Voyage of Midnight

Voyage of Midnight

by Michele Torrey
     
 

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Philip is an orphan, and has spent most of his life suffering the cruelties of the workhouse. So when he learns he has an uncle--and not just any uncle, but a rich uncle, captain of his own ship--he sets off for New Orleans to find him.

Find him he does, and when Uncle offers him the position of surgeon's mate on his ship, the Formidable, Philip couldn't…  See more details below

Overview

Philip is an orphan, and has spent most of his life suffering the cruelties of the workhouse. So when he learns he has an uncle--and not just any uncle, but a rich uncle, captain of his own ship--he sets off for New Orleans to find him.

Find him he does, and when Uncle offers him the position of surgeon's mate on his ship, the Formidable, Philip couldn't be happier. At last, he's found his family! But little does he know the purpose of the journey he's about to embark on: Uncle is a slave trader, and the ship is bound for Africa to collect their cargo.

Caught between his lifelong desire for a family and the promise of a better life, and the shocking brutality he witnesses aboard the Formidable, Philip must open his eyes and decide for himself the true meaning of family, freedom, and humanity.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-A powerful, beautifully written tale about the evils of early-19th-century slavery. In 1818, orphaned Philip leaves Liverpool to find his uncle in New Orleans. Two years later, after living with a kindly couple and helping out in their chemist shop, he finds the man, who is a ship captain. After joining his uncle's crew, he realizes that the Captain is a slave trader who firmly believes that buying and selling human beings is part of the natural order of things. Philip, however, sees only brutality, especially after he is forced to brand a captured African. Before the ship ends its mission, illness and death have ravaged both the enslaved and the sailors. Torrey does a fine job of showing history through the eyes of a teenager who has to deal with something he knows is evil. The characterization is strong and believable, and Philip is a compelling hero. This gripping story provides readers not only with a vivid picture of a shameful past, but also with an understanding of its cruelty.-Jane G. Connor, South Carolina State Library, Columbia Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The most intense and harrowing of Torrey's nautical Chronicles of Courage takes a young British orphan from the workhouse to New Orleans, and then to Africa as Surgeon's Mate aboard his uncle's slave ship. At first, Philip is delighted to find his only living relative to be a genial, prosperous ship's captain with an important job for him. That enthusiasm dims when he learns, mid-voyage, that he's become involved in an unsavory, illegal trade (the year is 1821), and changes to outright horror when he's charged first with helping to brand the gathered human "cargo," then with treating its escalating ills as below-decks conditions quickly go beyond hideous on the return voyage. That voyage becomes even more shot through with terror and despair when all on board, captives and crew, are blinded by conjunctivitis. But it gives Philip, the first and one of the few to recover his sight, a chance to at least try to make amends by tricking his uncle into sailing east rather than west. Though this has some parallels with Paula Fox's Slave Dancer (1973), it's definitely for audiences with stronger stomachs. (author's note, glossary) (Fiction. 12-15)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307771193
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
01/12/2011
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
10 Years

Meet the Author

Michele Torrey is the author of several works of nautical fiction, including To the Edge of the World, Voyage of Ice, and Voyage of Plunder, the first two books in the Chronicles of Courage series. The author lives in Washington state. The author lives in South Bend, WA.


From the Hardcover edition.

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