Sea Legs

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Eric and Clive's widowed dad is a steward on a cruise ship, and every time he goes away, the twins miss him terribly. Eric (older and considerably wiser than Clive by about five minutes) and Clive decide that this time will be different. When their father leaves for his latest cruise, they will go with him! Only Dad doesn't know yet, because Eric and Clive are going to be stowaways! How can their plan possibly fail? Okay, so Clive is a compulsive liar, with a tendency toward disastrous mishaps. It's worth the ...

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Overview

Eric and Clive's widowed dad is a steward on a cruise ship, and every time he goes away, the twins miss him terribly. Eric (older and considerably wiser than Clive by about five minutes) and Clive decide that this time will be different. When their father leaves for his latest cruise, they will go with him! Only Dad doesn't know yet, because Eric and Clive are going to be stowaways! How can their plan possibly fail? Okay, so Clive is a compulsive liar, with a tendency toward disastrous mishaps. It's worth the risk. All they have to do is keep out of Dad's way and stay out of trouble — for three whole weeks...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Shearer's (The Speed of the Dark) buoyant sea adventure introduces narrator Eric and his twin brother Clive, who is younger (but only by five minutes) and the usually patient recipient of his brother's constant barbs. Readers will easily get caught up in the boys' sometimes silly banter and will willingly follow them as they stow away on a cruise ship, a move prompted by their desire to be with their widower father, who works as a steward on the vessel. In a plot that often blithely tosses credibility to the wind, the siblings find sleeping quarters in a storage cabin in the bowels of the boat and spend their days relaxing on deck. A string of humorous incidents ensues after the two run into a classmate who is traveling first class, and the brothers get caught up in an elaborate lie; they tell the boy's uppity mother that their father is the ship's captain (People are very suspicious of children with no grown-ups. I don't know why that should be. As nobody seems suspicious of grown-ups with no children, Eric observes). A wave of intrigue washes over the comedy as the twins foil a plan masterminded by a crew member and some shady-looking passengers to rob the wealthy passengers of all their valuables. Occasional poignant moments including those in which Eric mentions his much-missed mother temper the madcap elements of this caper, which lands with a satisfying finale. Ages 8-14. (Mar.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-This present-day high-seas adventure features English twins Eric and Clive, who pick at, quip, and wisecrack with one another as they stow away on the cruise ship where their father is Senior Steward. In this laugh-out-loud story, the boys work their way through each problem confronting stowaways. They merge with a family group in order to embark. They find a sleeping room in "rat class," graze from buffets, lounge by the pool, nearly get stranded at a port of call in Egypt, and manage to stay away from first class, where their father works. Part of their cover-up involves befriending an elderly woman whom cruise mates believe is their grandmother. They out-swank the rich Swanker family by making them believe that the captain is their father and does not want anyone to know that his children are aboard. What one doesn't think of, the other does. Just when the two are discovered, robbers take over the ship, and father and sons spring into action. Eric tells the story in a voice that engages readers and is reminiscent of Kate DiCamillo's The Tale of Despereaux (Candlewick, 2003) and Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" books (HarperCollins). Eric and Clive are double trouble and double fun.-Jean Gaffney, Dayton and Montgomery County Public Library, Miamisburg, OH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A breathless, stream-of-consciousness first-person narrative voice, offbeat humor, and an oddly adult sensibility combine in a rambling adventure that may leave readers feeling as if they have just heard a very long shaggy dog tale. Twins Clive and Eric are motherless. Their father works as a steward on a cruise ship. Determined to stay close to their dad, the boys decide to stow away on his ship. How they escape detection (even when they unexpectedly run into a classmate and his family) and thwart an attack by thieves (the most improbable event in an unlikely plot) makes up the bulk of their story. Eric's faux naive voice (he describes the women who occasionally spend the night with his father as "tired") and exaggerated criticism of his brother may grate on readers' nerves after the first 100 pages. Coincidences and sheer luck enable the twins to save the ship and escape punishment for their escapade. A final revelation suggests that the twins' relationship has changed dramatically. Unfortunately, most readers won't much care. (Fiction. 9-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689871443
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • Publication date: 9/12/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Alex Shearer is a television scriptwriter as well as the author of a number of books for children and teens. Before he was a published author, Mr. Shearer had more than thirty odd jobs, including working as a worm picker and a computer programmer. He lives with his wife and two children in Bristol, England.

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