Dare the Wind: The Record-breaking Voyage of Eleanor Prentiss and the Flying Cloud by Tracey Fern, Emily Arnold McCully |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Dare the Wind: The Record-breaking Voyage of Eleanor Prentiss and the Flying Cloud
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Dare the Wind: The Record-breaking Voyage of Eleanor Prentiss and the Flying Cloud

by Tracey Fern, Emily Arnold McCully
     
 

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Ellen Prentiss's papa said she was born with saltwater in her veins, so he gave her sailing lessons and taught her how to navigate. As soon as she met a man who loved sailing like she did, she married him. When her husband was given command of a clipper ship custom-made to travel quickly, she knew that they would need every bit of its speed for their maiden voyage&

Overview

Ellen Prentiss's papa said she was born with saltwater in her veins, so he gave her sailing lessons and taught her how to navigate. As soon as she met a man who loved sailing like she did, she married him. When her husband was given command of a clipper ship custom-made to travel quickly, she knew that they would need every bit of its speed for their maiden voyage: out of New York City, down around the tip of Cape Horn, and into San Francisco, where the Gold Rush was well under way. In a time when few women even accompanied their husbands onboard, Ellen Prentiss navigated their ship to set the world record for speed along that route.

A Margaret Ferguson Book

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 11/25/2013
McCully’s (Mirette on the High Wire) signature ink-and-watercolor illustrations bring to vivid life this picture-book biography of sailor Eleanor Prentiss. Dynamic lines and soft hues realistically depict Prentiss’s role as navigator aboard her husband’s clipper ship, the Flying Cloud, in 1851. Its 15,000-mile maiden voyage around Cape Horn was “racing to get passengers and cargo to the Gold Rush.” An anomaly for her time, Prentiss learned the sailing ropes from her ship-captain father. Fern (Barnum’s Bones) lyrically paints a picture of the journey’s ups and downs, during which Prentiss pushes the ship to its limits with her more scientific, risk-taking navigation style: “The masts creaked and groaned.... Soon every twist of rope and thread of canvas was stretched taut. ‘Catch me if you dare!’ Ellen shouted to the wind... the sea sparkling green and white around her.” From storm-tossed gray-green oceans and the white-icy waters around South America’s southern tip to the tilting navigation room belowdecks, the story evokes the daring trip in all its glory, and the many perspectives of the often-majestic scenes bring readers aboard. Ages 5–9. (Feb.)
From the Publisher

“This book expertly describes Prentiss's early life, her love for the sea and the science of navigation, her marriage to Captain Perkins Creesy, and their remarkable accomplishment. Readers will find this fictionalized account gripping and inspiring.” —School Library Journal

“A lively, true story about a 19th-century woman and the 15,000-mile sailing journey she navigated. . . As stimulating as sea air itself, this story will surely send the salt water coursing through the veins of its readers.” —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“From storm-tossed gray-green oceans and the white-icy waters around South America's southern tip to the tilting navigation room belowdecks, the story evokes the daring trip in all its glory, and the many perspectives of the often-majestic scenes bring readers aboard.” —Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“This is a spirited and fascinating tale for landlubbers and sea-lovers alike.” —The Horn Book

Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
Ellen Prentiss was the daughter of a trading schooner captain who dreamed of a life on the ocean. Her father’s appreciation for her interests led him to teach her many of the general tasks necessary to sail a boat, but most importantly, he taught her to navigate. As an adult, Ellen married Perkins Creesy, a sea captain himself who definitely appreciated his wife’s navigational skills. When Creesy was given command of the Flying Cloud, he enlisted his wife to help him navigate and took on the challenge to take the boat from New York City to San Francisco, by way of Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America. This was a 15,000 mile trip for her maiden voyage. And the crew would win a bonus if the ship could make the trip in less time than any other ship had previously. Thanks for Ellen’s keen skills and she and her husband’s strong sense of daring, the Flying Cloud completed the trip in a record breaking 89 days. The author’s end notes provides additional information about the research Ellen Creesy did to prepare herself and the boat for the trip, and as well as more details regarding the type of ships/schooners that the Creesy’s helmed. The illustrations throughout this text are beautifully done and provide a strong sense of the personalities of the characters as well as the Flying Cloud and the weather it endured along the trip. This is a great read for those looking for a story of a young woman who defied society’s expectations within a supportive family situation that would have been unique for the time. Reviewer: Jean Boreen, Ph.D.; Ages 5 to 10.
School Library Journal
04/01/2014
Gr 2–4—In the summer of 1851, the clipper Flying Cloud made the journey from New York City to San Francisco in a record-breaking 89 days and 21 hours despite several setbacks and dangers along the way. Much of the credit for that voyage goes to Ellen Prentiss Creesy, the ship's navigator. Based on the true story of that voyage, this book expertly describes Prentiss's early life, her love for the sea and the science of navigation, her marriage to Captain Perkins Creesy, and their remarkable accomplishment. Readers will find this fictionalized account gripping and inspiring. McCully's excellent watercolor illustrations include a number of period details and add a sense of movement and drama to the already exciting text. An author's note gives the factual background for the story, and a brief glossary serves to familiarize readers with nautical terms. This is a well-executed narrative on a topic that has not received much coverage since Armstrong Sperry's 1936 Newbery Honor book, All Sail Set: A Romance of the Flying Cloud (Winston, 1935).—Misti Tidman, Licking County Library, Newark, OH
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-12-01
A lively, true story about a 19th-century woman and the 15,000-mile sailing journey she navigated. With animated language full of the vigor of the sea itself, Fern relates the story of Ellen Prentiss Creesy, who, while growing up in Marblehead, Mass., was taught to both sail and navigate by her sea-captain father. Later, Ellen accompanied her husband, also a sea captain, on many voyages as navigator. Ellen's husband was given command of the Flying Cloud, a clipper ship whose 1851 maiden voyage--from New York City around the tip of Cape Horn to San Francisco--aspired to bring passengers and cargo to the Gold Rush more quickly than had ever been done before. With Ellen as navigator, the Flying Cloud endured storms and doldrums to triumph in its record-setting voyage. McCully's expertly rendered watercolor illustrations evoke, in double-page spreads, the rich atmosphere of the sea in all its moods, while many events are shown as round vignettes--as though seen through a spyglass. Off-kilter horizon lines conjure up the motion of the ship at sea, and sailing-savvy readers will appreciate the accurate depiction of all things nautical. Endpapers showing the Flying Cloud's sailing route orient readers to the huge scope of the voyage. As stimulating as sea air itself, this story will surely send the salt water coursing through the veins of its readers. (author's note, glossary) (Picture book. 5-10)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374316990
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
02/18/2014
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
540
Sales rank:
603,457
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
AD880L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Tracey Fern is the author of three other picture books, Barnum's Bones, Buffalo Music, and Pippo the Fool, all Junior Library Guild selections. She lives with her family in West Newton, Massachusetts.

Emily Arnold McCully has written and illustrated many children's books, including the Caldecott Medal Book Mirette on the High Wire. She divides her time between New York City and her country home.

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