THE SMUGGLERS by Iain Lawrence


Age Range: 9 - 14
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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)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-385-32663-7
Page count: 185pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1999