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Children's LiteratureWith both his parents dead, thirteen-year-old Ben sets out on his own adventure to become a sailor, explore the seas, and find his brother who is also on a ship in the Caribbean. Coming from the very rural nineteenth century Outer Banks of North Carolina, he is amazed at the sights, sounds and smells of the big city of Norfolk, Virginia, where he signs on as cabin boy with the Christine Conyers. Meanwhile, Teetoncy, a young English girl who was the only survivor of a wreck off the Outer Banks and was taken in by Ben's family, has discovered Ben is in town. She is suppose to be on her way home to England but the British consulate would not let her pet dog (once Ben's) go along, so she stows away on Ben's ship. Ben is accused of being a coconspirator and the consulate wants to arrest both of them, but the captain and crew protect the girl and send her and Ben home on another ship. Ben describes life on the ship with amazing accuracy. Readers will feel the rolling of the ship, the fatigue and camaraderie of the sailors and the gruffness of the captain. This book is the third in the "The Cape Hatteras Trilogy." 2004 (orig. 1977), Harcourt Young Classic/Harcourt Inc, Ages 8 to 13.
—Janet L. Rose