Books about Wooden Sailing Ships

Books about Wooden Sailing Ships Series Cover

One of the most thrilling aspects of the primal relationship between man and nature occurs on wooden sailing ships. Add the adventure of exploration and the perils of survival when things go wrong, and the lore of the world of sailing ships is rich and varied. For further excitement, layer on pirates and their sailing ships, as well as the conflict of naval warfare, from the ancient Greeks and Carthaginians to the American Civil War. 

We have felt the tug of the sea and the lure of the sailing ship, and we are happy to share with you a rich variety of stories and novels. 

 

 

One of the most thrilling aspects of the primal relationship between man and nature occurs on wooden sailing ships. Add the adventure of exploration and the perils of survival when things go wrong, and the lore of the world of sailing ships is rich and varied. For further excitement, layer on pirates and their sailing ships, as well as the conflict of naval warfare, from the ancient Greeks and Carthaginians to the American Civil War. 

We have felt the tug of the sea and the lure of the sailing ship, and we are happy to share with you a rich variety of stories and novels. 

 

 

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Last Voyage of the Hornet: The Story that Made Mark Twain Famous

Author: Krause, Kristin

Subjects: American History; Sea Adventure; True Adventure; Maritime History; Sailing Ships

Age: 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

ISBN: 978-0-88092-265-4

Order code: 2654

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Also an iBook from iTunes

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 2654S

Last Voyage of the Hornet: The Story that Made Mark Twain Famous Cover

In 1866 the clipper ship Hornet caught fire and sank, leaving the passengers and crew—thirty-one men in all—adrift in three small boats in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. This is the account of those men as they struggled for survival for an astonishing forty-three days on less than ten days of rations. The survivors drifted for thousands of miles before reaching shore.

It was an incredible tale, and one that the down-on-his-luck newspaper reporter Samuel Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain) wanted to tell. The story made him famous, launching his writing career. It is a story of the determination of men to survive against all odds.

"Impressively researched, exceptionally well-written, thoroughly reader friendly in organization and presentation, Last Voyage of the Hornet: The Story that Made Mark Twain Famous is enhanced with the inclusion of a one-page listing of 'Points to Ponder,' a three-page glossary, and a two-page listing of bibliographic resources, making it very highly recommended for the personal reading lists of true life adventure enthusiasts, as well as community and academic library maritime history collections." – Midwest Book Review

Praise for the book from Judith Elfring, Captain Josiah Mitchell’s great granddaughter: "Kristin Krause has done excellent research. It is a very interesting read, and the way it is written makes you feel you are actually there.”

In 1866 the clipper ship Hornet caught fire and sank, leaving the passengers and crew—thirty-one men in all—adrift in three small boats in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. This is the account of those men as they struggled for survival for an astonishing forty-three days on less than ten days of rations. The survivors drifted for thousands of miles before reaching shore.

It was an incredible tale, and one that the down-on-his-luck newspaper reporter Samuel Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain) wanted to tell. The story made him famous, launching his writing career. It is a story of the determination of men to survive against all odds.

"Impressively researched, exceptionally well-written, thoroughly reader friendly in organization and presentation, Last Voyage of the Hornet: The Story that Made Mark Twain Famous is enhanced with the inclusion of a one-page listing of 'Points to Ponder,' a three-page glossary, and a two-page listing of bibliographic resources, making it very highly recommended for the personal reading lists of true life adventure enthusiasts, as well as community and academic library maritime history collections." – Midwest Book Review

Praise for the book from Judith Elfring, Captain Josiah Mitchell’s great granddaughter: "Kristin Krause has done excellent research. It is a very interesting read, and the way it is written makes you feel you are actually there.”

Last Voyage of the Hornet: The Story that Made Mark Twain Famous Cover

Last Voyage of the Hornet sample pages:

The Key to Honor

Author: Wanttaja, Ronald

Subjects: American History; Leadership; War of 1812; Maritime History; Sailing Ships

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

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

Order code: 2702

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Also an iBook from iTunes

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 2702S

The Key to Honor Cover

A Pacific Northwest Writers Conference Award Winner!

High praise from the Sea Room: “A perfect book for young adults 12-15...it demonstrates civility and honor, teaches leadership, teaches the nautical stuff along the way, is a bit better than reality, has a happy ending, and feels authentic.... Highly recommended....”

Set during the War of 1812, The Key to Honor is filled with maritime action and images. Young Nate Lawton’s bravery in combat aboard the USS Constitution in her famous victory over the HMS Guerriere has earned him midshipman’s rank, but he hides a guilty secret: he deserted his post during the battle. Although everyone sees him save the Constitution’s captain, no one sees him hide from the rest of the fight. Nate is determined to regain his honor, and it looks as though he will soon have his chance. He has been assigned to the Chesapeake in Boston Harbor. A pair of British frigates, led by the HMS Shannon, blockade the harbor, and the Chesapeake’s Captain Lawrence is under heavy pressure to deal with the blockade and reopen Boston’s vital trade.

Nate must first discover what honor is. Does it lie in the senseless duels fought by his superior officers? The arrogance shown by his fellow shipmen? Or in overcoming the contempt of the experienced seamen shown toward him as their fifteen-year-old leader? One of the shortest battles of the early U.S. Navy provides Nate’s answers and the novel’s finale.

The reader becomes one with Nate as he shares his thoughts and feelings, which are juxtaposed with Navy protocol and shown both aboard and off ship. Everywhere the author’s extensive research is deftly blended with his smooth writing style to enhance the novel’s superb realism—from dialogue and full-bodied characterization to ships’ details, Navy rules, confrontational scenes, and the historic final battle.

“...fascinating...a gripping naval story hard to lay down, it is also a coming-of-age story, a novel of character development that far surpasses many naval stories for adults.” – John Forester

A Pacific Northwest Writers Conference Award Winner!

High praise from the Sea Room: “A perfect book for young adults 12-15...it demonstrates civility and honor, teaches leadership, teaches the nautical stuff along the way, is a bit better than reality, has a happy ending, and feels authentic.... Highly recommended....”

Set during the War of 1812, The Key to Honor is filled with maritime action and images. Young Nate Lawton’s bravery in combat aboard the USS Constitution in her famous victory over the HMS Guerriere has earned him midshipman’s rank, but he hides a guilty secret: he deserted his post during the battle. Although everyone sees him save the Constitution’s captain, no one sees him hide from the rest of the fight. Nate is determined to regain his honor, and it looks as though he will soon have his chance. He has been assigned to the Chesapeake in Boston Harbor. A pair of British frigates, led by the HMS Shannon, blockade the harbor, and the Chesapeake’s Captain Lawrence is under heavy pressure to deal with the blockade and reopen Boston’s vital trade.

Nate must first discover what honor is. Does it lie in the senseless duels fought by his superior officers? The arrogance shown by his fellow shipmen? Or in overcoming the contempt of the experienced seamen shown toward him as their fifteen-year-old leader? One of the shortest battles of the early U.S. Navy provides Nate’s answers and the novel’s finale.

The reader becomes one with Nate as he shares his thoughts and feelings, which are juxtaposed with Navy protocol and shown both aboard and off ship. Everywhere the author’s extensive research is deftly blended with his smooth writing style to enhance the novel’s superb realism—from dialogue and full-bodied characterization to ships’ details, Navy rules, confrontational scenes, and the historic final battle.

“...fascinating...a gripping naval story hard to lay down, it is also a coming-of-age story, a novel of character development that far surpasses many naval stories for adults.” – John Forester

The Key to Honor Cover

The Price of Command

Author: Wanttaja, Ronald

Subjects: American History; Leadership; War of 1812; Maritime History; Sailing Ships

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

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

Order code: 2869

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 2869S

The Price of Command Cover

The Battle of Lake Erie took place a little more than three months after the Shannon/Chesapeake fight. In this follow-up novel to The Key to Honor, Midshipman Nate Lawton is sent to Lake Erie to help man the rough frontier fleet built by Oliver Hazard Perry. Historically, the novel is set in the middle of the Perry/Elliot controversy.

To his initial delight, Nate finds that a shortage of officers places him in a much higher position than his limited experience would normally bring. The fortunes of war catapult him to an even higher rank: the acting first lieutenant of a Brig of War. But command has its price. Nate’s captain is unwilling to pay it, and he uses Nate as a scapegoat for the dirty work. The captain thinks nothing of bending the truth to glorify his own career and ruin Nate if he speaks out. Now Nate is caught between the rocks of naval discipline and the shoals of his superior officer’s unbending ambition, and he must decide what to do.

The Battle of Lake Erie took place a little more than three months after the Shannon/Chesapeake fight. In this follow-up novel to The Key to Honor, Midshipman Nate Lawton is sent to Lake Erie to help man the rough frontier fleet built by Oliver Hazard Perry. Historically, the novel is set in the middle of the Perry/Elliot controversy.

To his initial delight, Nate finds that a shortage of officers places him in a much higher position than his limited experience would normally bring. The fortunes of war catapult him to an even higher rank: the acting first lieutenant of a Brig of War. But command has its price. Nate’s captain is unwilling to pay it, and he uses Nate as a scapegoat for the dirty work. The captain thinks nothing of bending the truth to glorify his own career and ruin Nate if he speaks out. Now Nate is caught between the rocks of naval discipline and the shoals of his superior officer’s unbending ambition, and he must decide what to do.

The Price of Command Cover

Surviving Erebus: An Antarctic Adventure Onboard Her Majesty's Ships Erebus and Terror

Author: Barell, John

Subjects: Growing up; Sea Adventure; Historical Adventure; Antarctic Expedition; Maritime History; Sailing Ships

Age: 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

Grade: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

ISBN: 978-0-088092-703-1

Order code: 7031

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Also an iBook from iTunes

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 7031S

Surviving Erebus: An Antarctic Adventure Onboard Her Majesty's Ships Erebus and Terror Cover

"A recommended and engaging tale" – Midwest Book Review

Surviving Erebus is based on an amazingly courageous and pioneering Antarctic voyage of exploration that began in 1839 and lasted for several years. Told through the eyes and experience of a young stowaway named David, whose chances for survival are low when he is discovered and who has to prove himself again and again to the ship's hostile and aggressive crew, this is a tale of men confronting the most adverse conditions on the planet.

David's adventures of exploration and discovery in Antarctica are described graphically and accurately; the reader can almost hear the cracking of the ice and the creaking of the ship’s timbers as winter closes in, feel the discomfort of the cramped and basic living quarters, and share the fear of young David as he wonders how he got himself into this most challenging environment. That he comes through, survives to become a valued crewmember, and grows up is due not only to his resilience, deep curiosity, and basic good nature but also to the support of an important mentor, the ship’s scientist, who enrolls him as his assistant.

This is a wonderful tale that will enthrall any young person.

About the Author: John Barell became an explorer at age thirteen when he first read Admiral Richard E. Byrd's book Little America. From that story of intrepid adventurers camped out on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica in 1928, Barell developed many questions about the heroes who risked their lives to conquer the South Pole: Why did they sail south to explore? How did they survive? What kept them safe and secure? What did they discover, and what is the future of this southern continent enshrouded in mystery, snow, and ice? So Barell wrote Admiral Byrd, who not only answered with four letters but who also invited him to visit and urged him to explore Antarctica.

Barell sailed to Antarctica on board Admiral Byrd's flagship, the USS Glacier, and served as Operations Officer during Operation DeepFreeze '63 and '64. Subsequently, he became an educator attempting to explore the many possibilities for educating young people in non-traditional settings in New York City and at Montclair State University (NJ). His published writings reflect an attempt to challenge students and their teachers to take risks by adventuring into complex situations to inquire, solve problems, and think critically.

Now professor emeritus at Montclair, Barell worked for several years as a consultant to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, helping students and teachers develop their inquisitiveness about the wonders of earth and space. Visit his website to learn more.

Reviews:

“A rippin’ good yarn—one which makes you turn the page, over and over again. But it’s more than this. It is historically faithful to the extraordinary, epic voyage of Sir James Clark Ross. It captures the characters of the leader and those whom he led in the treacherous waters and ice of Antarctica. It brings events, which happened over 150 years ago, vividly to life. A compelling read.” – James Ross, great-great-grandson of Admiral Sir James Clark Ross, Commander of the Voyage of Discovery and Research in the Southern and Antarctic Regions during the years 1839-43

“For the mariner, this tale is a humbling reminder of the mystery and the mastery of the sea. For the adventurer, the story of hardy shipmates sailing a small bomb vessel in the wildest place on earth stretches the imagination. For all readers, the lessons for young Davey, from adolescence to experience and eagerness to patience, catch the spirit as dashing sea conquests lash us to the mast and hold us there.” – Captain Nonnie Thompson, USCG Merchant Marine Officer

"A recommended and engaging tale" – Midwest Book Review

Surviving Erebus is based on an amazingly courageous and pioneering Antarctic voyage of exploration that began in 1839 and lasted for several years. Told through the eyes and experience of a young stowaway named David, whose chances for survival are low when he is discovered and who has to prove himself again and again to the ship's hostile and aggressive crew, this is a tale of men confronting the most adverse conditions on the planet.

David's adventures of exploration and discovery in Antarctica are described graphically and accurately; the reader can almost hear the cracking of the ice and the creaking of the ship’s timbers as winter closes in, feel the discomfort of the cramped and basic living quarters, and share the fear of young David as he wonders how he got himself into this most challenging environment. That he comes through, survives to become a valued crewmember, and grows up is due not only to his resilience, deep curiosity, and basic good nature but also to the support of an important mentor, the ship’s scientist, who enrolls him as his assistant.

This is a wonderful tale that will enthrall any young person.

About the Author: John Barell became an explorer at age thirteen when he first read Admiral Richard E. Byrd's book Little America. From that story of intrepid adventurers camped out on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica in 1928, Barell developed many questions about the heroes who risked their lives to conquer the South Pole: Why did they sail south to explore? How did they survive? What kept them safe and secure? What did they discover, and what is the future of this southern continent enshrouded in mystery, snow, and ice? So Barell wrote Admiral Byrd, who not only answered with four letters but who also invited him to visit and urged him to explore Antarctica.

Barell sailed to Antarctica on board Admiral Byrd's flagship, the USS Glacier, and served as Operations Officer during Operation DeepFreeze '63 and '64. Subsequently, he became an educator attempting to explore the many possibilities for educating young people in non-traditional settings in New York City and at Montclair State University (NJ). His published writings reflect an attempt to challenge students and their teachers to take risks by adventuring into complex situations to inquire, solve problems, and think critically.

Now professor emeritus at Montclair, Barell worked for several years as a consultant to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, helping students and teachers develop their inquisitiveness about the wonders of earth and space. Visit his website to learn more.

Reviews:

“A rippin’ good yarn—one which makes you turn the page, over and over again. But it’s more than this. It is historically faithful to the extraordinary, epic voyage of Sir James Clark Ross. It captures the characters of the leader and those whom he led in the treacherous waters and ice of Antarctica. It brings events, which happened over 150 years ago, vividly to life. A compelling read.” – James Ross, great-great-grandson of Admiral Sir James Clark Ross, Commander of the Voyage of Discovery and Research in the Southern and Antarctic Regions during the years 1839-43

“For the mariner, this tale is a humbling reminder of the mystery and the mastery of the sea. For the adventurer, the story of hardy shipmates sailing a small bomb vessel in the wildest place on earth stretches the imagination. For all readers, the lessons for young Davey, from adolescence to experience and eagerness to patience, catch the spirit as dashing sea conquests lash us to the mast and hold us there.” – Captain Nonnie Thompson, USCG Merchant Marine Officer

Surviving Erebus: An Antarctic Adventure Onboard Her Majesty's Ships Erebus and Terror Cover

Links

Sail to Caribee

Author: Hagen, Michael

Subjects: American History; Sea Adventure; Pirates; Sailing Ships

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

Grade: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Order code: 4101

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 4101S

Sail to Caribee Cover

Queen Anne of England has declared war on France because the grandson of King Louis XIV has become the king of Spain. Louis XIV aims to combine the power of the Spanish and the French against the English and the Dutch to dominate the world’s trade.

New York Colony, 1702. When Jack Slate, the famous pirate, arrives at Jemmy’s father’s farm to ask him to join the crew of his ship, the Annalise, thirteen-year-old Jemmy is part of his father’s bargain. The men have sailed together before, and now Slate is a commissioned privateer sailing under the English flag to plunder French and Spanish ships. Jemmy’s father has the sea in his blood but does not want to leave his son on the farm alone. Jemmy, about the same height as his father, looks to be sixteen or seventeen, wants to be a sailor, speaks and writes both English and Dutch, and is excellent at arithmetic.

Through Jemmy’s eyes we see the larger details of the ship and its unique crew, as well as the smaller details important to young adult readers: the decks, the rigging and maneuvering at sea, the weaponry, the food—all the things that were a matter of course during a day at sea but are new to Jemmy, as is the whole concept of privateering and the Articles of Contract, including payment percentages that are the rules of the voyage. The chase and capture of a French ship give him his first knowledge of the real consequences of battle.

This action-filled novel is capped by the capture of The Butcher, a Spanish pirate who has been harassing English shipping in the Windward Islands. And there is a surprise revelation about Captain Slate.

Michael Hagen is the author of Klaus, a historical novel about a fourteen-year-old German boy and how Hitler’s failed putsch of 1923 affects him, and African Term, a novel set in 1960 Addis Ababa that focuses on a teenager’s perception of his American Peace Corps teacher and the teacher’s perception of the educational system, his students, and the country.

Queen Anne of England has declared war on France because the grandson of King Louis XIV has become the king of Spain. Louis XIV aims to combine the power of the Spanish and the French against the English and the Dutch to dominate the world’s trade.

New York Colony, 1702. When Jack Slate, the famous pirate, arrives at Jemmy’s father’s farm to ask him to join the crew of his ship, the Annalise, thirteen-year-old Jemmy is part of his father’s bargain. The men have sailed together before, and now Slate is a commissioned privateer sailing under the English flag to plunder French and Spanish ships. Jemmy’s father has the sea in his blood but does not want to leave his son on the farm alone. Jemmy, about the same height as his father, looks to be sixteen or seventeen, wants to be a sailor, speaks and writes both English and Dutch, and is excellent at arithmetic.

Through Jemmy’s eyes we see the larger details of the ship and its unique crew, as well as the smaller details important to young adult readers: the decks, the rigging and maneuvering at sea, the weaponry, the food—all the things that were a matter of course during a day at sea but are new to Jemmy, as is the whole concept of privateering and the Articles of Contract, including payment percentages that are the rules of the voyage. The chase and capture of a French ship give him his first knowledge of the real consequences of battle.

This action-filled novel is capped by the capture of The Butcher, a Spanish pirate who has been harassing English shipping in the Windward Islands. And there is a surprise revelation about Captain Slate.

Michael Hagen is the author of Klaus, a historical novel about a fourteen-year-old German boy and how Hitler’s failed putsch of 1923 affects him, and African Term, a novel set in 1960 Addis Ababa that focuses on a teenager’s perception of his American Peace Corps teacher and the teacher’s perception of the educational system, his students, and the country.

Sail to Caribee Cover

Bottles of Eight and Pieces of Rum

Author: Torrey, Michele

Subjects: History; Sea Adventure; Pirates; Sailing Ships

Age: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

Grade: 4, 5, 6, 7

ISBN: 0-88092-321-0

Order code: 3210

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 3210S

Bottles of Eight and Pieces of Rum Cover

When Kip fails to prepare an oral report for history and attempts to fake one on piracy at the end of the class period, he manages to buy one night to produce a report for the next day. The only things he knows about piracy are the stories he’s heard from his sickly grandfather. Now that Grandfather is nearing his end, he begs Kip to believe that he has truly lived the tales he's told.

Grandfather had lived in two dimensions: one in the present, and one as an eighteenth-century pirate. The key to returning to the past is in a chest in the attic. He beseeches Kip to make the trip and bring to the present the daughter he left behind many years ago. A family picture moves Kip to believe the old man, and his curiosity takes over as he examines the wondrous items in the chest in the attic.

Within seconds of a bottle being in his hands, Kip is transported to a sea inhabited by pirate ships and is swimming for his life. Fished out of the sea by the crew of a pirate ship, Kip becomes one of them and learns the pirates’ code of behavior and business in detail. Kip swabs, serves, fights, and watches. But it is just after he rescues Captain Dawes from drowning and adminis­ters CPR that he faces great jeopardy. He discovers that Captain Dawes is a woman. She would kill to protect her secret.

Kip further discovers that Captain Dawes is his aunt, the daughter of his grandfather and the person he went into the past to bring back. He cannot stop the punishment the crew metes out to him and Captain Dawes, but both finally make it back to the present. And what a show he presents to his class on piracy!

When Kip fails to prepare an oral report for history and attempts to fake one on piracy at the end of the class period, he manages to buy one night to produce a report for the next day. The only things he knows about piracy are the stories he’s heard from his sickly grandfather. Now that Grandfather is nearing his end, he begs Kip to believe that he has truly lived the tales he's told.

Grandfather had lived in two dimensions: one in the present, and one as an eighteenth-century pirate. The key to returning to the past is in a chest in the attic. He beseeches Kip to make the trip and bring to the present the daughter he left behind many years ago. A family picture moves Kip to believe the old man, and his curiosity takes over as he examines the wondrous items in the chest in the attic.

Within seconds of a bottle being in his hands, Kip is transported to a sea inhabited by pirate ships and is swimming for his life. Fished out of the sea by the crew of a pirate ship, Kip becomes one of them and learns the pirates’ code of behavior and business in detail. Kip swabs, serves, fights, and watches. But it is just after he rescues Captain Dawes from drowning and adminis­ters CPR that he faces great jeopardy. He discovers that Captain Dawes is a woman. She would kill to protect her secret.

Kip further discovers that Captain Dawes is his aunt, the daughter of his grandfather and the person he went into the past to bring back. He cannot stop the punishment the crew metes out to him and Captain Dawes, but both finally make it back to the present. And what a show he presents to his class on piracy!

Bottles of Eight and Pieces of Rum Cover

Belly Up

Author: Easley, MaryAnn

Subjects: Problem Solving; Sea Adventure; Sailing Ships

Age: 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

Grade: 5, 6, 7, 8

Order code: 5515

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 5515S

Belly Up Cover

"...moves quickly and stays exciting. Recommended." – The Book Report

Hit by a whale off the coast of California, Grandpa's 55-foot fishing schooner sinks, taking Grandpa with it, leaving Rachel and Boo alone, fighting to stay alive in a free-floating life raft on an ocean filled with sharks. Their fortress against nature is an orange tent-like canopy atop three black inner tubes, with a rubberized floor thin enough to feel the water moving beneath it. The story is told from fourteen-year-old Rachel's point of view; through her eyes, we see the children struggle for survival, but we also witness memories of past events involving their grandfather. Those memories create a rich picture of the old man's personality, the reason for and details about the schooner's creation, and family relationships. In addition to the personal insights, there are the dangerous mini-adventures that lend depth to the novel: the use of a gun in "fishing" for salmon, the fishing fleet's paranoia about "hot spots," enforcing the rules of the sea and of fishing boats, and the danger of fishing in freighter lanes.

The novel is off to a quick start with the shipwreck and Rachel's and Boo's reluctant acceptance of their grandfather's death and the loss of the boat. Dealing with their own possible fate rapidly moves them from contemplation to action in order to survive. Their food soon exhausted and their water turned putrid, they manage to catch flying fish and eat them raw, use fish entrails for bait, and eat fish eyeballs for liquid. They wrestle a sea turtle on board but keep only her eggs and return her to the sea. They outride a thrashing lightening storm and suffer cold, wet nights sitting in fish slime and sea salt while listening for hissing leaks in the raft's floor. They patch the floor time and time again with 90% ingenuity and 10% materials. They sunburn and blister from the blazing sun of the day. Rachel gets food poisoning. Boo is the mainstay until rescue finally comes. Belly Up is a kids-against-the-elements page-turner!

About the Author: MaryAnn Easley is a member of the National Writers Association, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, PEN (an association for writers), the California Teachers Association, and the National Education Association. An educator and a gifted writer, she paints a complete picture of fishing for salmon aboard a two-mast, gaff-rigged schooner and crafts a wonderful sea adventure in which brother and sister team together to problem solve getting food and water and keeping their survival raft afloat.

Her fishing lingo is accurate. Her imagery is stunning. And it is no wonder because MaryAnn Easley for seven seasons fished commercially for king salmon with the Pacific Northwest Fleet while aboard her own 55-foot sailing schooner.

"...moves quickly and stays exciting. Recommended." – The Book Report

Hit by a whale off the coast of California, Grandpa's 55-foot fishing schooner sinks, taking Grandpa with it, leaving Rachel and Boo alone, fighting to stay alive in a free-floating life raft on an ocean filled with sharks. Their fortress against nature is an orange tent-like canopy atop three black inner tubes, with a rubberized floor thin enough to feel the water moving beneath it. The story is told from fourteen-year-old Rachel's point of view; through her eyes, we see the children struggle for survival, but we also witness memories of past events involving their grandfather. Those memories create a rich picture of the old man's personality, the reason for and details about the schooner's creation, and family relationships. In addition to the personal insights, there are the dangerous mini-adventures that lend depth to the novel: the use of a gun in "fishing" for salmon, the fishing fleet's paranoia about "hot spots," enforcing the rules of the sea and of fishing boats, and the danger of fishing in freighter lanes.

The novel is off to a quick start with the shipwreck and Rachel's and Boo's reluctant acceptance of their grandfather's death and the loss of the boat. Dealing with their own possible fate rapidly moves them from contemplation to action in order to survive. Their food soon exhausted and their water turned putrid, they manage to catch flying fish and eat them raw, use fish entrails for bait, and eat fish eyeballs for liquid. They wrestle a sea turtle on board but keep only her eggs and return her to the sea. They outride a thrashing lightening storm and suffer cold, wet nights sitting in fish slime and sea salt while listening for hissing leaks in the raft's floor. They patch the floor time and time again with 90% ingenuity and 10% materials. They sunburn and blister from the blazing sun of the day. Rachel gets food poisoning. Boo is the mainstay until rescue finally comes. Belly Up is a kids-against-the-elements page-turner!

About the Author: MaryAnn Easley is a member of the National Writers Association, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, PEN (an association for writers), the California Teachers Association, and the National Education Association. An educator and a gifted writer, she paints a complete picture of fishing for salmon aboard a two-mast, gaff-rigged schooner and crafts a wonderful sea adventure in which brother and sister team together to problem solve getting food and water and keeping their survival raft afloat.

Her fishing lingo is accurate. Her imagery is stunning. And it is no wonder because MaryAnn Easley for seven seasons fished commercially for king salmon with the Pacific Northwest Fleet while aboard her own 55-foot sailing schooner.

Belly Up Cover

Treasure Island (Search Trilogy)

Author: Stevenson, Robert Louis; Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: Language Arts; Reading; Literature; MCT Curriculum; Sailing Ships

Age: 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

Grade: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

ISBN: 978-0-89824-815-9

Order code: 8159

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 8159S

Treasure Island (Search Trilogy) Cover

Now your child can enjoy Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson as a Michael Clay Thompson language-illustrated classic. The novel is reproduced in its entirety and includes Michael's "language illustrations"—close-ups of poetic techniques, four-level analyses of interesting grammar, and comments about writing strategies. Challenging vocabulary is defined at the bottom of each page.

According to Michael, "Treasure Island was first serialized in Young Folks magazine from 1881 to 1882 and then published in novel form in 1883. Stevenson created a world-unto-itself, with a ship’s-worth of pirates and rogues, good souls and bad. While reading Treasure Island, we feel the salt spray of the novel, hear the booming surf on the reef, and glimpse the quick wink of that smartest of pirates, Long John Silver. Jim Hawkins is a true spirit, navigating a path through the unworldly, even as circumstances become stranger and stranger. Stevenson soaks us in strong characters with vivid, rich names—rascals and thieves, lawyers and boys. From one’s first reading of Treasure Island, Long John Silver clunks into one’s inner reality with his wooden leg and his squawking parrot and his weasel words, and from that day forward, there is always an inner Long John lurking within us, ready to fool us once again." 

Now your students can enjoy Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson as a Michael Clay Thompson language-illustrated classic. The novel is reproduced in its entirety and includes Michael's "language illustrations"—close-ups of poetic techniques, four-level analyses of interesting grammar, and comments about writing strategies. Challenging vocabulary is defined at the bottom of each page.

According to Michael, "Treasure Island was first serialized in Young Folks magazine from 1881 to 1882 and then published in novel form in 1883. Stevenson created a world-unto-itself, with a ship’s-worth of pirates and rogues, good souls and bad. While reading Treasure Island, we feel the salt spray of the novel, hear the booming surf on the reef, and glimpse the quick wink of that smartest of pirates, Long John Silver. Jim Hawkins is a true spirit, navigating a path through the unworldly, even as circumstances become stranger and stranger. Stevenson soaks us in strong characters with vivid, rich names—rascals and thieves, lawyers and boys. From one’s first reading of Treasure Island, Long John Silver clunks into one’s inner reality with his wooden leg and his squawking parrot and his weasel words, and from that day forward, there is always an inner Long John lurking within us, ready to fool us once again." 

Treasure Island (Search Trilogy) Cover

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