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The Wreckers (The High Seas Trilogy) Paperback – November 9, 1999


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The Wreckers (The High Seas Trilogy) + The Smugglers (The High Seas Trilogy) + The Buccaneers (The High Seas Trilogy)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: The High Seas Trilogy (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling (November 9, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440415454
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440415459
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"With this minutely observed picture of maritime life in 1799 Cornwall, Lawrence gives a nod to Robert Louis Stevenson. A fast-paced, atmospheric yarn that will have adventure buffs glued to their seats," said PW in a starred review. Ages 10-up. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-9AIn this novel set in 1799, 14-year-old John Spencer of London falls in love with life at sea on his first voyage as a passenger on his father's merchant sailing ship. He can't bear to think about plans for his desk-bound future in the family business. The young man's dreams and disappointments must be set aside when a furious storm claims the vessel and its crew. Washed onto a Cornish beach, John at first seems incredibly lucky, but soon finds that the ocean has delivered him into danger. The nearby village of Pendennis supports itself communally through the practice of "wrecking": tricking vessels onto the lethal coastal rocks, then looting the remains. However, the goods cannot be claimed if there are any survivors. As John uses his wits and his few sympathizers to plan an escape, he learns that his father may also be alive. He must overcome ever more perilous challenges if he is to save the man from a dreadful captivity. Though most of the exciting, fast-paced action occurs on land, this is really a sea story in the grand tradition of sailors' yarns, full of cliffhanging moments and well-drawn, colorful characters. The author expertly weaves maritime lingo and details into the narrative, creating an entertaining and engrossing nautical adventure.AStarr E. Smith, Marymount University Library, Arlington, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
5 star
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See all 54 customer reviews
The chapters are shortenough for "chapter a day" read.
"mzwatson"
I chose this book, because many people read it, and said it was fun and interesting, especially my teacher.
Austin Chen
I read this book straight on after I came to the interesting parts.
"loocsiksm"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Educator, Lifelong Learner on December 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
Fifth grade teacher here: I read this on recommendation from another adult and I admit that the plot is tense, exciting and makes you want to read more! HOWEVER, there are long passages where a person could be discouraged by amount of sailing and seafaring terms that are foreign to the rest of us. There are sections where I just checked out -- I couldn't pick up what exactly was going on because there was too much technical lexicon -- I don't know what jibs, mizzens and such are. Another curious aspect of the author's craft is how he gives juicy description to locations, but rushes through extraordinary plot events. The moors are given paragraphs of description, yet in a blink of an eye a person is murdered and the characters move on. It was unsettling and made me re-read sections again to be sure I'd gotten it. Try this book if you like sailing, pirates, old sea stories. Be prepared for the difficult vocabulary. Not a good read aloud for kids without a lot of words in their lexicon.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
Seventh grade English teacher here. I was looking for some extra reading to follow up a class read of Treasure Island. Although some of my students would have difficulty with the language in The Wreckers, I know many of them would love it. I was intrigued with the way Lawrence cast suspicion on all the characters so I didn't know who was trustworthy and who intended evil. In fact, I almost sneaked a peak at the end of the book because I was ao anxious to find out how the story ended. I'm planning to add this title to my classroom library.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on July 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you saw your rescuers drown a fellow sailor, would you trust them? That is exactly what John Spencer, a survivor of a mysterious shipwreck, wonders in the book 'The Wreckers'. As John enters the world of treachery, he finds that things aren't always what they seem. First of all, his true rescuer, Simon Mawgan, makes suspicious outings whenever a ship might be wrecked. This happens in many other homes in Pendennis, people getting ready for a shipwreck, getting ready to kill the survivors and plunder the ship. While he tries to solve the mystery of the mastermind behind all this, he also has the complication of finding his father. Will this determined fourteen-year-old defeat the wreckers, or will they defeat him?

Lawrence has written a remarkable tale that fascinates readers of all kinds and leaves you with characters hard to forget. It's treachery and justice make it exciting. 'The Wreckers' is an amazing story filled with mystery galore. This book is an adventure story packed with action and suspense, leaving you wanting for more.

~AD

*The two other books in the trilogy can't compare to this one. It leaves the other two FAR behind.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
From sharp, rocky cliffs, to misleading lanterns, to a legless man, The Wreckers by Iain Lawrence is an exciting, heart stopping novel about trust and survival. John Spencer, his father, and his father's ship, The Isle of Skye, have wrecked on an un-mapped, mysterious island by supposedly misleading lanterns. While being hunted by vicious wreckers (who killed off the remains of his crew), John is on a quest to find his father who's being held captive by the legless man.

Simon Mawgan, a plump, wealthy character with unnatural mood swings who owns the land, and his brave, kind-hearted niece, Mary, take John in to help him survive. John, the main character, a semi-cowardly, suspicious, independent young man, has the ability to solve the mystery of the false beacons, but can he do it? Can use both his brain and his brawn?

Although the plot is a little predictable, it has strong voice and great description, especially when he describes his father's rotting foot. Ages ten and up for violence and shocking images.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By MLPlayfair on September 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
"The Wreckers" is the first of a series of adventure books for "young people." I'm not a member of the "young people" set anymore, but I still found it an enjoyable read. The author sets the mood and sense of place very well. The locale and the action are easy to see in the reader's mind. In fact, the whole story provides excellent fodder for the imagination. But it's NOT pretty. This is some scary stuff. It could have been a little longer to explain things more thoroughly, but I can understand wanting to keep it clipped short to move things along. I suggest that if you buy it for your "young people" you sneak a peek at it yourself!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
This was a good book and very action packed. It is about a teenager named John who is on a ship with his father and the crew of the ship. One night, in a really hectic storm, the captain lost track of direction and didn't know where to go. Suddenly they saw a light meaning it was a harbor and was o.k. to dock their ship. Unfortunately it was not a harbor, but a rock-laden shore. It was too late to turn back, and the boat was torn apart on the rocks. When John woke up he was on a sandy shore. He saw some men walk past him to another survivor in the water. Then, instead of helping that man, they dunk his head in the water and drowned him. John starts to now wonder if the wreck was really an accident. To find out, read this great book by Iain Lawrence, The Wreckers.
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