First volume of the Ferret Chronicles, an inspirational animal fable series by the author still best known for Jonathan Livingston Seagull (1972).
One morning, Bach tells us, he heard a noise at the door: it was a band of ferrets who have their own ancient alphabet (ferrune, included here) and sea-rescue boats for saving small animals on ships in distress. He invited them in, and the main narrative begins with the bedtime story mother Katrinka Ferret read to her two kits, Bethany and younger brother Vincent. This tells of six young ferrets rafting off to Forbidden Island who get caught in a storm and are saved by the Rescue Ferrets on the Emily T. Ferret. Inspired, a grownup Bethany joins the Rescue Service and becomes captain of the Resolute, while Vincent, having trained at the Sea Ferrets Rescue Academy, follows her as an ensign. They face ocean storms and dangerous currents; on her first tour Bethany observes another rescue boat on rocks. She sends many letters through channels asking for permission to salvage the stranded ship and restore it to active duty. At last she’s assigned the job and carries it out. Now her ship, the Resolute, saves many lives. On board one day comes lovely Chloe Ferret, a journalist in “a navy-style designer hat” worth an officer’s monthly salary. Then the Resolute must come to the giant Deepsea Explorer’srescue: frightened mice and rats race about the slanting ship’s decks, with pressure below detonating and seas flooding in. The rescue has plenty of restrained realism, and Chloe’s big story makes the crew famous. In addition to Book Two, Air Ferrets Aloft (see above), three more volumes are due within the twelvemonth.
Not billed as YA but bright-eyed and sorta bushytailed.