A View of Two Reviews

I always appreciate thoughtful reviews of my work. This one has some clear-eyed comments about Seaborn, and though I’d prefer seeing unqualified praise, I think the criticisms here make sense without damning the book.  I also like the mention of Wharf Rat Writes.


My publisher also sent the review below from over the summer that I hadn’t seen. Note the similar knock on the early part of the book. Overall, though, it’s a strong review, so I won’t dwell on the negative (though I suppose that’s part of my dour Scottish inclination).

Review of RB’s Seaborn in the August 2008 issue of The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
R   Gr.5-9
After mom stomps out the door with a suitcase and no explanation, teenaged Luke is reluctant when his father insists that the two guys will go ahead with the annual family sailing trip. Alcohol and misery make Dad a poor sailing companion on the first day out, but a chance encounter with an old salt who had once sailed out to the Gulf Stream piques the father and son’s interest in doing something adventurous and wild, and the pair makes an ill-considered and undersupplied run of their own. Of course there’s an unexpected storm;  of course, Luke is left on his own to sail the catboat (broken engine, broken pumps, and a dismasted into the bargain); and of course, Luke survives his ordeal with new self-confidence and a more mature understanding of his parent’s marital problems. The setup is a pretty tide-worn and the outcome readily anticipated, but this is an adventure story rather that a domestic drama and, as such, must live or die by the nail-biting details. Thankfully, readers won’t be disappointed with Luke’s desperate efforts to keep his wits about him while he watches his food supply dwindle, fashions shaky rigging from a paddle, awning , and a drive belt, forces himself to awake through rough seas, and all the while blames himself fro Dad’s falling overboard (don’t worry, he’s rescued in time). This is a natural for a booktalk and a sure-fire quick pick. EB


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