When Luke’s sailing trip goes horribly wrong, he must face the vast and brutal sea in this story of one boy’s survival and coming-of-age. On the evening before Luke’s family’s annual summer sailing trip off Cape Cod, Luke’s mother leaves. Luke is left with his angry, confused father on a small boat for a week and the trip goes horribly wrong when a summer storm sweeps Luke’s father overboard. Not knowing whether his father is dead or alive, Luke must figure out how to ...

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When Luke’s sailing trip goes horribly wrong, he must face the vast and brutal sea in this story of one boy’s survival and coming-of-age. On the evening before Luke’s family’s annual summer sailing trip off Cape Cod, Luke’s mother leaves. Luke is left with his angry, confused father on a small boat for a week and the trip goes horribly wrong when a summer storm sweeps Luke’s father overboard. Not knowing whether his father is dead or alive, Luke must figure out how to survive on a wrecked sailboat far out to sea. Fans of Gary Paulsen and Will Hobbs will be captivated by Craig Moodie’s depiction of the North Atlantic in this coming-of-age adventure.


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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Judy Crowder
Sixteen-year-old Luke's life is shattering. Suddenly, on the eve of a family sailing trip, Luke's mom packs up and leaves to stay with the aunt his dad has dubbed the "Wicked with of Downeast." Furthermore, Luke's sister is studying art in Europe, and he has broken up with his girlfriend, Ginnie. In spite of all this, Luke's dad still expects the two of them to vacation on their sailboat named Piper. Luke is bitter and bereft. He considers anything his father does or says to be wrong, embarrassing or both. As they sail around Nantucket, father and son try to deal with their desolation. Luke's dad drinks too much and tries to make his son smile or laugh. Luke becomes more withdrawn and angry. They both seek healing and solitude in their shared talent, drawing. When they meet a fellow sailor who tells them about a trip to the Gulf Stream, Luke and his father decide to see it for themselves. But this adventure turns dangerous when a bad storm comes up. Their boat's engine breaks down and the two are forced to rely on the lifeboat. When they get it out, Luke's dad is washed overboard. Luke is suddenly on his own—on a mastless, engineless, powerless sailboat. How will he survive? Could Piper get swept out to open sea? Are his memories of his family to exist only in his sketches? This is a riveting read about a teenager in a harrowing situation. Moodie has exquisitely captured teenage angst and paired it with a dose of suspense that should keep readers turning the pages. Seaborn is a finely written, important book. The map and chart of sailboat terms both aid readers in really appreciating the story. Reviewer: Judy Crowder
Alyssa Licitra
Luke and his father get caught in the middle of a storm off of the coast of Nantucket, and Luke's father is thrown from the yacht with nothing but an inflatable lifeboat to save him. After the storm subsides, Luke is left alone in the yacht and his father is missing. At the end of the novel, Luke finds his father adrift in the ocean while simultaneously coming across a boat that is in the same area. They are eventually saved and Luke's father admits that he cheated on his mother, which is why she left. The author spends a lot of time explaining the events leading up to the climactic storm, but fails to expand on many details of the storm and its repercussions. The plot was resolved in such a predictable manner that it gave the book a lackluster finish. Reviewer: Alyssa Licitra
VOYA - Debbie Clifford
The summer before Luke's junior year is coming to a close. The last thing he wants to do is go on the annual sailing trip with his father-especially because his sister is off in Italy and his mother has just left the family for reasons unknown to Luke. His father's emotions are mercurial, and everything he says rubs Luke the wrong way. Luke wants to be left alone to explore and feel what he calls "the Big Freedom." He gets his chance when their sailboat is caught in a very rough storm and his father is blown overboard with the life raft and then carried out of view. Luke is left to drift and fend for himself on the damaged sailboat wondering if his dad is dead or alive and if he had done enough to save him. The ensuing story of Luke's time alone on the boat is a fairly gripping one, although the many sailing terms will confound readers unfamiliar with them. (What exactly does "gunkholing" mean?) Luke comes off as self-absorbed, angry, and full of self-pity. His time alone allows him to reexamine his relationship with his father and realize the depth of his love for his dad, but even their reunion is tinged with Luke's anger. Teen readers who have an affinity for sea stories will find it an engaging read, but other readers may feel adrift. Reviewer: Debbie Clifford
School Library Journal

Gr 6-9

Luke, 16, never wanted to go on the trip in the first place. A week spent on a dinky old sailboat off Cape Cod with his parents doesn't seem like much fun. Then his mother, a painter, abruptly packs her things and leaves, telling Luke that she doesn't know when-or if-she'll be back. Luke is less enthusiastic about the sailing trip than ever, but his father insists that they proceed as planned. The tension between them builds-and then an unexpected storm overtakes the boat, sweeping Luke's dad overboard. Not knowing whether he is dead or alive, Luke must salvage the sailboat and survive on his own on the open sea. Reminiscent of the best adventure stories of Gary Paulsen, this gripping novel skillfully blends family drama with survival tale. The text is rich with sailing details that may be unfamiliar to some landlubbing readers, but Moodie does a fine job making the scenes come alive with vivid, authentic descriptions. The characters are complex and sensitively limned, and readers will be drawn into the conflict between Luke and his father as fully as they are into Luke's struggle to save his boat and find rescue. This is a book that will appeal both to adventure lovers and to readers outside of the typical action-adventure demographic.-Meredith Robbins, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School, New York City

Kirkus Reviews
Luke, 16, angry and selfish, finds himself totally agitated with life when his mother abruptly leaves the family. The teen hates being stuck alone with his father and yearns for his own freedom. To Luke's further consternation, his dad plans a father-son sailing trip on Nantucket Sound. He mopes through the motions of being a sailor until, on his father's reckless impulse, they head far out into the Gulf Stream with only an unreliable engine for backup. A lingering setup and secondary characters who eventually disappear keep readers from plunging directly into the narrative, which often reads like an extended short story, and readers will sense the upcoming maritime disaster from the beginning. What separates this work from other teen-pitted-against-nature morality tales is Luke's genuine voice as he expresses feelings of hatred and frustration and the embarrassment of being close to his father. Teens, especially boys, will identify with Luke's situation. A rousing climax and realistic narrator mark this as a solid choice. (Fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429917957
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publication date: 8/19/2008
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 208
  • Age range: 12 - 18 Years
  • File size: 494 KB

Meet the Author

 CRAIG MOODIE is the author of THE SEA SINGER as well as several works of adult fiction. He lives in Franklin, Massachusetts.
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