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The Wreckers


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About the Author

Iain Lawrence is a journalist, travel writer, and avid sailor, and the author of many acclaimed novels, including Ghost Boy, The Skeleton Tree, Lord of the Nutcracker Men, and the High Seas Trilogy: The Wreckers, The Smugglers, andThe Buccaneers. He grew up moving all over Canada with his family. He worked in logging, fishing, and even as a forest-fire fighter before studying journalism in Vancouver and working at newspapers for ten years. He is the author of fifteen books for young readers and has received many accolades, among them the Governor General's Award and the California Young Reader Medal. He lives in the Gulf Islands with his companion, Kristin, and their dog. He invites you to visit him online at iainlawrence.com.


Gr 7-9-The Wreckers by Iain Lawrence (Delacorte, 1998) is an adventure story in the tradition of Treasure Island and Kidnapped. Fourteen-year-old John Spencer is on his father's boat, when wreckers on the coast of Cornwall lure the ship onto their rocky shore with a false beacon. A 13-year-old girl, Mary, helps him to stay alive, find his father, and stop the wreckers from continuing these crimes. Both John and Mary are portrayed as equally brave and capable. The narrator, Ron Keith, does an extraordinary job of portraying the several accents of the region, and his narration adds immeasurably to the atmosphere of the story. At the same time, every word is always completely understandable. Listeners may have some trouble with the sailing terminology and want to consult a dictionary. The story is very exciting, and somewhat graphic and violent, with many twists and surprises. Each chapter ends on a suspenseful note. This book will be especially interesting for middle school boys, and could lead to an interest in books such as Treasure Island. An excellent choice for schools and public libraries.-Pat Griffith, Schlow Memorial Library, State College, PA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

First-time novelist Lawrence gives a nod to Robert Louis Stevenson in a fast-paced, atmospheric yarn that will have adventure buffs glued to their seats. Author of two adult books on sailing, Lawrence paints a minutely observed picture of maritime life in 1799 Cornwall, where whole villages made a living by plundering ships they'd lured onto the jagged rocks of their storm-swept coastline. One such vessel is the Isle of Skye, owned by the father of 14-year-old narrator John Spencer, a Londoner who narrowly escapes drowning only to see a shipmate murdered by one of the wreckers. John goes in search of his missing father and stumbles across Stumps, a legless villain as terrifying as they come, who hints about a cache of gold and makes dark threats on his and his father's lives. Not knowing whom he can trust, John has to feel his way through a web of intrigue and treachery before time runs out for his fatherÄand himself. From the evocative jacket painting of a moonlit shipwreck to the superb characterizations, hair-raising plot and authentic period details, Lawrence's fiction is first-rate. Ages 10-14. (May)

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