When the Dikes Broke

by Alta Halverson Seymour
Rated 4.9 out of 5

How the 1953 Dutch Dike tragedy helped me with the Covid-19 crisis

Rated 5 out of 5
May 14, 2020

I read this during the Covid-19 crisis so I was especially intrigued by the Dutch people’s response to their crisis when the dikes broke in 1953. This story moves quickly as the fictional van Rossem family faces the floods that threaten their lives, home, and farm. The characters were able to help their family and community by using their strengths. Mother was like an anchor to everyone by helping them to feel safe. Lisa had keen eyes for finding anything that was lost. The people were very resilient. The women took care of feeding the hungry and warming the rescued while the men took a shifts trying to fix the break in the dike. The youth and children helped to serve also. This book showed how the unity of the community helped them to heal and rebuild. So this just made me think of the great need to serve others and rebuild as we try to heal from the effects of the Coronavirus. One real take away for me was how the people were able to look at the loss of their material possessions as gains. Where they had lost furniture they had gained space to dance.

Marci W.

Loved by both mother and son

Rated 5 out of 5
June 21, 2021

My junior high son and I both LOVED this book. We took turns reading it and both had a hard time putting it down! This historical fiction book teaches a lot about geography, culture, bravery, and love of family. The plot is wonderfully woven with lots of adventure, making this a great book for all ages.

Elizabeth R

A Good Historical Read

Rated 4 out of 5
May 3, 2021

This book shows how family and community can join together to get through a difficult challenge. Though a fairly short read, it gives a good overview of life in the area at the time and the events surrounding the flooding. I particularly appreciated how the strength of girls and women was shown.

Christina P.

Fun Historical Read

Rated 5 out of 5
April 27, 2021

We read this book as a family and loved all of the incredible detail about what life was like in holland in the 1950’s. It was a simple read for me to read aloud to all of my children (who really loved it too!)

Jordan T.

We enjoyed it!

Rated 5 out of 5
February 24, 2021

I read this aloud to my kids and we really liked it. My kids were invested in what would happen with Tante Anna.
I loved how they worked together as a family and had such love for each other. They were positive about the future during hard times and I thought that was inspiring also.

Read Review Policies
Level 8

Everyone knew that a tile roof was a precarious perch. Everyone saw, too, that the steadily rising water had reached a corner of the attic floor near the stairway and was beginning to spread, slowly but surely, toward them.

Based on the great flood that swept over Holland in 1953, the gripping story When the Dikes Broke follows the tale of the van Rossem family as they are awakened by sirens and the clanging of church bells and soon realize that the dikes have broken. As the water rises to their roof, the family is separated, and a desperate and daring search is set in place for those who have been swept away. This adventurous story is packed with educational and moral value.

116 pages

Available on Audible

This book is available for Audible at Amazon.com.

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