Runaways on the Inside Passage

Overview


Young readers will thrill to this breathless story of courage and determination set in the Alaska wilderness. Abandoned by their mother in Seattle, thirteen-year-old twins Annie and David Ross enlist the help of Lars Hansen, an elderly commercial fisherman, to find their father in Alaska. In late November, when most fishing vessels are decommissioned for the winter, the trio sets out from Puget Sound in a forty-foot salmon troller for an eight-hundred-mile journey along the ...
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Runaways on the Inside Passage

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Overview


Young readers will thrill to this breathless story of courage and determination set in the Alaska wilderness. Abandoned by their mother in Seattle, thirteen-year-old twins Annie and David Ross enlist the help of Lars Hansen, an elderly commercial fisherman, to find their father in Alaska. In late November, when most fishing vessels are decommissioned for the winter, the trio sets out from Puget Sound in a forty-foot salmon troller for an eight-hundred-mile journey along the Inside Passage.

Pursued by the authorities as runaways, and with Lars's health failing, the three experience one adventure after another as they inch their way North, through terrifying winter storms and frightening encounters with strangers. In the process, Annie and David also make new, lasting friendships and kindle personal reserves of strength that they didn't know existed.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA
Thirteen-year-old twins David and Annie Ross are abandoned by their mother in Seattle, Washington. Their only hope of avoiding institutionalization in a foster home is to find their father, a commercial fisherman, but they have no idea how to contact him. He was last seen in Alaska, but they do not know if he is still there. Running from the authorities, they enlist the help of Lars Hansen, an aging sailor who agrees to take them up the treacherous Inside Passage from Seattle to southwest Alaska, where they believe their father to be fishing. It is late in the season, however, and most other boats have long since set sail. Lars, although a master mariner, is now eighty-five years old and in failing health. The twins encounter terrifying winter storms and other exciting challenges as they make the 800-mile journey to an uncertain future. Upton's characters are rather flat, and the book is overly long, but as a longtime mariner and former commercial fisherman, the author knows the sea and writes convincingly about the perils of winter sailing. He describes nautical conditions with a keen eye for technical detail and successfully captures the excitement and danger of the twins' adventure. This book will appeal to teens with a keen interest in sailing, nautical adventures, or Alaska. VOYA Codes: 3Q 2P M J (Readable without serious defects; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2002, Alaska Northwest Books, 302p,
— Vivian Howard <%ISBN%>0882405640
Children's Literature
Drawn into a world of dangerous adventure by a personal dream, David and Annie Ross embark on a journey that most thirteen-year-old twins could never imagine. This brother and sister pair presents the reader with page after page of exciting drama, while giving the young audience something to relate to. David and Annie enlist the help of Lars Hansen, an elderly fisherman who knows the Alaskan waters better than most. By weathering near fatal storms on the sea and spending day and night with their wise mentor, Annie and David finally locate their father, and their dream becomes a reality. They are able to experience a memorable reunion with their father, while remaining amazed at what they have just done. Upton does a wonderful job of telling a tale of adventurous proportion. This book is one that will keep children of all ages glued to each page and hanging on every word. A tale of rapids, runaways, and reality, this novel is an exciting success. 2002, Alaska Northwest Books,
— Sarah Hammond
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-David and Annie Ross, 13, have been abandoned again by their mother. Instead of facing another stay in a foster home, they decide to find their father, who lives in Alaska. After convincing his old friend Lars, an elderly fisherman, to let them crew with him to Sitka, the teens must dodge the authorities who are searching for them. They set off in November, when travel through the Inside Passage is fraught with danger, hoping to reach their dad by Christmas. Early in their voyage, Lars suffers a stroke and the twins navigate the angry waters alone while caring for him. The premise of this book never reaches fruition. Only the most interested reader will be able to slog through the unexplained maritime terminology and excessive description to reach the climax. ("It was an ominous time, the kind of afternoon when the sailor yearns for the most secure of harbors, a place where islands and arms of land enfold the entering vessel, and where the wind may blow all around with great force, yet the water remains almost unrippled.") The works of Gary Paulsen and Will Hobbs better serve fans of adventure stories.-Linda B. Zeilstra, Skokie Public Library, IL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

“Upton does a wonderful job of telling a tale of adventurous proportion. This book is one that will keep children of all ages glued to each page and hanging on every word. A tale of rapids, runaways, and reality, this novel is an exciting success." –Sarah Hammond, Children’s Literature

“Alternately exhilarating and contemplative . . . Upton’s approach underscores the powerful effect of the sea and land on those who choose to wrestle with them.”
–Booklist

“A thoughtful combination of sailing instructions, travel guide, social history and personal diary, and a convincing depiction of a waterway as cultural and geographical region.”–Writer’s Northwest
 

“Once in a while, an author who knows a good deal about a subject writes a book. In rare instances the knowledgeable author is also a fine writer, and the book achieves distinction. Joe Upton’s JOURNEYS THROUGH THE INSIDE PASSAGE is one of those happy occurrences—a book that will sweep readers along the water maze of the Inside Passage with pleasure and interest, providing entertainment and instruction in equal measure . . . The love of the sailor for the sea is evident, but the author is a sailor who reads literature and history to understand his region . . . He relates stirring tales of shipwrecks interspersed with other lively tales of adventures of himself and friends. Good stories of colorful characters at sea and on land abound . . . 
"Those who traverse Alaska’s maritime world will find Upton exciting and authentic. And armchair literary voyagers like myself will place the book high on the list of favorite maritime reading . . . A book that should never be allowed to go out of print.”
¾Anchorage Daily News

“Whether he writes of facing the rough waters of Queen Charlotte Sound alone or watching the sunset from an isolated settlement hacked out of the wilderness, Upton demonstrates on every page that he is a craftsman who knows how to reel in the right word and do it with no wasted effort.”
¾Fairbanks News-Miner

“Joe Upton fans, and their number is legion, will be delighted that he’s back writing about his first love, that wonderful, dangerous, beautiful, lovely country known as Southeast Alaska.”
¾Nor’westing
 
“Joe Upton, a commercial fisherman and noted author of ALASKA BLUES, takes us on a tour of [the Inside Passage from Seattle to Skagway]. It is a moving memory of passagemaking, an anecdotal history of the region, a pilot’s guide, an essay on nautical individualism, and a monument to a way of life that continues . . . Well written, with the rhythmic ebb and flow of all fine stories of voyaging, it is a pleasure to read.”
¾Boating Books

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780882405650
  • Publisher: Alaska Northwest Books
  • Publication date: 9/28/2002
  • Pages: 304
  • Age range: 10 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Upton has written about and naviagated the fishing grounds of New England, British Columbia, and Alaska.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2006

    Page Turner

    Do you like adventure stories? If so, this is a great suspenseful adventure. I could hardly put the book down! Two teenage kids go on a trip to Alaska in search of their dad. They are accompanied by an old man who gets so sick he cannot even leave his bunk. They go through massive storms and get some help from old friends and boats. Joe Upton is an exciting writer. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys exciting adventure stories.

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