The Great Wide Seaby M.H. Herlong
Ben, Dylan, and Gerry are still mourning their mother's death when their dad decides to buy a boat and take them on a year-long sailing trip. Tensions flare between Ben and his father, but they gradually learn to live together in close quarters. But one morning, the boys wake up to discover their father has disappeared, and they are lost. What happened to him? Where… See more details below
Ben, Dylan, and Gerry are still mourning their mother's death when their dad decides to buy a boat and take them on a year-long sailing trip. Tensions flare between Ben and his father, but they gradually learn to live together in close quarters. But one morning, the boys wake up to discover their father has disappeared, and they are lost. What happened to him? Where are they? And what will they do when a treacherous storm looms on the horizon?
M. H. Herlong spins a gripping tale of adventure, survival, and the bonds of brotherhood in The Great Wide Sea.
Ben Byron, 15, is angry. Just two months after the death of his mother in a car accident, his dad, crushed by the loss of his wife, sells their house and small boat and uses the money to buy the Chrysalis , a 30-foot sailboat. He uproots Ben and two younger sons for a yearlong tour of the Bahamas. Life goes as smoothly as it can for a while, despite the tension, chores, and close quarters. But one morning everything changes-their father disappears. When the boat heads into a terrible storm, Ben must act. Throughout the novel, the protagonist's emotions ring true. Although the sailing details are a bit technical at times, Herlong spins an engrossing, suspenseful tale of survival.-Melyssa Malinowski, Kenwood High School, Baltimore, MD
Following the death of his wife, a father takes his three sons on a yearlong sailing trip. Told in 15-year-old Ben's voice, the story follows the family as they island-hop through the Bahamas. Anger is Ben's method of coping with his mother's death and his father's irrational behavior. Eleven-year-old Dylan disconnects, retreating into his intellect, while five-year-old Gerry becomes increasingly fearful. After a violent storm, the boys awaken to find the boat has been pushed off-course and their father is missing. Left alone, they must band together for survival. Herlong displays a vast knowledge of sailing and of island life, offering a strong sense of setting. The repetitiveness of the characters' reactions to their situation and each other will make readers impatient, however. A fast-moving plot and life-or-death situations will keep readers interested, but uneven characters and a lack of connection with their plight will ultimately leave them empty. (Fiction. 12 & up)
Meet the Author
M. H. Herlong lives in New Orleans, Louisiana. The author's four sons inspired this debut novel.
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