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The Voyage of the Arctic Tern [Illustrated] [Paperback]

Hugh Montgomery , Nick Poullis
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Jun 2003
Things happen here in Plymouth in the winter And of such things you'd surely never learn. So take your seat and listen while I tell you Of Bruno and his ship, The Arctic Tern...The Voyage of The Arctic Tern is a classic tale of treason, treachery and treasure, sweeping across many centuries and different lands, from Scandinavia to Spain to the south-west of England. At its heart is the ship's skipper, Bruno, cursed to a life of eternal wandering in a moment of greed and betrayal. His quest for release brings him to the court of the King of Spain and a battle with an ancient adversary, the villainous pirate Mad Dog Morgan. Can Bruno and his crew set right the wrongs of the past and present? Will good triumph over evil? How can the captain of The Arctic Tern ever find the redemption he seeks?

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Product details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Books Ltd; New edition edition (2 Jun 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0744594839
  • ISBN-13: 978-0744594836
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 22.9 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 745,269 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Like the real-life history of its author--a deep-sea diving, mountaineering, snake-loving, cycling Doctor--The Voyage of the Arctic Tern is stuffed full of incident. It may be long, as heavy as a brick, told in poetry and feature a sweeping historical narrative that crosses the centuries, but Hugh Montgomery's debut work for children is a satisfyingly old-fashioned adventure that thrills, mystifies and captivates the reader in turns.

Told in verse that is perfectly accompanied on each page by the haunting and atmospheric illustrations of Nick Poullis, the story begins in the modern-day naval town of Plymouth. The narrator tells of a ghostly sea captain called Bruno who was destined to wander through time, trapped in existence by immortal life--his punishment for a hideous crime that he had committed in a forgotten age. Bruno had sold out for money the people of his tiny home fishing village. However, Bruno himself had been betrayed by his paymasters and each and every man, woman and child had perished because of him. Bruno's soul would be spared only when he had made amends for his three crimes. He must save a life, rescue one that has been betrayed and help some local folk by giving away a large wealth. Bruno's ship is the Arctic Tern, and to complete the first of his steps to redemption he travels to Spain in the time of Queen Elizabeth I on a mission of peace. There he has the opportunity, with his travelling colleagues, to unravel a plot to poison the Spanish King.

There are other adventures too--involving ghosts, pirates and treasure. The poetry is sometimes inconsistent, but the stories are never dull and they shine through, pure and undiminished. It's difficult to imagine a better rainy afternoon read under a blanket on the sofa. The book is sure to endure and with its sumptuous production will no doubt be a multi-seasonal gift for years to come. (Age 10 and over)--John McLay --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"* "Here's my prediction for the children's film success of 2004 or thereabouts. It will be based on a book called The Voyage of The Arctic Tern, by Hugh Montgomery... A cross between Watership Down and C. S. Lewis." Richard Brooks, The Sunday Times * "A tour de force... a beautifully illustrated, completely accessible and highly atmospheric adventure story... It shows children that poetry can be accessible, understandable and even mimic the rhythms of modern speech." The Times * "One of the most exciting children's books for some time, it's also gloriously traditional... Children will love it." The Independent * "Read [it] aloud and your class may well plead for more." Wendy Cooling, Literacy and Learning * "This rare and beautiful book belongs in every home." The Good Book Guide.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I read this book in its first incarnation last year. It now seems that Walker Books have bought it for mass distribution. And about time!
This book is unique. Not a mere clone of any other on the market. Totally original. With a wonderful story, and magical illustrations (on every one of over 200 pages!), this is a book to treasure.
The story is a classic of right and wrong, good and bad. Bruno, the mysterious sailor, must make amends for deeds past... and in so doing defeat the pirate MadDog. A faithful crew, sunken treasure... even a dog (!), this has all the elements of a 'ripping read'. I read it in one go.
Described as 'an obvious read-aloud book', this is one for all the family. And I don't seem to be alone. Winner of the DT 'Book of the Year' last year, and tipped by the Sunday Times as 'the film of 2003', this is one to get now.
Age range? probably to read with a child from 6 upwards. Or for anyone aged 8-108 to read alone.
And who knows? With first edition Hary Potters going for £3,000, this could be a good investment!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unmissable! 29 May 2002
By A Customer
This is a book for all - 'read aloud', kids on their own, adults up to grandparents! The story's mystery and excitement is enhanced by the verse in which it is written. Most adults I know who have read it have done so in one sitting. Kids can't wait to get their next installment - no problem getting to bed if they know this is their bedtime reading! Makes a perfect gift for all - and they will all want to give copies to their friends. Beautifully illustrated and bound, this really is a treasure of a book which will delight your whole family.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Ever 15 Jun 2002
I am holidaying in Portsmouth, and the weather has been wet and rainy all week. Having exhausted all indoor 'things to do', I retreated to a local bookshop, where I found this on display. 200+ pages of verse? For children? Surely not for me- I'm 27! But something attracted me- and I was not disappointed. This is just fantastic. The most wonderful and unique book. I've not read anything so enjoyable for an age. My sole regret is that I don't have a family to read this to/ with, as it would be just GREAT read aloud. Something here for kids of all ages, and also adults of all ages. I cannot recommend this enough...
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