Ships have sailed through human history for thousands of years. Sometimes, their dramatic voyages have even changed the course of the world–bringing cultures together in peace or conflict, playing a role in wars and revolutions, and transforming societies.
A gentle visionary coming of age in the shadow of the shipyards of northern England, Dominic Hall is torn between extremes. On the one hand, he craves the freedom he feels when he steals away with the eccentric girl artist next door, Holly Stroud, his first and abiding love, to balance above the earth on a makeshift tightrope. With Holly, Dom dreams of a life different in every way from his shipbuilder dad’s, a life fashioned of words and images and story. On the other hand, he finds himself irresistibly drawn to the brutal charms of Vincent McAlinden, a complex bully who awakens something wild and reckless and killing in Dom.
When sailors aboard a Dutch ship in 1663 capture a creature, half man and half fish, the superstitious crewmen want to kill it, except for a young cabin boy who believes that the creature deserves to live.
Illustrations, maps, diagrams, concise biographies, and many interesting facts are used to tell the story of the building of the Panama Canal, as well as to give insight into the struggles and sacrifices that were made by those who played their part in its construction.
In 1704, Alexander Selkirk was voyaging across the South Pacific when, after arguing with the ship’s captain, he was put ashore—alone—on an uninhabited island. Equipped with little more than a musket and his wits, Selkirk not only survived in complete solitude for more than four years, but came to be quite comfortable and happy. After being rescued by a British privater in 1709, he took a leading role in several dramatic captures of merchant ships. Although he returned to civilization a rich man,he couldn’t find a place in society and always longed to return to the paradise of his island. Selkirk’s well-documented adventures so inspired Daniel Defoe that they became the basis for his perennial classic, Robinson Crusoe. Author’s note, glossary, bibliography,index.
This time Nim’s the fish-out-of-water as she stows away on a cruise ship to save her kidnapped sea lion friend. Accompanied by her likeable iguana, Fred, the island girl lands with a splash in Manhattan, on the run from a very Bad Guy, and on her way to reunite with her friend, cowardly adventure novelist Alex Rover.
Adrift in the Mediterranean Sea, Ben falls captive to a band of slave traders and their leader Al Misurata. With his faithful dog Ned at his side, Ben must plot escape as the ship of scoundrels sails up the Libyan coastline toward Italy, where a trap awaits. Ruthless enemies and hard times appear around every bend, but Ben and Ned have quick wits to rely on and, just as important, one another.
In Japan, the ship The Jade Lotus takes a calico cat aboard for good luck, but the crew still runs into all kinds of trouble.