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Drift House: The First Voyage

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In the tradition of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and A Wrinkle in Time comes the first book in an exciting fantasy series about three siblings' adventures on the high sea—the Sea of Time, that is.
After 9/11, Susan and her younger brothers, Charles and Murray, are sent to live with their uncle Farley in Canada. Uncle Farley's house looks like a ship perched at the edge of the sea, but it's not until a great flood comes that the house's name—Drift House—starts to make ...
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Gordonsville, Virginia, U.S.A. 2005 Hard Cover First U. S. Edition New in New jacket 6 x 7 1/2. Sent to stay with their uncle in a ship-like home called Drift House, ... twelve-year-old Susan and her two younger stepbrothers embark on an unexpected adventure involving mermaids, pirates, and an attempt to stop time. Read more Show Less

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2005 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 420 p. Audience: Children/juvenile.

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Overview

In the tradition of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and A Wrinkle in Time comes the first book in an exciting fantasy series about three siblings' adventures on the high sea—the Sea of Time, that is.
After 9/11, Susan and her younger brothers, Charles and Murray, are sent to live with their uncle Farley in Canada. Uncle Farley's house looks like a ship perched at the edge of the sea, but it's not until a great flood comes that the house's name—Drift House—starts to make sense. Floating aimlessly on the Sea of Time, the ship-like house begins to yield its many secrets—including a mural that seems to predict the future, a dumbwaiter that enables Murray to travel into the future and back again, and a parrot historian who's also a gifted translator. But when a clan of diabolical mermaids trick the children and their uncle into helping them carry out a plan that will stop time forever, it will take all of Susan's ingenuity—along with some help from a great whale, a band of pirates, and a magic carpet—to set things straight.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Although this story is set in 2001, the fabric of time itself fluctuates in Peck's (Martin and John, for adults) thrilling debut novel for young people. Following the 9/11 attacks, Susan and her half-brothers, Charles and Murray (could the brothers' names be a nod to Charles Wallace Murray, one of the time-traveling children in Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time?) are sent to live with their Uncle Farley in Canada, until things are calmer in America. But the children notice strange things about the boat-like mansion that is to be their new home: Drift House seems "crooked," a dumbwaiter magically delivers whatever food they desire, and Uncle Farley's parrot has a better-than-average grasp of the English language. When they awake one morning to find the house adrift on the Sea of Time, Uncle Farley reveals that Drift House is a "transtemporal vessel," capable of navigating time. Murray, the youngest, disappears into the dumbwaiter and returns with hazy memories of his own future, and Susan is drafted by mermaids for a special mission. Peck depicts an affectionate bond among the siblings (Charles, brilliant but ignored as the middle sibling states, "I am not a boy-slave and I am not a baby and I am tired of being sent away!"), and an eccentric but credible guardian in Uncle Farley. Readers will flip madly through the many pages of this book to see how the siblings navigate the hazards on the Sea of Time and get Drift House safely back to shore. Ages 10-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
In the aftermath of 9/11, the parents of Susan, Charles and Murray send them to stay with their Uncle Farley, hoping to keep them safe and away from the turmoil in New York City. But after only a day spent at Uncle Farley's home on the Bay of Eternity, they are cast adrift on the Sea of Time, summoned there by mermaids demanding Susan's assistance in the rescue of a mermaid captured by the Time Pirates. What follows is an adventure unlike any other. What begins as an effort to save themselves from being sucked into the Great Drain evolves into a race to save time itself. While the children act as siblings do and find it difficult at times to work together, they all find it important to save each other, each using their own talents and gaining a deeper understanding of the world, time and their place within each. This engaging tale is sure to garner the attention and imagination of any child with a fondness for fantasy tales. However, the text may be too advanced for those without a clear understanding of the passage of time and who may require adult assistance to understand the story as a whole. But parents with a fondness for reading aloud to their children will find it worth the effort to share the story. 2005, Bloomsbury Publishing, Ages 8 to 12.
—Danielle Williams
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-Drift House chronicles the extraordinary experiences of three children placed in the guardianship of their eccentric uncle in the aftermath of September 11th. Uncle Farley lives in the nautically designed Drift House, which is situated on the Bay of Eternity in Canada. Shortly after their arrival, 12-year-old Susan and her two younger brothers discover that the mysterious house is actually a ship, and that they have unwittingly embarked on a voyage across the Sea of Time. What ensues is a thrilling and perilous adventure in which the children meet an almost superfluous cast of fantastical creatures, including a crew of Time Pirates and a band of malevolent mermaids who serve as minions of the wicked undersea Queen Octavia. When Susan is commandeered into playing a pivotal role in a diabolical plot to stop time, she must resist an otherworldly power in order to triumph over evil. This otherwise fast-moving and compelling fantasy/adventure becomes somewhat mired in convoluted discourse on metaphysics and complex explanations of temporality, which includes an overtly didactic message regarding the ramifications of humankind's proclivity for racing headlong toward the future. However, readers will find themselves drawn in by the appealing characters, generous doses of humor, and the palpable presence of the narrator, who addresses readers directly, sharing intimate details and inviting them to take part in the story as it unfolds.-Debbie Lewis O'Donnell, Alachua County Library District, Gainesville, FL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Three children join an ineffectual uncle in a Quebec house that turns out to be a ship capable of sailing across the bathtub-like Sea of Time in this long and self-conscious crossover novel. Leaning heavily on characters with either conveniently patchy memories or more knowledge than they logically should have, Peck pits 12-year-old Susan, her geeky little brother Charles and Murray (who's five at the start but after a solo trip into the future comes back an old man magically disguised as a child) against the last of the powerful, petulant mermaids-whose Queen is set on closing the Great Drain that impels all life, death and change. Readers who don't mind talking animals, imbedded literary references ("curiouser and curiouser," a winged "butterfrog" comments at one point) or words like "virago" in their fantasy, may be willing to embark with this doughty crew-but as Charles comments with tiresome frequency on his sister's fondness for British vocabulary, "it's affected." Note broad hints of sequels to come. (Fantasy. 11-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582349695
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 9/17/2005
  • Pages: 420
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 1050L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.84 (w) x 7.38 (h) x 1.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Dale Peck is an acclaimed author of many books for adults as well as a reviewer and critic. This is his first book for young readers. He lives in New York City.

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2011

    This is a great book featuring adventure, humor, and above all family.

    Susan and her two brothers are sent to live with their grandpa during 911. Little do they know that the house is actually a boat and that Susan will have to face a difficult question of whether to save herself or rescue time itself.
    I would highly recommend this book to all ages.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2009

    too long, not very thrilling, nice cover art!

    Drift house is a rather difficult book. The four main characters are Charles, Murray, Susan, and Uncle Farley. The children move to there uncle's house, drift house. Soon all of them find out drift house is a transtemporal vessel, with access to the "sea of time." Into their voyage, they are nearly sucked down the great drain, but mermaids pulled them away. Soon after, they were being approached by time pirates. They wanted to get on the pirates good side, so Susan went on there boat in disguise as Pierre marine, a deceased seaman, to try and negotiate with them. But, the pirates saw right through there attempt and captured Susan. Charles went to find Susan on his own, and on his way he met sparrila plop, a butterfrog (butterfly/frog) and she said she would help them find Susan. Queen Octavia is the evil queen of mermaids. She planned on using Charles and other people as slaves, so they tried to stop her. They were able to get her down the great drain, and save all the slaves. The positives of this book are that it is full of adventure, it's very... surprising, it's relatively funny, and it's got good art. The negatives of it are that there are too many unknown and hard words, it's too long, and got a boring beginning with no hook. The writing style isn't too bad. The author adds a little extra at the end so it leaves a little something in every paragraph. i would recommend this book to people who can read something and not get bored of it, or is they like reading new words. I don't know of a book similar to this on, actually. So, as you see, drift house is a rather difficult book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2007

    AWESOME!!!!!

    This book is SO TOTALLY awesome! i have read it 7 times and still counting! i recommend it to anyone who likes adventure!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2007

    This book stinks-Ernie from MOntana

    This book was a stinker.i hate it. I'm 54 years old and i cant get past the 1st page. Dale peck is better with his other books. I love them more than eggs! I dont reccomend it

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2005

    Soooo good!!!!!!

    This was such an awesome book!!!!! I loved it from beginning to end. Drift house combines comedy, fantasy, and adventure/action: all of which are my favorites!!!! This book was so wonderful, and I reccommended it to all of my friends, and I can't wait for the other books to come out!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted April 3, 2010

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