Books by Craig Moodie

INTO THE TRAP by Craig Moodie
Released: July 19, 2011

"Nevertheless, an action-packed tale with guns and boat chases that will appeal to reluctant readers. (Adventure. 10-14)"
"What happens on the water stays on the water," is the attitude in this fishing community on the fictional New England community of Fog Island. Read full book review >
SEABORN by Craig Moodie
Released: Aug. 1, 2008

Luke, 16, angry and selfish, finds himself totally agitated with life when his mother abruptly leaves the family. The teen hates being stuck alone with his father and yearns for his own freedom. To Luke's further consternation, his dad plans a father-son sailing trip on Nantucket Sound. He mopes through the motions of being a sailor until, on his father's reckless impulse, they head far out into the Gulf Stream with only an unreliable engine for backup. A lingering setup and secondary characters who eventually disappear keep readers from plunging directly into the narrative, which often reads like an extended short story, and readers will sense the upcoming maritime disaster from the beginning. What separates this work from other teen-pitted-against-nature morality tales is Luke's genuine voice as he expresses feelings of hatred and frustration and the embarrassment of being close to his father. Teens, especially boys, will identify with Luke's situation. A rousing climax and realistic narrator mark this as a solid choice. (Fiction. YA)Read full book review >
THE SEA SINGER by Craig Moodie
Released: Aug. 1, 2005

Twelve-year-old Finn, son of Olaf Farseeker, is disappointed when the boat arriving at his village in Greenland is not his father's, but that of Leif Ericsson. Soon, Finn is a stowaway on Sea Sword, off a-viking, in search of adventure and his father, who has been gone since last season. When caught, Finn is put to work to stand lookout, coil line, haul the sail, cook, take care of the animals and as a skald, or bard, give the crew poems. They go west in search of Vineland and timber and trading goods, following Olaf Farseeker's route. When the weather worsens and the crew faces storms and fog and risks being lost at sea, Moodie's writing is at its best, becoming vigorous and spirited as a Viking saga. What began as a quest for adventure and a search for his father becomes an odyssey toward manhood, and the land of promise becomes a "dark realm of doom and mystery," where Finn proves himself a Viking. A rousing sea adventure. (author's note) (Fiction. 11-14)Read full book review >
Released: May 15, 1994

A debut collection of stories about the sea, A Sailor's Valentine is a mix of contemporary romantic tales and ocean adventures that are alternately moving, mysterious, melodramatic, and mawkish. In the opening piece, ``The Dream of the Whistling Pig,'' a man dreams he is thrown overboard, only to awaken to find that his unconscious fantasy has become a reality for his missing shipmate. More conventional is the title story, in which a woman from Manhattan falls in love with a fisherman on Cape Cod but must return to her slick city life after the summer is over. With a plot that is clichÇd and sentimental and characters that are too broadly drawn, the reader ultimately doesn't care whether these two end up together. Truly affecting, however, is ``Child in the Shoals,'' the story of a man whose boat is destroyed in a collision with a 523- foot ship and who must literally cling to life by holding on to a buoy while he waits to be rescued. The explicit details of the man's struggle for survival—he eats bird excrement—and his poignant and hallucinatory thoughts of his family make this piece a heart-wrenching read. On an even more existential note, there's the Melvillian ``The Shearwater,'' perhaps the finest story in this collection, in which an old fisherman goes out to sea on just another routine fishing expedition and is pursued through the fog- -and on the radar—by an omniscient force that threatens to collide with his boat and kill him. Moodie is a skillful, if somewhat formulaic writer, and his stories are rarely dull. The author relies too often on technical jargon, however, as if to lend his work a loftiness that it otherwise lacks. Read full book review >