Children's Literature - Jason Bebber
Teenager Simon Drake has always dreamed of sailing and starting a company that would allow him to sail buyers' sailboats from coast to coast. Before he can achieve his dreams, he must first pass his sailing class. Simon, three other students, and their captain Patrick, set off on an overnight expedition from Bull Harbor to Tofino. During their first few days on the expedition, Simon constantly fights off sea sickness and crew mates' pranks as they complete man overboard drills and basic sailing maneuvers. When they pull into the harbor for the night, one of the crew members sees some shells on the deck of the only other boat in the harbor. Crew member Olivia immediately identifies the shells as abalone, which are endangered mollusks similar to clams. Olivia begins a little investigation of her own to find out if what she saw was really abalone. Patrick, the captain, knows of Olivia's curiosity and decides to take off for Tofino in extremely rough weather to prevent her from continuing her investigation. During the storm, the ship is badly damaged and the crew is shaken. They head back to the harbor where the suspected abalone ship is anchored. Again, Olivia convinces Simon to go investigate the abalone ship. This time terror strikes, and two men on the abalone ship threaten to kill the crew members. Patrick figures out where they are and swims over to the abalone shipbut Patrick is not the man his crew thinks he is. This wonderful adventure story will give children insight into nature while it alerts them to some of the political problems involved with abalone poaching. This book can easily be used for imaginative and critical thinking activities both in and outside of theclassroom, but it is also an entertaining read that will keep young people riveted. Reviewer: Jason Bebber
In this fast-paced high-seas adventure, there are many vivid details based on the author's real-life experiences sailing from Canada to the Bahamas. Simon embarks on an incredible journey of terrifying adventure and self-discovery. He is never sure who to trust and must do battle with poachers, bullies, and his own ineptitude. By the time he realizes that he must rely on others instead of just himself, he is trapped in the hull of a boat with his homicidal captors. This suspenseful novel holds the reader's attention from beginning to end with very specific descriptions of nautical skill as well as the ominous power of the sea. It is well suited for middle level and early high school students. This novel would also work well as part of an integrated thematic unit on oceanography, geography, and nautical measurement. Reviewer: Kenan Metzger
"Any teen interested in sailing will love this book, but it will prove to be especially popular with those struggling readers who are learning about how reading can be exciting and absorbing."
"A solid story about a crucial environmental issue."
"Stevenson delivers a fast-paced nautical adventure filled with intricate sailing maneuvers and realistic depictions of stormy seas."
Quill & Quire
Read an Excerpt
The wind was a shrieking monster behind us and Jeopardy was barely in control, surfing down steep waves with an eerie roar as the water rushed under her hull. Every so often, a wave came at us beam on—sideways—rolling us dangerously to one side. I'd been out in all kinds of weather, but I'd never seen waves as steep as these. "It's nuts," I said flatly. I raised my voice so that she'd be able to hear me over the screaming wind and the crashing water. "And it's only going to get worse..."