Summerhouse's debut is a charming children’s story of adventure and mystery in the least likely of places.
For Orion Poe, life with his grandfather in a small town in Maine is dull and predictable. But his life takes a sudden turn when, one summer night, during a terrible storm, Orion spots a boat with a passenger wash ashore. From the start, Orion and his grandfather see that this is no ordinary man—his nose is purple, as though from frostbite, his clothes are strange and old-fashioned, and he has big scars along his back as though he had been whipped. They nurse him back to health, and they learn that the lost explorer is named Collins. The seafarer speaks of a terror that is coming and spends his nights screaming from nightmares. He asks Orion to hide a box for him. In no time at all, a frightening pack of angry men come hunting for a box that belongs to John Franklin, an explorer who vanished in the Arctic in 1847. After consulting with professor Meriwether, a knowledgeable expeditionist, Orion and his grandfather learn that the container holds a map that will unlock the mystery of what happened to Franklin. Meanwhile, Meriwether, his friend Hinckley and young Orion will travel to the top of the world to get to the bottom of the story. Told in the convincing voice of an 11-year-old, this easy-to-read tale engages and often fascinates. Weaving in historical facts about a vanished explorer adds texture and educational value to an already entertaining and wonderful read. Orion is a smart, fun-loving boy whose bravery and humor make him a timeless hero alongside Huckleberry Finn. Recommended for any young reader who loves adventure.
A wild, imaginative adventure that explores the ends of the world.