Far-Flung Adventures: Fergus Crane

Overview

Fergus Crane has an almost ordinary life—attending school on the ship Betty Jeanne and helping his mother in the bakery. But then a winged mechanical horse appears and whisks Fergus off to meet his long-lost uncle. Not only that, he finds out that his teachers are not what they seem—they're actually pirates! Can Fergus save his schoolmates from the far-off Fire Island? Perfect for 8- to 12-year-old readers, this is a deliciously accessible story.

"Part Dickensian comedy, part ...

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Overview

Fergus Crane has an almost ordinary life—attending school on the ship Betty Jeanne and helping his mother in the bakery. But then a winged mechanical horse appears and whisks Fergus off to meet his long-lost uncle. Not only that, he finds out that his teachers are not what they seem—they're actually pirates! Can Fergus save his schoolmates from the far-off Fire Island? Perfect for 8- to 12-year-old readers, this is a deliciously accessible story.

"Part Dickensian comedy, part pirate adventure."--Publishers Weekly

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Edge Chronicles creators Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell take us on another far-flung ride with this series starter. Unlikely hero Fergus Crane is a nine-year-old boy splitting his time between school aboard a clipper ship and helping his mom in the bakery. One morning, a mysterious flying box and a winged mechanical horse appear, and Fergus is whisked off to magical adventures that no young reader can resist.
From the Publisher
“Another triumph for the Stewart-Riddell dream team.”—Independent (U.K.)

“A whirlwind adventure: five stars.”—www.cool-reads.co.uk

“Brilliantly inventive.”—Independent on Sunday (U.K.)

“Great fun to read aloud.”—The Scotsman (U.K.)

From the Hardcover edition.

Publishers Weekly
Stewart and Riddell, fresh from the success of their Edge Chronicles series, start anew with a style that is part Dickensian comedy, part pirate adventure. Ten-year-old Fergus Crane and his mother live in near-poverty; she runs the cake counter at the village bakery and assembles paper horses to earn extra money, he attends school aboard the Betty-Jeanne, a docked boat staffed by teachers with eye patches and hooks for hands. One night, a silver box with wings flies into Fergus's bedroom; it soon returns with a warning note ("Fergus Crane, you are in great danger! I am sending help... your long lost Uncle Theo"). The next night, he gets a visit from a mechanical Pegasus that whisks him away to the Fateful Voyage Trading Company. There he finds not only Uncle Theo but a ship's log that offers insight into the fate of his missing father. Talking penguins, a lunchbox that can draw maps and a musical about a fish on a bicycle contribute to the overall air of endearing silliness; the narrative incorporates these amusingly ludicrous elements with matter-of-fact ease. As with the Edge Chronicles, creative page layouts incorporate Riddell's whimsical illustrations in unusual ways, at times pleasingly blurring the line between novel and graphic novel. Ages 8-12. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-The creators of "The Edge Chronicles" (Random) are back with an auspicious beginning for a new series. When a mysterious flying box, complete with wings, arrives at Fergus Crane's window with a message from his long-lost Uncle Theo, the boy learns that he is in danger and that his uncle is sending help. Help is what he needs when the clipper ship Betty-Jeanne that serves as his school disappears with all of the students but Fergus still aboard. The headmaster and his staff are more than just vaguely reminiscent of pirates, and Fergus will need Uncle Theo's technology, and his own bravery, to rescue them. What make this book especially appealing are Riddell's pen-and-ink drawings that appear on almost every page; they capture the tone of the story as well as the personalities of the characters. They also add a great deal of variety to the design of the book, ranging from traditional full-page illustrations to portraits of the main characters to smaller drawings spread over the pages. The combination of witty art and compelling text make this a perfect choice for early chapter-book readers.-Tim Wadham, Maricopa County Library District, Phoenix, AZ Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The creators of the Edge Chronicles open a new series aimed at a younger audience with this tale of a lad who discovers that his teachers are all pirates. Supplemented with many hand-drawn letters, clippings and scenes drawn in great detail with almost invisibly fine inked lines, the story takes a wandering course as a mechanical flying horse takes Fergus to the mysterious Fateful Voyage Trading Company. There he meets three talking penguins and an inventor uncle he didn't know he had, learns that his father had been lost while searching for fabulously valuable fire diamonds and then travels to a remote archipelago to rescue his classmates, who had been kidnapped by his father's treacherous crew to gather the diamonds from volcanic caverns. Despite the elaborate black-and-white art and frequent artificial efforts to pump up the suspense, readers aren't likely to stay the course; Stewart spends too much time introducing a large cast of characters who mostly just pass in review, and the melodramatic bits don't arrive until very late. Missable. (Fantasy. 10-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385751124
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 8/9/2011
  • Series: Far-Flung Adventures Series
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 316,182
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

PAUL STEWART is a highly regarded author of books for young readers and is the co-creator of the bestselling Edge Chronicles.  He lives in Brighton, England, with his family.

CHRIS RIDDELL, co-creator of the Edge Chronicles, is an award-winning illustrator and political cartoonist.  He lives in Brighton, England, with his family.

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