288p. Scholastic. Oct. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545297165.
Gr 5–8—It's 1830, just off the coast of an Amazon rain forest, and a portion of the crew of the ship Polaris is on a scientific expedition on shore. When they return to the ship, mayhem ensues as the captain tries to load the botanist's discoveries on board. The six youngest members of the crew, merely children, are locked in the captain's quarters during the mutiny. The escaping crew members try to blow up the Polaris, but the six youngsters attempt to save the ship and themselves. Little do they know that in the lower decks lurks a monster that will grow, reproduce, and try to overcome them. This historical fiction/science fiction mash-up is filled with adventure, mystery, and horror. Readers will be engrossed in the story as they wait to find out if this skeletal crew without experience or muscle can make it back to civilization without being consumed by the monster below. There are wonderful descriptions of life aboard a 19th-century sailing vessel, and each of the six children are given well-drawn personalities.
VERDICT Middle grade readers looking for an adventure on the high seas without leaving the comfort of their homes will love this swashbuckling, spine-tingling tale.

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