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Submarine Outlaw (audio book)

Submarine Outlaw (audio book)

4.5 2
by Philip Roy

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Submarine Outlaw takes YA readers on a unique journey when Alfred, a young boy who wants to be an explorer - not a fisherman - teams up with a junkyard genius to build a submarine that he sails around the Maritimes. The book takes the reader through the detailed hands-on process of submarine construction into the world of real ocean navigation, replete with a


Submarine Outlaw takes YA readers on a unique journey when Alfred, a young boy who wants to be an explorer - not a fisherman - teams up with a junkyard genius to build a submarine that he sails around the Maritimes. The book takes the reader through the detailed hands-on process of submarine construction into the world of real ocean navigation, replete with a high-seas chase, daring rescue, and treasure hunting. Children will identify with Alfred's desire for an adventurous life and the sense of empowerment that comes with building his own submarine and operating it independently. They will also love the unusual crew - a rescued dog and a quirky seagull. The First Prize Winner of the Atlantic Writers Competition, Submarine Outlaw shows how any great goal in life takes a good deal of patience, determination and hard work. But hard work on one's dream becomes an act of joy. Another important theme developed is the importance of good judgment. The main character learns first hand that he is equally able to make good and bad choices, and must quickly identify the difference. The theme of choosing a career of one's own in the face of familial or societal opposition is also well developed. There is an element of mystery and intrigue intrinsic to submarines that makes for compelling reading. When the main character is mistaken for a Russian spy sub and chased by the Canadian coastguard, the plot takes many exciting twists, making the book difficult to put down. Children will identify with the main character because he is an average young teen filled with desire and enthusiasm, and driven to follow his dreams. Step by step they will see how a typical, average young teen comes to live a very extraordinary experience.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Leigh Geiger
In this exciting adventure 12-year old Alfred is determined not to do what's expected of him; that is, to quit school at 14 to become a fisherman. He has dreams of exploring the ocean. Alfred forms an unlikely friendship with a curmudgeonly junkyard owner when they develop a mutual interest in creating a submarine, built primarily from junkyard scraps. I know this sounds improbable, and I don't have the expertise to comment on the technical soundness of the plan, but Roy devotes over one third of the text to specific details about the ship's structure and navigation system. The publisher's website includes photos of a submarine shell, which Roy built using the methods described in this story. But this is not a dry, scientific tale of ship-building. After two years of hard work, the sub is complete and Alfred begins his underwater adventures which include many high-sea chases, mysterious sea creatures, a hunt for sunken treasure and a daring sea rescue. And there's the heart-warming friendships Alfred forms with an abandoned dog and a demanding seagull. However, not all readers will identify with Alfred. He seems too perfect at times. He is only mildly impatient while waiting for more than two years to finish the boat and escape his fate as a fisherman. Although he makes a few minor mistakes, his character is more mature than the average 12-14 year-old boy. He seems to have no friends, and he has no problem slipping out of his family home and living entirely on his own camping in the woods to avoid becoming a fisherman. Some cultural differences may be involved here. In a town where leaving school at 14 and starting your work life is the norm, children would probably mature at an earlier age. This book has become the first in what is now called the "Submarine Outlaw" series, which expands on the lives of Alfred and his two furry companions in the submarine. Reviewer: Leigh Geiger, Ph.D.
VOYA - Mark Letcher
In Submarine Outlaw, the initial book in the Submarine Outlaw series, Alfred is a young boy, living off the coast of Newfoundland. His mother died when he was born, and his father left soon thereafter. He has grown up under the care of his grandparents, and his grandfather anticipates the day when Alfred will be old enough to go to sea and learn fishing, the family trade. Alfred, however, has other dreams; he wants to explore, to see the world, and will do anything to avoid being trapped in a life as a fisherman. When he meets Ziegfried, a rough but sweet junkyard owner, his life changes. In Ziegfried's yard sits an old oil tank, which Alfred and Ziegfried convert into a working, one-man submarine. Alfred's anticipation builds as they test the submarine and, eventually, set it off on its maiden voyage. On his initial trip, Alfred explores the coastline around Newfoundland using his skill and wits to avoid the coast guard, who would surely take his vessel from him for not having proper permits. Joined by his crew, consisting of a seagull and a dog, he rescues a family stranded during a strong storm and recovers a cache of gold coins from a sunken ship. The later books in the series extend Alfred's travels and test his limits, both geographically and emotionally. Journey to Atlantis finds Alfred crossing the Atlantic to search for the mythic lost city and meeting unique individuals along the way who shape his worldview. In River Odyssey, Alfred stays closer to home, traveling down the St. Lawrence River in search of the father who left him as an infant and hoping to find answers to his own past. Perhaps Alfred's most emotional journey occurs in Ghosts of the Pacific, in which he lands on the island of Saipan, home to some of the most vicious battles of World War II, and comes to a greater understanding of man's inhumanity to other men. This is an award-winning series that will appeal to young readers, particularly boys who are drawn to adventure stories and the technical elements of sea travel. Female characters are few and underdeveloped. The prose is straightforward, with a third-person perspective that allows readers to put themselves in Alfred's mindset. The first book drags somewhat, amid the many details of the submarine's construction and testing, but once Alfred sets off on his travels, it picks up pace. The three following books focus more on Alfred's adventures than the technical details of his vessel, and move more effectively. Readers who follow the entire series will see real growth in Alfred as a character —from a single-minded fourteen-year-old who just wants to explore to a sixteen-year-old world traveler who has learned the beauty and dangers of the sea, witnessed firsthand man's destruction of the oceans, and pledges to do something about it by becoming an environmentalist. (The Submarine Outlaw Series) Reviewer: Mark Letcher

Product Details

Ronsdale Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

Meet the Author

Philip Francis Roy was born and raised in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. He grew up beside the ocean, and now it features in many of the stories he writes. His university studies included music and history, but he also knew from an early age that he wanted to write novels. Submarine Outlaw, his first published novel, is the result of a lifelong fascination with submarines and a secret desire to build one. If teens enjoy reading Submarine Outlaw half as much as I enjoyed writing it,Ó says Philip, I will feel very rewarded indeed.Ó Philip has many other stories waiting in the docks, including an exciting sequel to Submarine Outlaw, coming soon.

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Submarine Outlaw 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an incredible adventure series. My children love Roy's novels, and they're always waiting for the next installment. And then it's a real plus that the main character is so admirable, too. You can't get much better than a story with a boy (Alfred) who travels all around the world in his own homemade submarine--with two fabulous sidekicks for crew members: a dog and a seagull! Alfred is just a great role model for children and teens. Submarine Outlaw was nominated for a Red Maple Award in Canada. It also won first prize in the Atlantic Writer's Competition. If you ask me, Roy should be winning the Forest of Reading awards (also in Canada) every year that he comes out with a new book. We never get tired of reading about Alfred's journeys! The series is a hit with my kids, that's for sure!
Lawral More than 1 year ago
About: Alfred lives with his grandparents in Dark Cove, a small town in Newfoundland. All the men of Dark Cove are fishermen, and it looks as though this will be Alfred's destiny as well. But to be a fisherman, looking out at the sea from the relative safeness of a fishing boat, never straying far from the coastline and certainly never going into the water (most of the fishermen cannot swim even though they spend most of their lives on the water), would kill Alfred. He wants to be an explorer and he wants to explore the depths of the sea. This is where Ziegfried comes in. This intimidatingly large and gruff owner of a junkyard happens to be a mechanical genius. He agrees to help Alfred build a submarine for one, allowing Alfred to escape his grandfather's fishy wishes for him pursue fishy dreams of his own. Review: Okay, I'll admit it. I was worried about this one. Realistic fiction about a kid who, with the help of a junkyard maven, turns an oil tank into a working submarine? I'm all for fantasy, but huge suspensions of disbelief in a story that is supposed to be realistic, of the kind I thought I was going to have to make right there in the first chapter, are not my strong suit. But then Ziegfried started, matter of factly, building a submarine out of an oil tank. There are almost 80 pages of the building and testing of this submarine, a lot for a 250 page book. It makes for a slow start to the story, but not a slow start for the book. Ziegfried explains everything he's doing as he goes along, ostensibly so that Alfred will be able to handle minor repairs on his own at sea, but really so that we readers will not have to make that huge jump on our own. It's so interesting to read about all the ways he's making sure things float and sink when you want them too, and it is, to my limited mechanical knowledge, pretty realistic. Once the submarine is built, Alfred is off! Along the way he picks up a seagull and a dog, meets a lady who lives alone on an island save her own menagerie of furry and feathered companions, rescues a family at sea, finds some treasure, and gets chased by the coastguard, navy, and excited locals. Looking back, the whole thing is a bit episodic, but while reading, the story is not the least disjointed. The connecting theme is Alfred's realization that the actions of his 14 year old self in his little tiny submarine have consequences, good and bad. Over the course of the novel he learns how to weigh his choices before rushing into a decision, who to trust to help him, and that other people (and a bird and a dog) are counting on him. Basically, during his year at sea, he grows up. The descriptions of how the submarine worked as well as the life at sea and along the coast of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia were incredibly interesting and often beautiful. This series will be a hit with readers interested in oceanography, treasure-hunting (but not pirates), and the general way things work. I can't wait to read about Alfred's next adventure, which will take him a bit farther from home and the relative safety of the coast. If you need another reason to read this book, the paper it is printed on is made of 100% post-consumer waste! It doesn't really have anything to do with the story, clearly, but it's definitely a practice that should be applauded! Book source: Review copy from publisher