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VOYAAs the assistant to a village priest, Emmet practices the gentle arts of reading, sketching, music, and herbology. But when Father Parfoothe dies, Emmet has no alternative but to join the seafaring expedition of his older cousin, Francis Drake. Emmet is unprepared for the harshness of life onboard ship, and he barely survives stormy seas and dangerous crewmates. Drake finds Emmet's artistic talents useful, giving the boy some protection. When the crew grows mutinous, however, Emmet's link with the captain becomes a liability. Like the rest of the crew, Emmet has no idea that the ambitious Drake plans to sail all the way around the globe, raiding Spanish colonies in the New World and then continuing eastward across the uncharted Pacific and Indian oceans. Horrified by the recklessness and violence of both captain and crew, Emmet plots to escape the Golden Hind when it anchors. This realistic, well-researched historical novel terminates rather abruptly in the middle of Drake's historic three-year circumnavigation. The book gives vivid insights into the character of Francis Drake and into the harsh conditions of sixteenth-century sailing. It is less successful as a novel and might not please readers seeking a strong protagonist with whom to identify or a satisfying conclusion to the arc of his story. It also lacks the lively humor of Karen Cushman's historical fiction. Lawlor is the author of many biographies and historical novels for young readers, including Magnificent Voyage: An American Adventurer on Captain James Cook's Final Expedition (Holiday House, 2002). VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P M J S (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8;Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2005, Simon & Schuster, 272p., Ages 11 to 18.