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Ebb and Flow: Lewis’s Story of Shackleford Banks

by Barb McCreary,Rebecca Breece


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1898 Eleven-year-old Lewis Smithson lives in the thriving community of Diamond City on Shackleford Banks in eastern North Carolina. He attends school several months each year and helps his pa with farming, fishing, and whaling. He loves spending time with his cousin Robert and their friend Bradford. There is just one problem. Lewis's ma can not come to terms with the fact that Lewis is growing up. Why does she continue to treat him like a child? How can Lewis convince his ma to treat him like the young man he is becoming?

1899 Lewis, along with all the other Ca'e Bankers, as they call themselves, have dealt with hurricanes for years. But what happens when the San Ciriaco hurricane, the longest-lasting and one of the deadliest hurricanes ever recorded, devastates the Banks and the community's entire way of life? What will happen to the residents who can no longer grow crops and live there? Where will they go? How will they pick up the pieces of their lives and begin again?

Ebb and Flow: Lewis's Story of Shackleford Banks spans a crucial year and a half time period in both the life of Lewis Smithson and the lives of all the residents of Shackleford Banks, set against the wild, windswept beauty that is Carteret County.

As climate change affects our weather with increasing destruction from tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, and wildfires, an increasing number of people today must cope with the same losses Lewis and his family faced. Families now must learn to face adversity with the same resolve and resilience as the Ca'e Bankers "whose spirit remains so strong, their presence is still felt."

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