Monday, October 20, 2008

Seaborn-- Craig Moodie

What is more peaceful than sailing the Atlantic Ocean on a calm summer day, sketching, and listening to seabirds calling? In Seaborn, Luke and his father escape their familial chaos by leaving land behind and sailing their rig along the east coast of the United States. In order to prolong their distraction from real life and the mainland, Luke's father proposes that they find the Gulf Stream and head toward open ocean. When the weather suddenly turns for the worst, and Luke's father is thrown overboard by enormous crashing waves, Luke finds himself alone and sailing a badly damaged boat in the middle of a tropical storm. Luke's survival is in his own hands, and somehow he must find a way to be rescued.

Seaborn has a great premise... teens eat this kind of survival-natural disaster fiction up. However, I was disappointed in the execution of the plot. Moodie spent way too much time setting the story up. Almost 3/4 of the book takes place before the big storm hits. The reader only gets a few chapter's worth of Luke's survival efforts, and the story wraps itself up very tidily and quickly. The most interesting and compelling part of the story for teens (and for this reader who had the mind of a teen!) is how Luke fixes his boat, finds food to eat, and searches for rescue. All the set-up about Luke's family and friends back home do nothing to entice the reader, and don't even tie into the events that conclude the book.

Still, even though I didn't particularly enjoy this book, I would recommend it to teens who liked Life as We Knew It, books by Will Hobbs and Gary Paulsen, and books about boats and sailing. This book would probably be enjoyed mostly by boys and is appropriate for tweens as well as teens.

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