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Stowaway Hardcover – 1 Nov 2000

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (Nov. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689839871
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439305358
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.7 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,352,188 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Karen Hesse is the author of many books for young people, including "Out of the Dust", winner of the Newbery Medal, "Letters from Rifka", "Brooklyn Bridge", "Phoenix Rising", "Sable "and" Lavender". In addition to the Newbery, she has received honors including the Scott O Dell Historical Fiction Award, the MacArthur Fellowship Genius Award and the Christopher Award, and was nominated for a National Jewish Book Award. Born in Baltimore, Hesse graduated from the University of Maryland. She and her husband Randy live in Vermont. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Paperback.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is not a new idea, to take a historical event, select a character and tell a story from the perspective of that person. It has, however, been very well executed in The Stowaway, where our narrator, Nick, presents the wonders, the discomforts and the tragedies of Captain Cook's first journey of exploration.

Only a few facts are known about the real Nicholas Young, who did stow away, aged 11, on Cook's voyage around the world between 1768-1771, was commissioned by Cook after the ship reached Tahiti, was bullied by a vindictive midshipman, assisted the Endeavour's surgeon and was the first person to spot New Zealand. Later, on growing up, he went on other journeys of exploration.

Some have commented that the book is surprisingly slow, but surely that is the point, sailing was very slow with very little happening between storms, masts toppling and sailors being lashed before the island-hopping expeditions begin. What is needless information to one reader is fascinating to another, especially for those approaching their teenage years who are the intended reading audience. Sufficient information, dates, latitudes and longitudes, and geographical names are included to enable the most responsive readers to follow and broaden the story on the internet.

On the run from his demanding father, a bullying schoolteacher, the Reverend Smythe, and the cruel butcher who employed him, Nick is first met hiding away with the animals on the Endeavour after having been helped onboard by some friendly crewmembers. He must stay hidden for months and moths, so as not to run the risk on being set ashore on his discovery. The reader shares his increasing discomfort.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x92d8bc00) out of 5 stars 62 reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x92df3384) out of 5 stars Great Birthday Gift 4 Dec. 2000
By Dale L. Burney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
My grandson is going to be 11 this month. I've decided that he's getting this book as his birthday book. Nicholas, the boy in the book, is 11 when he stows away on the HMS Endeavor, which is captained by Captain JamesCook. What better way to show an 11 year old what the future can be than to follow the exploits of another 11 year old in his trek around the world. I picked this book up to read because of the author. I loved OUT OF THE DUST by Karen Hesse. I figured that this one would be as good. It is, but in a different way. I loved how much it taught me about history and how it's sent me hunting for answers to questions it raised. The map on the inside of the front and back covers was invaluable in tracking the trip. And what a nice surprise at the end of the book to find out there was a real Nicholas.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x92bfd6d8) out of 5 stars More history than fiction! 25 Feb. 2001
By Bibliotekaria - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Having known only a few isolated facts about Captain James Cook and his expeditions, this book sent me running to the encyclopedia to learn more. It is indeed impressive to learn that Cook's crew was made up partially of gentlemen scholars who set out to further the world's knowledge not only of geography, but astronomy (observing the Venus pass before the sun), botany, zoology, medicine (being among the first to prevent an outbreak of scurvy) and cultural anthropology. The level of discipline and high standards of behavior demanded by Captain Cook were equally impressive. Told from the daily journal of an 11-year-old stowaway who has escaped an oppressive past, but through the skillful writing of Karen Hesse, the story is appealing to youngsters with an adventurous spirit. I would recommend this book to strong readers.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x92c42c84) out of 5 stars Sail Away ... 9 Aug. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
My 11 year old daughter and I have been reading this book all summer. While it is not as exciting as our last sail, The Wanderer by Sharon Creech (5+ stars), it has really grown on us. It is an amazing real life story of a young stowaway who must deal with all the day to day realities of living on and off an explorer's ship: scurvy, bullies, sickness, rats, cannibals, coco nuts, etc. It's written as a diary, as a 12 year old would have written and seen things -- in the late 1700's. Highly recommended to those interested in adventure, sailing and history. 5- stars.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x930cb348) out of 5 stars the best book I have ever read 8 Mar. 2001
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The book I read Stowaway was by Karen Hesse. In 1768, an eleven-year-old boy named Nicholas Young stowed away on a ship. He hid himself from the captain the crew, and waited to be carried far away. Nick didn't know it, but the ship he chose - H.M.S. Endeavour - was bound for an amazing adventure. Captained by James Cook. Endeavour was on a secret mission to discover an unknown continent at the bottom of the globe. During his three-year voyage, Nick faced hardship and he sot out danger and proved himself brave when disaster struck. He learned to respect and trust the gentlemen on board. He made a friend and he made history.
Nicholas was weak and weak hearted when he started the voyage. At the end of the book he is a fully weathered sailor. Nick has to deal with a mean midshipsman Mr. Bootie who orders him around like a dog. He overcomes problems like that by just doing it perfectly so Mr. Bootie can't yell at him. I overcome most problems like Nick I do them as well as I can so nobody can yell at me. I might like to stowaway on a ship because I love boats and I think it would be fun to sail on one. ." "I figured that this one would be as good as Out Of The Dust. It is, but in a different way. I loved how much it taught me about history and how it's sent me hunting for answers to questions it raised. The map on the inside of the front and back covers was invaluable in tracking the trip. And what a nice surprise at the end of the book to find out there was a real Nicholas." Said a person from College Station, TX USA " I loved the book I would give it 5 stars *****. I would recommend this book to any body who loves adventure books. Stowaway was a book I could not put down until I finished it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97cb4450) out of 5 stars I recommend this rip-roaring sea tale... 23 Aug. 2005
By microjoe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In 1768 Captain Cook set about in the ship Endeavor for a secret mission, the first of his 3 historic journeys to chart new lands around the world, chart the stars, and discover new species of plants and wildlife. Joining the able crew was a small group of scientific gentlemen or "naturalists" and their servants, broken into various specialties such as botany, zoology, and astronomy. Little did the Captain know that a stowaway was on board - 11 year old Nicholas was running from a brutal apprenticeship into the only place he could think of, the adventure of the sea. Lucky for young Nick the Captain is not brutal like many others, but he does run a tight, disciplined ship. Nick is put to work, and he works hard. He receives valuable training in several areas in addition to sailor skills, he helps the ships medical officers, and the naturalists. Because Nick has a very curious mind and an eager nature, he is made a formal part of the crew and allowed to draw pay like any other seaman aboard. There is plenty of excitement with the ship's crew facing disease, storms, strange natives, and uncharted islands. A midshipman named Mr. Bootie decides it is his job to try to get Nick in trouble or be cruel to him, to the point that he is a danger to Nick's life.

We the reader join the story through Nick's eyes, as we are reading his journal. He makes an entry almost every day for the 2 years that they are at sea, and through his journal we also observe his growth into a sharp eyed young man that is very likable and gains the respect of his shipmates. It is a dramatized piece of history by the Newberry award winning writer. The author combed the actual records on the real life voyage of the Endeavor, in order to make the book as factual as possible. The nautical dialogue is accurate, but includes a glossary in the back to look up terms you do not understand. There is a list of the ships crew, and a map of the journey to follow as well. There are some illustration in the book, and the outer wrap-around cover of the book is very nice, and is based on a real seventeenth-century original.

One of the interesting impacts this book has on young people, is it leads them to want to learn more about history and they want to go to the library or other sources to learn more about Captain Cook's explorations. The book is suitable for readers age 10 and up, but any younger reader that wants to tackle it should by all means. As an adult that borrowed the book from my son for a plane trip, I too thoroughly enjoyed this interesting story. If your young reader enjoyed this, they may like to read "Carry on, Mr. Bowditch", or "The Dark Frigate".
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