The Smugglers (High Seas Trilogy)

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Press:Random House Childrens Books Yearling; 1st THUS edition (October 10, 2000)
Publication Date:2000-10
ISBN:9780440415961
Author Name:Lawrence, Iain
Pages:208
Language:English

Content

"Steer clear of that ship," warns the mysterious gentleman who shares a coach with John and his father. 
"Death she'll bring you," says the man.
"It's the way of a ship that was christened with blood."This is an ominous introduction to the schooner John is about to be entrusted with for a voyage to London.
But he's too charmed by the pretty Dragon to heed the advice.
The ship looks clever and quick, and John can hardly wait to sail her.
She was a smugglers' vessel once, but now she's his Dragon, and she'll proudly carry wool for honest trade.But soon John will be forced to consider the gentleman's warning.
And to wonder what he really knows about his bonny crew.

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-9-In Iain Lawrences's The Smugglers (Delacorte, 1999), set in Cornwell, England at the beginning of the 19th century, 16-year-old John Spencer and his father continue their adventures that began in The Wreckers (Delacorte, 1998). 
This time they are buying a new trading vessel, the Dragon, and hiring a crew who lead them into danger.
Reminiscent of Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped, the main characters are caught in deception and intrigue.
Encountering piracy aboard their ship, they use both wit and muscle to outmaneuver the deadly attempts on their lives.
British actor Ron Keith uses differing tones of inflection to create suspense.
His pronunciation is clear, and the reading is well-paced.
Listeners will enjoy this dramatic tale of the high seas.-Tina Hudak, Takoma Park Maryland Library, MDCopyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

From Booklist

Readers who devoured The Wreckers (1998), Lawrence's first ripping yarn of adventure, mystery, and derring-do on the Cornish coast 200 years ago, will be eager to dig into this seafaring sequel. 
Now 16 years old, narrator John Spencer takes responsibility for bringing his father's ship, the Dragon, from Kent to London with a cargo of wool.
Dependent on the unscrupulous and perhaps mad captain appointed by his father, John is alarmed by hints of smuggling, warnings of evil, portents of death, all of which erupt in violence and murder as the journey nears its end.
Along the way, John tries to sort out what to believe, whom to trust, and how to prove himself worthy of his father's belief in him.
John makes a stalwart, sympathetic Everyman, surrounded by a cast of memorable and wildly colorful characters: the one-armed boatman who has a rude remark for every occasion; the blind woman who has waited 30 years for her seafaring husband's return; the sailor who fears drowning so much that he wears a jerkin sewn with layers and layers of corks; and the sailor's alter ego, a red-cloaked highwayman who has so many firearms in his belt, hands, and bandolier that he's said to bristle with pistols.
A well-written period adventure, with the door left open for more to come.
Carolyn Phelan

--This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

From Kirkus Reviews

In this companion to The Wreckers (1998), Lawrence provides more adventures on the high seas. 
When John Spencer's father buys the mysterious black schooner, the Dragon, the 16-year-old boy is excited until he learns that he must make the ship's maiden voyage without his father.
Among the bad omens: Mr.
Spencer survives a shooting, and later, the captain they've hired is killed.
Mr.
Spencer is convinced that their affairs are looking better when he hires the colorful Captain Crowe to assume command of the vessel.
No sooner does the schooner sail out of harbor than Crowe changes course unexpectedly, claiming that he has new orders.
Crowe, of course, is a pirate, as are the scalawags he's hired, and in no time, John is trapped with the scurrilous crew.
When it seems that John will be fed to the fish by Crowe, he escapes and lives to see the cur hanged on his beloved Dragon.
The storytelling is broad but the details are fine: Lawrence has packed his tale full of vivid descriptions that are swarming with historical detail, painting as honest a picture of piracy as readers are likely to encounter.
(Fiction.
9-14) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP.
All rights reserved.

--This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

Review

"Readers who devoured The Wreckers will be eager to dig into this seafaring sequel."--Booklist, Starred"A corking good nautical adventure."--The Horn Book Magazine"[To] be devoured in a single sitting."--The Bulletin"Full of vivid descriptions that are swarming with historical detail."--Kirkus Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"Steer clear of that ship," warns the mysterious gentleman who shares a coach with John and his father. 
"Death she'll bring you," says the man.
"It's the way of a ship that was christened with blood." This is an ominous introduction to the schooner John is about to be entrusted with for a voyage to London.
But he's too charmed by the pretty "Dragon to heed the advice.
The ship looks clever and quick, and John can hardly wait to sail her.
She was a smugglers' vessel once, but now she's his Dragon, and she'll proudly carry wool for honest trade.
But soon John will be forced to consider the gentleman's warning.
And to wonder what he really knows about his bonny crew.

From the Back Cover

"Steer clear of that ship", warns the mysterious gentleman who shares the coach to Dover with John Spencer and his father. 
"Death she'll bring you", says the gentleman.
"It's the way of a ship that was christened with blood".This is an ominous introduction to the schooner John is about to be entrusted with for a voyage north of London.
But he's too charmed by the pretty Dragon to heed the advice.
The ship looks clever and quick, and John, at the eager age of sixteen, can hardly wait to sail her.
She was a smugglers' vessel once, but that was in the past.
Now she's the Spencers' Dragon, and she will proudly carry wool for honest trade.But soon John is forced to consider the gentleman's warning.
Could a ship that's seen a smuggling run truly be spoiled for anything else? And what does John really know about his bonny crew? This rousing nautical adventure is full of danger and surprise.

About the Author

Iain Lawrence is a journalist, travel writer, and avid sailor.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

I fetched a lantern and went right to the depths of the ship, where water, brown and fetid, slurped among the timbers. 
I went through the darkness in a circle of light, frightening cockroaches into shelter, hearing the groans and creaks of the hull as it worked.
The places where I had to go were small and cramped, and I slithered through them as the lantern made the shadows zoom and tilt.And someone came behind me.When I stopped, he was silent.
When I moved, so did he.
I heard a faint creaking of wood as he crept up, closing the distance.
He was quiet as a cat.
And suddenly I felt a hand touch my shoulder.
I cried out, startled, as he pushed me down against the hull."You're in danger, boy," said he.I tried to lift myself, to turn and see him, but the sailor held me down."Watch yourself," he said.
"There's one aboard who'll kill you.""Who?"For a moment I only heard him breathing.
He said, "The one who seems least likely.""But who?" I asked again.He pressed harder on my shoulder.
"He'll want the dead man's secrets.
See you keep them safe.""Who are you?" I asked."A man you never saw." And then the hand was gone.From the Hardcover edition.

From AudioFile

Narrator Ron Keith is the consummate match for Lawrence's spectacular sequel to The Wreckers. 
His versatile repertoire of accents supports the array of characters involved with an intricate plot.
The intrigue builds as the unsuspecting young John Spencer sails forth on his father's new ship, The Dragon, from Kent to London with a load of wool, accompanied by a band of smugglers.
John's life appears to be threatened at every turn by the captain and his crew of scalawags; Keith brings all the memorable characters to life--from the menacing Captain Crowe; to the fool-hardy highwayman and faint-hearted sailor, Dasher, in his coat of corks; to the blind innkeeper, Mrs.
Pye, who cares only for the return of her beloved, the quirky Fleming.
Rousing adventure for middle-grade and young adult listeners.
T.B.
© AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

--This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

Tags

Teens,Mysteries & Thrillers,Historical,Historical Fiction,Europe,Law & Crime



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Comment

 
 

Comment List (Total:9)

  •     I LOVE THIS SERIES!
  •     The SmugglersBook review This book is about a boy named John. John had a father who bought a ship called the dragon. This dragon caused a lot of trouble to John and his father. Also, his captain was a very evil man that used to smuggle other people and products like brandy. He also tried to kill John on the way to London. Luckily, Dasher helped save Johns life several times. I chose this book because my friend had told me that it was fun. The cover was also very interesting. The designs and the boat looked very detailed in the huge storm. The smugglers sounded like a very fun and exciting book. Once I read the first few chapters, it felt as if I had to read the rest of the book. I liked this book because it had many exciting parts and lots of action. My favorite part of the book is when John gets shot from dasher. He got shot twice and was very scared. He talked about getting flashbacks right before you die. The reason why I liked this part is because it was very funny. A few pages after this event, it explains that the gun he used had no real bullets and just made a hole on his clothes.
  •     The Smugglers by Iain LawrenceThe main character, John is a young lad who at sixteen gets himself into trouble. A friendly villian Dasher is both his enemy and his life saver. Captain Crowe wants the secret book and is a smuggler.The story involves John a young lad who gets a boat, the Dragon from his father. His father gets a crew to take his son on a voyage. Captain Crowe comes with John and John doesn't know who he is. Others on the ship are in danger from Captain Crowe as he tries to find the Deadman's Secrets. Captain Crowe will even murder to get what he wants.This story takes place in the past in London and at sea. John learns that running a ship can be dangerous and you need to be careful who you trust. I liked the story because it had adventure and mystery that was neat. I would recommend this book to other kids who like adventure but not to those who take stories too seriously or can't handle death.
  •     Very interesting series.
  •     The Wreckers (Book 1)I didn't expect to like the book. I did. How's that for a review in one sentence? ;-)But seriously, Iain does a great job of keeping you guessing about what's REALLY going on with the wreckers. You sympathize with John's lack of trust and hesitate with him in making decisions. Some things I expected, but others were a surprise. The writing is easy to read, being appropriate for its intended audience, and while this isn't a story or series to get super wrapped up in, it's still an engaging, nice story.Yes, there are nautical terms, but this doesn't detract from the story. Either you love nautical books and will be able to follow with no issue, or you can accept that they are talking about different parts of the ship - either you'll care and look them up, or you won't and you'll keep reading. Regardless, the story moves along fine without getting caught up in the terms, especially since this story largely takes place on land.4 starsThe Smugglers (Book 2)Even though this is book 2 in the High Seas Trilogy, it can absolutely stand alone. Actually, every book in the series stands alone. There may be a thing or two that ties over from a previous work, but nothing that affects the ease of reading the story or would cause confusion.I didn't find this story as engaging as The Wreckers. Again, parts were obvious, but even what wasn't guess-able just wasn't as well executed. Still enjoyable and appropriate for the target audience.3.5 starsThe Buccaneers (Book 3)This is definitely my least favorite in the trilogy. The first book definitely feels like it could be a true story, the second book feels more like fiction, but this one seems almost fanciful. Too many coincidences or things just working out for my tastes. It's not a bad book, but its forgettable. If this was the first book in the trilogy, I probably wouldn't have read the sequels as it's just alright. As is, it's a weak way to end the series. Given the quality of the first book, and even the second to some extent, this book was disappointing.3 stars.
  •     The SmugglersBook review This book is about a boy named John. John had a father who bought a ship called the dragon.
  •     A wonderful companion to The Wreckers, The Smugglers followsJohn Spencer, a young teenager and finds a world of mystery and ofcourse smuggling on his new ship, The Dragon. A must read for all fans of Treasure Island, The Wreckers or any other books about Historical Boat runs.
  •     This book is about a little adventurous boy named John Spencer. Johns father has bought a new ship called the Dragon. Rumor has it that the Dragon is cursed and should bring misfortune to the owner. A evil ship should be towed by an evil man, a smuggler in fact, smuggling from every port this side of London. Now this ship in the hands of John and his father, what fortune should become of them?If you like adventure books this is the book for you. There is'nt a moment when there isn't a dilema for little John Spencer. A must read for lovers of any adventure books, or any boat books.
  •     I enjoyed this book very much. If you like action packed, can't-put-down kind of books about sailing and the sea, I recommend getting this book. I gave it 4 stars because the author didn't describe alot of detail of how things looked. Enough to get a picture but not all that clear. He was wonderful at describing death scenes or gruesome killings. (i.e, man torn in two, a few hangings described, dead body floating, following in the sea, etc.) But it didn't bother me that much, just thought I'd give a head's up to other readers interested in this book.

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