Synopses & Reviews
andlt;bandgt;andlt;bigandgt; Two Children,andlt;BRandgt; Two Struggles,andlt;BRandgt; One Battle... andlt;/bigandgt;andlt;/bandgt; andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt; One child is Sam Robbins, a powder monkey aboard HMS andlt;iandgt;Victory,andlt;/iandgt; the ship in which Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson will die a hero's death at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The other is Molly Jennings, an English girl transplanted from London to the United States in 2006, fighting a battle of her own against loss and loneliness. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; This extraordinary time-shifting adventure tells the interwoven stories of Sam and Molly, linked by a mystery. Sam is a farm boy, kidnapped at eleven years old by the "press gang" to serve in the Royal Navy. At first terrified and seasick, Sam is transformed gradually into a sailor. In the rowdy, dangerous world of a hundred-gun warship enduring the Napoleonic Wars, he meets both cruelty and kindness, and survives a fearsome battle whose echoes reach through the years to involve Molly as well. Like Sam, Molly has lost her childhood but will find her future, with help from a very unexpected source. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; Separate yet together, Sam Robbins and Molly Jennings struggle through fear and excitement to a final ordeal that terrifyingly tests their courage. And the moving climax of the book shows two lives joined forever by the touch of Nelson, one of the greatest sailors of all time.
"In alternating chapters, Newbery Medalist Cooper (The Dark Is Rising) tells the stories of 11-year-old Molly, a contemporary homesick Londoner transplanted to the U.S. because of her mother's remarriage, and Sam, also 11, a 19th-century ship's boy aboard the HMS Victory. Sam also has a new home he's been pressed into service by the Royal Navy and assigned to kitchen duties on Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson's battleship. Initially, the connection between these two children, disparate in time, circumstance and locale, seems tenuous tied only by a biography of Nelson that Molly buys from a bookstore. But when Molly finds a historical artifact hidden inside the book, she begins having strange visions about Sam, his ship and the brutal sea battles of the Napoleonic Wars. These images resurrect lost memories of her late father, whose plane plunged into the Atlantic years earlier. Cooper tells Molly's story in present-tense, third-person narration, then switches to past-tense, first-person for Sam's chapters, a stylistic choice that makes the stories distinct but the shift between them jarring. While Molly's upheaval is emotionally rendered, Sam's tale bogs down in period detail about the workaday grind of seamanship. The resolution relies on an improbable coincidence to bring the two stories together, but provides a hopeful future for Molly. Ages 9-12. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A Newbery Medalist delivers an enthralling family saga in which two children cross an ocean 200 hundred years apart: Sam in 1805, and Molly in 2005. Separate yet together, Sam and Molly struggle through fear and excitement to a final ordeal that terrifyingly tests their courage.
About the Author
andlt;bandgt;Susan Cooperandlt;/bandgt; is the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement. Her classic five-book fantasy sequence The Dark Is Rising won the Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor and has sold millions of copies worldwide. She is also the author of andlt;Iandgt;Victoryandlt;/iandgt;, a andlt;Iandgt;Booklistandlt;/iandgt; Top Ten Historical Fiction for Youth book and a andlt;Iandgt;Washington Postandlt;/iandgt; Top Ten for Children novel; andlt;Iandgt;King of Shadowsandlt;/iandgt;, a andlt;Iandgt;Boston Globe-Horn Bookandlt;/iandgt; Award Honor book; andlt;Iandgt;The Boggartandlt;/iandgt;; andlt;Iandgt;Seawardandlt;/iandgt;; and many other acclaimed novels for young readers and listeners. She lives in Massachusetts, and you can visit her online at TheLostLand.com.