Novels of Paul Sullivan

Novels of Paul Sullivan Series Cover

The novels of Paul Sullivan are compelling stories; he is a gripping, factual storyteller. His early novels share a sense of connectedness between man and nature, embodying his belief in the importance of the care and preservation of the natural world—and of the devastating consequences of human failure in that regard. His later novels explore the historical background of child labor in Breaker at Dawn and the futility of war in A Burning of Prayers. Sullivan has the capacity to weave his plots and his sense of values into accurate and enthralling stories.

One of the most attractive characteristics of Sullivan’s novels is their range of appeal. His novels are accessible for advanced pre-teen readers, but they are equally for adults.

Paul Sullivan was born in Trenton, New Jersey, but he says: “I spent the best years of my boyhood in Tennessee. My father and I did a lot of hunting and fishing and traveling through the South. Those years, until I was about fourteen, were very free years. We camped by lakes or rivers or went off to see what was over the next mountain. My father had a great love of travel, learning, and books, and I took them away with me. The greatest gift he gave me was a library card. I learned about Hemingway and Jack London. And today my own books are in that same town library.”

In the 1980s, Sullivan traveled to South America, Central America, Europe, Africa, and the Arctic. He kept notes and wrote about his experiences. He bases his stories on places he has been and things he has seen and learned. He says: “I try to give them some value and write books that can be read from age eight to eighty and still be enjoyed. The greatest compliment a person often gives me after reading one of my books is simply, ‘I never saw it that way,’or, ‘I learned something.’”

The novels of Paul Sullivan are compelling stories; he is a gripping, factual storyteller. His early novels share a sense of connectedness between man and nature, embodying his belief in the importance of the care and preservation of the natural world—and of the devastating consequences of human failure in that regard. His later novels explore the historical background of child labor in Breaker at Dawn and the futility of war in A Burning of Prayers. Sullivan has the capacity to weave his plots and his sense of values into accurate and enthralling stories.

One of the most attractive characteristics of Sullivan’s novels is their range of appeal. His novels are accessible for advanced pre-teen readers, but they are equally for adults.

Paul Sullivan was born in Trenton, New Jersey, but he says: “I spent the best years of my boyhood in Tennessee. My father and I did a lot of hunting and fishing and traveling through the South. Those years, until I was about fourteen, were very free years. We camped by lakes or rivers or went off to see what was over the next mountain. My father had a great love of travel, learning, and books, and I took them away with me. The greatest gift he gave me was a library card. I learned about Hemingway and Jack London. And today my own books are in that same town library.”

In the 1980s, Sullivan traveled to South America, Central America, Europe, Africa, and the Arctic. He kept notes and wrote about his experiences. He bases his stories on places he has been and things he has seen and learned. He says: “I try to give them some value and write books that can be read from age eight to eighty and still be enjoyed. The greatest compliment a person often gives me after reading one of my books is simply, ‘I never saw it that way,’or, ‘I learned something.’”

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A Thousand Tears

Subtitle: A Novel about the Great Famine in Ireland

Author: Sullivan, Paul

Subjects: Historical Fiction; Irish Potato Famine

Age: 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

ISBN: 978-0-89824-576-9

Order code: 5769

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Also an iBook from iTunes

A Thousand Tears Cover

The Great Famine that ravaged Ireland in the years 1845-1849 killed about a million people and caused about a million more to flee the country in search of a better life. It was a time of mass starvation and disease, and it had deep political, cultural, demographic, and social consequences. These facts are hard to read and even harder to understand fully. A Thousand Tears puts the story of that desperate time period in context through the eyes of thirteen-year-old Fanny and her family as they struggle to survive. Fanny, her parents, her sick little brother, and her elderly grandfather draw on the strength of family bonds as the world they know becomes harder and harder to navigate. The novel offers a hard look at one of the most significant periods in Irish history.

The Great Famine that ravaged Ireland in the years 1845-1849 killed about a million people and caused about a million more to flee the country in search of a better life. It was a time of mass starvation and disease, and it had deep political, cultural, demographic, and social consequences. These facts are hard to read and even harder to understand fully. A Thousand Tears puts the story of that desperate time period in context through the eyes of thirteen-year-old Fanny and her family as they struggle to survive. Fanny, her parents, her sick little brother, and her elderly grandfather draw on the strength of family bonds as the world they know becomes harder and harder to navigate. The novel offers a hard look at one of the most significant periods in Irish history.

A Thousand Tears Cover

Sample Pages:

The Seal Hunters

Author: Sullivan, Paul

Subjects: Historical Adventure; Inuits; Environmental Protection

Age: 11, 12, 13, 14

Grade: 6, 7, 8, 9

ISBN: 978-0-89824-388-8

Order code: 3888

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Also an iBook from iTunes

The Seal Hunters Cover

This novel is set in the early 1900s at Earth’s frozen edge: the Arctic Circle. Canada's First People depend on their traditional skills in hunting seals and caribou for food, clothing, and skins to trade. Always aware of the fragility of their existence, the Inuits are mindful to thank the animals after the kill and to acknowledge the spirits that rule the universe. This way of life and respect for nature could not be more different from that of the European commercial seal hunters.

The story's main characters are an Inuit father, Eetuk, and his son, Inuluk. They are on a hunting expedition when young Inuluk sees a steam-and-sail ship, the Grendel, in the bay. He gets closer than he should and is chased by the men who appear on the ice. He is clubbed by a hot-headed crewman, but rather than leave him there injured, the hunters take him on board. Captive on the ship, Inuluk learns that the crew has no respect for the spirits or for the animals they hunt so mercilessly. Inuluk's arduous adventure takes him to so-called "civilization" in the trading ports, until, with the help of a crew member who speaks his language, he can return home to his family.

From this story, we learn that the hunting of the seals and caribou was essential for the survival of the nomadic Inuits and that this way of life was to change forever with the coming of the commercial ships.

This novel is set in the early 1900s at Earth’s frozen edge: the Arctic Circle. Canada's First People depend on their traditional skills in hunting seals and caribou for food, clothing, and skins to trade. Always aware of the fragility of their existence, the Inuits are mindful to thank the animals after the kill and to acknowledge the spirits that rule the universe. This way of life and respect for nature could not be more different from that of the European commercial seal hunters.

The story's main characters are an Inuit father, Eetuk, and his son, Inuluk. They are on a hunting expedition when young Inuluk sees a steam-and-sail ship, the Grendel, in the bay. He gets closer than he should and is chased by the men who appear on the ice. He is clubbed by a hot-headed crewman, but rather than leave him there injured, the hunters take him on board. Captive on the ship, Inuluk learns that the crew has no respect for the spirits or for the animals they hunt so mercilessly. Inuluk's arduous adventure takes him to so-called "civilization" in the trading ports, until, with the help of a crew member who speaks his language, he can return home to his family.

From this story, we learn that the hunting of the seals and caribou was essential for the survival of the nomadic Inuits and that this way of life was to change forever with the coming of the commercial ships.

The Seal Hunters Cover

Seal Hunters, sample pages:

Breaker at Dawn

Author: Sullivan, Paul

Subjects: American History; Immigration; Coal Mining; Child Labor

Age: 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

Grade: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

ISBN: 978-0-88092-705-5

Order code: 7055

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Also an iBook from iTunes

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 7055S

Breaker at Dawn Cover

This is a novel of the American coal industry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It is told from the point of view of Paddy O'Grady, a twelve-year-old working in a Pennsylvania mine in the breaker, where boys below the age of fourteen sorted through rapidly-moving streams of coal picking out rocks and shale from the anthracite on the way to the rail siding.

Miners and their families came from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, and Italy. The mine owners allowed the differences of national origin and ethnic rivalries to keep the workers separate and relatively powerless, and the mining towns were divided by ethnicity. Mining families were always poor, and Paddy O’Grady was not unusual in going to work in the breaker at the age of eight. The law said that children under the age of twelve were not allowed to work, but the O’Grady family desperately needed the income Paddy could bring in, and documents could be manufactured as needed.

The boys who survived the twelve-hour days in the breaker could go down into the mines and earn more money when they turned fourteen. But the work was dangerous, the overseer harsh, and Paddy had years to go before he could become a miner—an occupation that was killing his father.

Paul Sullivan is a master storyteller, and this is a gripping novel for young people.

This is a novel of the American coal industry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It is told from the point of view of Paddy O'Grady, a twelve-year-old working in a Pennsylvania mine in the breaker, where boys below the age of fourteen sorted through rapidly-moving streams of coal picking out rocks and shale from the anthracite on the way to the rail siding.

Miners and their families came from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, and Italy. The mine owners allowed the differences of national origin and ethnic rivalries to keep the workers separate and relatively powerless, and the mining towns were divided by ethnicity. Mining families were always poor, and Paddy O’Grady was not unusual in going to work in the breaker at the age of eight. The law said that children under the age of twelve were not allowed to work, but the O’Grady family desperately needed the income Paddy could bring in, and documents could be manufactured as needed.

The boys who survived the twelve-hour days in the breaker could go down into the mines and earn more money when they turned fourteen. But the work was dangerous, the overseer harsh, and Paddy had years to go before he could become a miner—an occupation that was killing his father.

Paul Sullivan is a master storyteller, and this is a gripping novel for young people.

Breaker at Dawn Cover

Breaker at Dawn Sample pages:

A Burning of Prayers

Author: Sullivan, Paul

Subjects: History; Adventure; Archaeology; Maya

Age: 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Order code: 3781

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 3781S

A Burning of Prayers Cover

This gripping adventure story is set in an unexplored and intact Maya site in Guatemala. For the team of archeologists, it is a rich lode of treasures—but there are the rebels and the army to contend with.

Between the thieves and spies for both sides, it is impossible to know if anyone can be trusted. If the archeologists abandon the site, they know that the looters certainly will take everything. If they stay in the face of civil war, the army or the rebels might well take their lives. It is up to archaeologist Walker Davis to decide to stay or go, to judge when the need to know what lay buried there is worth the risk.

Author Paul Sullivan says that his novel: "simply shows how foolish war is. The small valley in Guatemala where the story is set suffered the same kind of conflict nine hundred years ago as it did in the 1980s."

This gripping adventure story is set in an unexplored and intact Maya site in Guatemala. For the team of archeologists, it is a rich lode of treasures—but there are the rebels and the army to contend with.

Between the thieves and spies for both sides, it is impossible to know if anyone can be trusted. If the archeologists abandon the site, they know that the looters certainly will take everything. If they stay in the face of civil war, the army or the rebels might well take their lives. It is up to archaeologist Walker Davis to decide to stay or go, to judge when the need to know what lay buried there is worth the risk.

Author Paul Sullivan says that his novel: "simply shows how foolish war is. The small valley in Guatemala where the story is set suffered the same kind of conflict nine hundred years ago as it did in the 1980s."

A Burning of Prayers Cover

A Burning of Prayers sample pages:

The Spirit Walker

Author: Sullivan, Paul

Subjects: Africa; Environmental Protection; Elephants; Conservation

Age: 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

ISBN: 978-0-89824-443-4

Order code: 4434

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Also an iBook from iTunes

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 4434S

The Spirit Walker Cover

The first time they encountered one another, the old bull elephant had just come upon his herd, freshly slaughtered by a poacher with an unrelenting desire to kill anything that can bring a profit. The elephant had charged the man who was still butchering the cows and calves, had caught him unprepared, and had injured him gravely—but not before the man managed to get off a rifle shot, planting a bullet deep in the elephant's chest near his heart.

The poacher, Teich, has spent the ensuing years burning with the hatred of revenge. He is consumed with finding and killing the elephant, both to settle the score and to harvest the old bull's huge ivory tusks. Teich is unkempt, undignified, and ruthless. He enjoys killing, and little else. His hired man, Tebe, does not feel the same. For Tebe, the work is a way to make money so that he can provide for his beloved wife Kopela. Kopela, however, would rather he stop poaching. The risk is not worth the reward, and she has become alarmed at the vast numbers of animals that are disappearing from the African landscape. Soon there will be none.

One day a strange man comes to see them. Masuku, the old African, explains that he can find Teich's elephant. Teich is immediately interested, but Kopela begs Tebe not to go with them. Masuku frightens her, and recent events have cast ominous shadows over the entire business. But Tebe shrugs off her fears, and he sets out with Teich and the old man to find the old elephant so that they can end the saga once and for all. What he does not know, however, is Masuku's underlying motive. Masuku communes with nature. He sees the thread of life in all things, and he silently works to bring the two adversaries together in order to allow nature to bring things back into its just pattern.

The Spirit Walker is a heart-wrenching, gut-wrenching look at the evils of poaching and the loss of entire species for profit, but it is also an insightful tribute to the grandeur of nature and the majesty of the African elephant, the Earth's largest and most powerful land animal. Paul Sullivan writes with an unblinking eye that sees the world as it is, as it could be, and as it will be if we do not step forward to save it.

The first time they encountered one another, the old bull elephant had just come upon his herd, freshly slaughtered by a poacher with an unrelenting desire to kill anything that can bring a profit. The elephant had charged the man who was still butchering the cows and calves, had caught him unprepared, and had injured him gravely—but not before the man managed to get off a rifle shot, planting a bullet deep in the elephant's chest near his heart.

The poacher, Teich, has spent the ensuing years burning with the hatred of revenge. He is consumed with finding and killing the elephant, both to settle the score and to harvest the old bull's huge ivory tusks. Teich is unkempt, undignified, and ruthless. He enjoys killing, and little else. His hired man, Tebe, does not feel the same. For Tebe, the work is a way to make money so that he can provide for his beloved wife Kopela. Kopela, however, would rather he stop poaching. The risk is not worth the reward, and she has become alarmed at the vast numbers of animals that are disappearing from the African landscape. Soon there will be none.

One day a strange man comes to see them. Masuku, the old African, explains that he can find Teich's elephant. Teich is immediately interested, but Kopela begs Tebe not to go with them. Masuku frightens her, and recent events have cast ominous shadows over the entire business. But Tebe shrugs off her fears, and he sets out with Teich and the old man to find the old elephant so that they can end the saga once and for all. What he does not know, however, is Masuku's underlying motive. Masuku communes with nature. He sees the thread of life in all things, and he silently works to bring the two adversaries together in order to allow nature to bring things back into its just pattern.

The Spirit Walker is a heart-wrenching, gut-wrenching look at the evils of poaching and the loss of entire species for profit, but it is also an insightful tribute to the grandeur of nature and the majesty of the African elephant, the Earth's largest and most powerful land animal. Paul Sullivan writes with an unblinking eye that sees the world as it is, as it could be, and as it will be if we do not step forward to save it.

The Spirit Walker Cover

Sample Pages:

Keewatin

Author: Sullivan, Paul

Subjects: Arctic; Natural World; Animal Story

Age: 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Order code: 2540

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 2540S

Keewatin Cover

This is the compelling story of a man alone trying to survive in the Arctic as the winter is closing in.

Jake Quinn can fly an airplane, but he is not a hunter. When his plane develops carburetor trouble, he puts down on a frozen river, only to see the ice break up and the plane disappear into the water. His thoughts for survival are to keep from freezing and to reach civilization. He has a rifle with two cartridges, a few matches, a parka, and a blanket. He does not have a map or a compass. Soon he is stalked by a large white bear. He knows that his rifle offers him little protection against the bear. He recognizes that he is an alien in this frozen land, which belongs to the stalking white bear.

Jake has always admired the bears’ strength and awesome beauty. Although he had seen many bears from the window of his plane, this one is the biggest by far. In this story of man’s place in Nature’s North, the bear is relentless, and the man is persistent but humble. Jake is equally careful and respectful of the wolves he runs across.

The special dangers and problems of surviving in the far north become clear to any reader during the course of the novel.

This is a spectacularly good adventure and psychological story—simple, compelling, clear, and engaging.

This is the compelling story of a man alone trying to survive in the Arctic as the winter is closing in.

Jake Quinn can fly an airplane, but he is not a hunter. When his plane develops carburetor trouble, he puts down on a frozen river, only to see the ice break up and the plane disappear into the water. His thoughts for survival are to keep from freezing and to reach civilization. He has a rifle with two cartridges, a few matches, a parka, and a blanket. He does not have a map or a compass. Soon he is stalked by a large white bear. He knows that his rifle offers him little protection against the bear. He recognizes that he is an alien in this frozen land, which belongs to the stalking white bear.

Jake has always admired the bears’ strength and awesome beauty. Although he had seen many bears from the window of his plane, this one is the biggest by far. In this story of man’s place in Nature’s North, the bear is relentless, and the man is persistent but humble. Jake is equally careful and respectful of the wolves he runs across.

The special dangers and problems of surviving in the far north become clear to any reader during the course of the novel.

This is a spectacularly good adventure and psychological story—simple, compelling, clear, and engaging.

Keewatin Cover

Legend of the North

Author: Sullivan, Paul

Subjects: Natural World; Wolves; Inuits

Age: 11, 12, 13, 14

Grade: 6, 7, 8, 9

Order code: 3083

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 3083S

Legend of the North Cover

“The wolf’s narrative is so skillfully written that readers easily suspend disbelief.... An exciting, satisfying read for that special young adult.– Booklist

“...good character development...exciting action...the plot itself is well-crafted...effect of talking animals works; readers will become immersed in Amitok’s adventure.” – VOYA Magazine

It was a white man’s gun that killed Kivvik, and the man took the hide from his body. And later it was the wolverine who ate the flesh and broke the bones to suck out the marrow. But they did not take the spirit of Kivvik, the great white wolf.

Kivvik’s spirit avenges and cleanses the land of Ross, who hunts from airplanes for sport, and of the wolverine, the reckless killer. Kivvik’s spirit gives strength and direction to his grandson, Amitok. Amitok, once the runt of his litter, is rewarded for his intellect, curiosity, and obedience to the code of the land and his clan. At one with his spirit, Amitok grows from a bewildered pup into a great white wolf able to follow Kivvik. It is when Amitok and Kivvik come to interact with the men who inhabit this barren land that their story becomes a Legend of the North.

This is a mighty fable, a legend of the Inuit that Sullivan portrays artfully.

“The wolf’s narrative is so skillfully written that readers easily suspend disbelief.... An exciting, satisfying read for that special young adult.– Booklist

“...good character development...exciting action...the plot itself is well-crafted...effect of talking animals works; readers will become immersed in Amitok’s adventure.” – VOYA Magazine

It was a white man’s gun that killed Kivvik, and the man took the hide from his body. And later it was the wolverine who ate the flesh and broke the bones to suck out the marrow. But they did not take the spirit of Kivvik, the great white wolf.

Kivvik’s spirit avenges and cleanses the land of Ross, who hunts from airplanes for sport, and of the wolverine, the reckless killer. Kivvik’s spirit gives strength and direction to his grandson, Amitok. Amitok, once the runt of his litter, is rewarded for his intellect, curiosity, and obedience to the code of the land and his clan. At one with his spirit, Amitok grows from a bewildered pup into a great white wolf able to follow Kivvik. It is when Amitok and Kivvik come to interact with the men who inhabit this barren land that their story becomes a Legend of the North.

This is a mighty fable, a legend of the Inuit that Sullivan portrays artfully.

Legend of the North Cover

The Unforgiving Land

Author: Sullivan, Paul

Subjects: Arctic; Natural World; Inuits

Age: 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Order code: 2567

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 2567S

The Unforgiving Land Cover

Intukk had a vision when he was a boy, and if it had not been for this, the People would not have settled to hunt the land and sea of the place later known as Hewitt Sound. But under the influence of the white man’s greed for hides, the People broke the covenant with nature, and the land became empty.

Three quarters of a century later, Matthew Hewitt arrived to find information about an uncle who had disappeared. He had no Arctic experience for the long trek to Hewitt Sound, but he did have the aid of an old Inuit hunter. Together, the two men go to the brink of death as Matthew pieces together the story and comes to understand the mysteries of the land—myth twisted in truth and truth twisted in myth.

The Unforgiving Land is told in a double narrative as the past and present intertwine in a perfectly balanced novel of white man’s greed, the temptations of modern conveniences, Inuit transgressions, and nature’s ultimate revenge.

Paul Sullivan pays homage in this book to the Arctic, its people, land, weather, and fauna. Through his extraordinary talent he draws his readers into his stories to experience the tales as they unfold. The grandeur of his language and emotion warm us as we stand out in the frozen stillness beside the great white bear, the white wolf, and the Inuit. We come to know the heartbeat of the land that “respects few who challenge it, none of those who do not understand it, and all who enter it.”

Intukk had a vision when he was a boy, and if it had not been for this, the People would not have settled to hunt the land and sea of the place later known as Hewitt Sound. But under the influence of the white man’s greed for hides, the People broke the covenant with nature, and the land became empty.

Three quarters of a century later, Matthew Hewitt arrived to find information about an uncle who had disappeared. He had no Arctic experience for the long trek to Hewitt Sound, but he did have the aid of an old Inuit hunter. Together, the two men go to the brink of death as Matthew pieces together the story and comes to understand the mysteries of the land—myth twisted in truth and truth twisted in myth.

The Unforgiving Land is told in a double narrative as the past and present intertwine in a perfectly balanced novel of white man’s greed, the temptations of modern conveniences, Inuit transgressions, and nature’s ultimate revenge.

Paul Sullivan pays homage in this book to the Arctic, its people, land, weather, and fauna. Through his extraordinary talent he draws his readers into his stories to experience the tales as they unfold. The grandeur of his language and emotion warm us as we stand out in the frozen stillness beside the great white bear, the white wolf, and the Inuit. We come to know the heartbeat of the land that “respects few who challenge it, none of those who do not understand it, and all who enter it.”

The Unforgiving Land Cover

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