Great skill and unrelenting vigilance were two traits that enabled Johnny O'Brien to pioneer the waterways of Alaska at a time when navigation aids were unknown in that area of the world. Born in Ireland during a time of famine and rebellion. Johnny was shanghaied in 1867 on a ship bound for India. Managing to escape, he returned to his native Ireland in time to save a friend from the English gallows. With Peter, he made his way to the new world and then northward to Alaska. Having Had unfortunate expeiences at sea, Johnny's fascination with it was something of a paradox. But the untamed waters of Alaska provided a challenge Johnny was to meet in a thousand different ways until his death. On unnimerable trips from Seattle through the inside Passage and into the ""graveyard of ships"" Captain O'Brien carried supplies and miners to the gold fields of Alaska. When the craze for gold , he continued his missions ""dynamiting"" his way with skill, and a sixth sense. Just as in previous biographies of Alaska's pioneers, Edward Herron writes with and spirit for boys who enjoy true adventure.