Hope at Sea: An Adventure Story

Random/Anne Schwartz. Nov. 2021. 44p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781984892836.
K-Gr 3–From the rocky shore, young Hope daydreams of sailing the seas like her father. When a new clipper ship is ready to cast off with Papa aboard, Hope decides to stow away. She’s quickly discovered by her father (displaying a range of emotions any parent will recognize), who is initially angry and then relieved that she’s safe. Now that she’s aboard, Hope commits to a sailor’s life, learning to tie knots and navigate by the stars. When the ship hits rocks in a mighty storm, all must take to the lifeboats, guided home by the lanterns of loved ones on shore. The broken ship isn’t done yet, though. The shipwreck detritus is repurposed to build a brand new lighthouse, with Hope and her family as keepers, ready to guide future sailors (and stowaways) to safety. Throughout the perilous journey, Hope learns that even the smallest hands can be a big help. The illustrations effectively paint a picture of the thrilling and dangerous 19th-century adventure. The ship is shown in dark, iceberg-infested waters and then resting in the sunny tropics. Readers will appreciate that the enormity of the craft in port is insignificant when it is shown in the wild, stormy sea. As a bonus, nautical lingo is included.
VERDICT For collections in need of stories about independent girls or maritime adventures, this stirring seafaring tale will have even landlubbers wishing to set sail.

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