The Sea Singer

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Overview

Craig Moodie's finely crafted adventure novel tells the story of twelve-year-old Finn, who stows away to search for his lost father and brothers. It's a journey that brings storms, shipwreck, tense encounters with the inhabitants of an unexplored continent — and a coming of age for Finn, who will in the end, face his father as a young man and a Viking. Dramatic and beautifully told, The Sea Singer is a first-rate literary sea story.

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Overview

Craig Moodie's finely crafted adventure novel tells the story of twelve-year-old Finn, who stows away to search for his lost father and brothers. It's a journey that brings storms, shipwreck, tense encounters with the inhabitants of an unexplored continent — and a coming of age for Finn, who will in the end, face his father as a young man and a Viking. Dramatic and beautifully told, The Sea Singer is a first-rate literary sea story.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA
Steeped in Viking lore, this novel is an adventure story in the tradition of seafaring stories inspired by the success of Pirates of the Caribbean. Young Finn, a poet, is left at home while his brothers and father go to explore the "Wineland" (Newfoundland). After a year, they have still not returned, but Leif Ericsson, aka "Leif the Lucky," and his crew arrive aboard the Sea Sword. Finn is soon discovered as a stowaway on Leif's ship and made a deckhand, despite the belief that stowaways bring bad luck. After many adventures and some seasickness, Finn realizes that "sea monsters weren't what he had to fear. It was the sea itself." When Leif and his crew reach their destination, Finn is dismayed to find the wreckage of his father's boat, but his journey is not yet over. Young teen readers will understand Finn's need to find his father and enjoy taking this journey of exploration with him. Moodie has seafaring experience and has previously written seafaring tales for an adult audience, including a collection of short stories titled A Sailor's Valentine (St. Martin's, 1994). A brief map outlining the Viking voyages to North America circa 1000 AD is included. Unfortunately there is no historical note to give readers more information about the real Leif Ericsson or further reading on the subject, although this information is very briefly touched upon in an author's note. VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P M J (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2005, Roaring Brook, 165p., Ages 11 to 15.
—Karen Jensen
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Twelve-year-old Finn is disappointed when he is left behind to watch the farm while his brother and father sail off to explore the new Vineland of North America. When Leif Eriksson's ship soon departs to follow, Finn stows away with hopes of finding his father and seeking adventures as a sailor. Discovered by Eriksson, Finn is put to work to earn his keep and proves himself a worthy sailor and entertainer to the crew. But once on shore, he constantly defies Eriksson's orders, instead wanting to go in search of his family. Shipwrecked and lost, his father and brother are soon rescued thanks to Finn's persistence but not without casualties. Adventure seekers and those longing to follow their dreams will empathize with the protagonist's plight. Although the story ties up loose ends a little too neatly, the author does not shy away from the realities of sea life and the dangers that explorers faced. The plot moves fast enough to hold the interest of reluctant readers and subtly incorporates historical facts about Greenland and the Vikings who ruled the Scandinavian seas.-Kimberly Monaghan, formerly at Vernon Area Public Library, IL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Twelve-year-old Finn, son of Olaf Farseeker, is disappointed when the boat arriving at his village in Greenland is not his father's, but that of Leif Ericsson. Soon, Finn is a stowaway on Sea Sword, off a-viking, in search of adventure and his father, who has been gone since last season. When caught, Finn is put to work to stand lookout, coil line, haul the sail, cook, take care of the animals and as a skald, or bard, give the crew poems. They go west in search of Vineland and timber and trading goods, following Olaf Farseeker's route. When the weather worsens and the crew faces storms and fog and risks being lost at sea, Moodie's writing is at its best, becoming vigorous and spirited as a Viking saga. What began as a quest for adventure and a search for his father becomes an odyssey toward manhood, and the land of promise becomes a "dark realm of doom and mystery," where Finn proves himself a Viking. A rousing sea adventure. (author's note) (Fiction. 11-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596430501
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2005
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 176
  • Age range: 11 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.82 (w) x 8.46 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

Craig Moodie is the author of a number of novels and short stories for adult readers set on and around the sea, including A Sailor's Valentine, Our Perfect Youth, and, most recently, Salt Luck. He worked for many years as a deckhand on commercial fishing boats in the waters off Cape Cod. Now a writer in the high-tech industry, he lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two children.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Viking Treasure for Middle Grade Readers

    The book cover art was impressive and the blurb for this story seemed promising. I decided to take a chance and buy this book on a hunch that it might perhaps be incredible. It was. This middle grade historical book will hold the attention of young readers and will take them on a fantastic adventure with twelve-year-old Finn as he bravely embarks on an unpredictable journey to find his father, explorer Olaf Farseeker.

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