. There's no light. The last light he saw was his ship on fire, flames, smoke, mixed with the horrible sounds of men screaming.

    "I can't swim!" the man hanging on to him shouts.

    The sailor wonders how they could let a man who can't swim join the navy. The sailor's name is Cozell Lee Smith, but they call him Smitty. The man whose life he's saving is named Dronet. Smith has no life jacket. Dronet has no life jacket. Smith has already warned Dronet not to get scared and grab him around the neck, that he'll leave him if he does. He'll save Dronet's life if he can, but if he has to, he will cut him loose. He's already tiring. He's a strong swimmer, but Dronet is heavy, weighing him down.

    Smith swims. He gets a mouthful of seawater. He spits, coughs, keeps swimming. He inhales fumes and feels sickened by them. He hears screaming. He wonders how many others there are. He can't see a thing. It's too dark. He can't tell what direction the screaming is coming from. He strains for breath and accidentally swallows another mouthful of seawater, but it's not just seawater. It's fuel oil from the ship's ruptured tanks, thick and gooey. Instantly he's covered in it. It goes down his throat. More fumes. He feels sick and retches. He pushes his vomit away from him in the water. Dronet is coughing.

    "What is it?" Dronet asks.

    "Oil," Smith gasps. "Hang on. Keep kicking."

    The irony is that if Smith hadn't joined the navy, he might well have been working in the oil fields back in Oklahoma. He'd volunteered at the age of seventeen, fresh out of tenth grade. His father, a barber, signed the permission papers with the thought that joining the navy might keep his son out of the kind of trouble a boy might get into, hanging around in a small town with nothing to do.

    He spits. The oil goes down his throat even when he tries not to swallow. The ship burned oil to heat its boilers, which created the steam needed to turn the turbines to drive the propellers, which seamen call screws. It was, for its size, one of the fastest ships in the world, with a flank speed of thirty-two knots. He'd been standing at his watch station in "the bathtub," an antiaircraft battery protected by a circular splinter shield, shooting the breeze with Jimmy Reid, another coxswain from his division, when they heard the explosion. The shock of the blast nearly knocked him off his feet.

    "What the heck was that?" Smith asked. Reid said he thought it was a boiler exploding.

    "That could be good," Reid said. Smith wondered what could be good about it. "We'll go back to the States for repair," Reid explained.

    Then the ship began to list, still moving forward but tilting to starboard, five degrees, then...

About the Author-
  • Peter Nelson won the Christopher Award for Left for Dead, which is bestowed upon a novel that affirms the highest value of the human spirit. He is also the author of numerous books of fiction and nonfiction and has written many articles for magazines. Nelson lives with his wife and son in Westchester, New York.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 1, 2002
    Left for Dead by Pete Nelson explains how the research of 11-year-old Hunter Scott who was inspired by a passing reference in the movie Jaws uncovered the truth behind a historic WWII naval disaster aboard the USS Indianapolis and led to the reversal of the wrongful court martial of the ship's captain. A full-color photographic inset and a preface by the now 17-year-old Scott round out the volume.

  • School Library Journal

    April 1, 2002
    Gr 6-9-World War II aficionados will find this title both interesting and, at times, appalling. Nelson essentially relates two stories at the same time. One is of the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis. Alternately, he tells of a junior high student's crusade to exonerate the wrongfully court-martialed captain of the ship. In the preface, Hunter Scott relates how, as an 11-year-old, his curiosity about the Indy was piqued by a shark story in the movie Jaws. While seeking more information about it, he learned of the gross errors and oversights that effectively doomed the ship by sending it directly into the path of a Japanese submarine. The U.S. Navy was not willing to admit that anyone except Captain McVay made any errors. The author describes the horrors the survivors endured as they waited for four and a half days to be rescued, which came about only because of an accidental sighting. The text also describes how the combined efforts of Scott, several of the survivors, national media attention, and several members of Congress posthumously exonerated McVay of any charges. The text is well written and well documented. Navy portraits and present-day photos of the survivors are included, as is a second section that shows the Indy, a map of the Pacific and the scene of the attack, and people who helped Scott. This excellent presentation fills a void in most World War II collections.-Eldon Younce, Harper Elementary School, KS

    Copyright 2002 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    May 1, 2002
    Gr. 6-12. Two history lessons run concurrently through this exciting, life-affirming book about war heroics and justice. While watching the classic bragging scene in the movie " Jaws," 11-year-old Hunter Scott grew curious about one character's reference to the U.S.S. " Indianapolis." Discovering that history usually glossed over or omitted the story, Scott began a six-year crusade, gathering information from the survivors and, eventually, ensuring that their mission and their unjustly maligned captain were appropriately honored. Narrative combines with interviews between Scott and the soldiers to give individualized synopses of the 1945 sinking and rescue, ensuing court-martial, crusade, and exoneration. Two insets of black-and-white photos add a personal touch by showing the soldiers then and now, and also Scott, ages 11 to 17. Even if the main text doesn't interest readers, they can't help but be awed by Scott's preface, which proves without question the impact one student can have on history. Bibliography.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2002, American Library Association.)

  • Booklist "Compelling, dreadful, and amazing."
  • The Horn Book "This exciting, life-affirming book about war heroics and justice . . . proves without question the impact one student can have on history."
Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Random House Children's Books
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

Status bar:

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

Close

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Close

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You've reached the maximum number of titles you can recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 99 titles every 1 day(s).

Close

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

Close

Enhanced Details

Close
Close

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Close

Permissions

Close

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Close

Holds

Total holds:


Close

Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

Close

MP3 audiobooks are only supported on macOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) through 10.14 (Mojave). Learn more about MP3 audiobook support on Macs.

Close

Please update to the latest version of the OverDrive app to stream videos.

Close

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Close

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

Close

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

Close

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

Close

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

Close

Close

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Close
Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
Left for Dead
Left for Dead
A Young Man's Search for Justice for the USS Indianapolis
Pete Nelson
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
Clicking on the 'Buy It Now' link will cause you to leave the library download platform website. The content of the retail website is not controlled by the library. Please be aware that the website does not have the same privacy policy as the library or its service providers.
Close
Close

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Close
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

You will be prompted to sign into your library account on the next page.

If this is your first time selecting “Send to NOOK,” you will then be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel