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Stowaway (2000)

de Karen Hesse

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A fictionalized journal relates the experiences of a young stowaway from 1768 to 1771 aboard the Endeavor which sailed around the world under Captain James Cook.
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Book on CD read by David Cale

In the summer of 1768 Captain James Cook set sail on H.M.S. Endeavor for a major expedition to explore the possibility of a new continent. In addition to the ship’s crew he carried aboard a naturalist, Mr. Joseph Banks, and his assistants, who would record the flora and fauna encountered on the journey. He also had aboard one Nicholas Young, age 11. All this is known from the public records which have been preserved, and it’s interesting to note that Young doesn’t appear on the ship’s muster until April 18, 1769, eight months after the ship left England. Scholars have speculated about how he might have boarded Endeavor; this is Hesse’s imagined scenario.

I’ve read several of Hesse’s books for children, written in verse, and all based on some historical event. This book is the first prose book I’ve read by her. I was immediately drawn into the story of this boy escaping a situation he hated. (His father had apprenticed Nick to a butcher to “toughen him up.”) He had some education, so Hesse has Nick keeping his own journal of the voyage, and these journal entries are the way in which the story of Endeavor’s first three-years-long voyage is told.

It's a great adventure, and a believable coming-of-age story. Nick is bright, enthusiastic, hard-working and observant. There are crew members who are his champions, and others who are bound and determined to see him fail. He makes some friends and suffers along with others through storms, attacks by native peoples, hunger, damage to the ship and an illness that decimates the crew.

Hesse includes an afterword that explains the history behind the novel, a list of all the people aboard (taken from public records), and a glossary of terms.

David Cale does a fine job of narrating the audiobook. He really brings these characters to life. ( )
  BookConcierge | Sep 13, 2021 |
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  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
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  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
Nick Lamanto has been shot and is also a person of interests in another shooting. He has been uncover in Tennessee trying to track down the leaders of a gunrunning operation when things went bad. He decides the only way he is going to get out of town is by stowing away in the back of trauma nurse Keri Merritt vehicle since she is on her way out of town for vacation and she is the daughter of the sheriff figuring no one would stop her.

When Nick wakes up from passing out from blood loss its to Keri pointing a .45 at him. She decides maybe he isnt the bad guy and stitches him up and realizes there is alot of sexual attraction between them but along with Nick being in law enforcement she has a few other hangups that make her resist the Italian charms of Nick.

There was plenty of action and suspense in this book but its wasnt the forefront of the story. The romance was. I had not seen it done this way before - normally in a romantic suspense the suspense is from beginning to end and that is where and how the H/H fall in love. In this book they got to learn alot of things about the other - spend time away from the "suspense" part and when that part was concluded the book still continued on. It was almost like 2 books in one and the merging worked great. ( )
  CindySnS | Oct 26, 2016 |
Based on Captain Cook’s first global spanning voyage (1768 - 1771), The Stowaway] by Karen Hesse was a fabulous read. Using actual facts and written accounts, the author uses the youngest member of the crew, Nicholas Young, believed to have been a stowaway, to tell her story. Of course she has expanded on the few facts known about Nicholas but still keeps the story within the boundaries of believability. Written as his journal, she has young Nick running away from a vicious master that he was apprenticed to. With the help of three seamen he is smuggled aboard the Endeavour while the ship is at harbour. He is hidden and kept in supplies until after the ship has sailed beyond the point of return.

Nicholas upon showing himself became a valued member of the crew, working with the ships surgeon and also helping to look after the stock. At first he was simply the ships “boy”, but after Tahiti, he was entered into the books and eventually earned the rating of Able-bodied Seaman. Nicholas caught the eye of botanist Joseph Banks who was also on board for the purpose of discovering new life forms, both plant and animal. Nicholas is known to have sailed with Joseph Banks again on a trip to Iceland.

The story was pure adventure as the ship embarked on a journey of a lifetime. Discovering and visiting places where no man had ever been. But even sailing though the South Pacific, charting the waters around both New Zealand and parts of Australia, there was danger, sickness, famine, and storms to overcome. Although this is classed as a YA story, I think The Stowaway will appeal to anyone who loves a good adventure. ( )
1 vota DeltaQueen50 | Jun 18, 2015 |
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To Rachel, whose future I cannot endeavor to imagine
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With the help of Seamen Francis Haite, John Ramsay, and Samuel Evans, I have managed to keep my presence aboard Endeavour secret.
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A fictionalized journal relates the experiences of a young stowaway from 1768 to 1771 aboard the Endeavor which sailed around the world under Captain James Cook.

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