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Stephen Decatur Sinks the Philadelphia

18 pages7 minutes


It was 1803 and Stephen Decatur was in the Navy. He was on a ship that was in Europe.
Stephen was the commander of a small ship. It was named the Enterprise.
One day the head of the Navy called Stephen and some other men together.
"Men, I have some bad news," he said. "We have lost the Philadelphia."
The men groaned. Stephen knew that the Philadelphia was a big ship. She had 44 huge cannons on her.
"She was chasing an enemy ship when she ran into a sand bar. The enemy captured her, along with all her men and her guns.
"They have gotten her off the sand bar and taken her into a bay for repairs. When she is fixed, she will be part of the enemy fleet. She will be one of the biggest and fastest ships they have. It would be better if she had sunk rather than be used against us."
The meeting ended. Stephen kept thinking about the ship. Finally he went to the commander.
"What if we stole the Philadelphia?" he asked. "We could get her back. If we cannot steal her, we could burn her. Then she could not be used against us."
"Then I volunteer," Stephen said. "Let me take a few men and do the job."

Find out how Stephen and his men get into the enemy harbor and burn the ship in this exciting 15-minute book.

Ages 7 and up.
Reading level 2.8

This book is part of our "Heroes in History" series. These 15-minute books focus on a specific moment in a historic person's life. Aimed at second graders, they provide the perfect introduction to famous Americans in an exciting, fun-to-read way. believes in the value of children practicing reading for 15 minutes every day. Our 15-Minute Books give children lots of fun, exciting choices to read, from classic stories, to mysteries, to books of knowledge. Many books are appropriate for hi-lo readers. Open the world of reading to a child by having them read for 15 minutes a day.

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