I could not write for many days. Write! I could not walk or eat or even talk except to moan and wish that I were home or dead or anywhere but here aboard this ship.
Twelve-year-old Celia Snow regrets the day she convinced her parents to allow her to accompany them on her father's whaling expedition in 1856. She thought it would be exciting, exotic, and thoroughly grown-up. Instead, she is terribly seasick and, even worse, homesick. But what's done is done, and Celia knows she cannot expect to see her home on land again for several years.
As the months go by, the excitement of the expedition turns the miserable voyage into a true adventure. On the day Celia sights her first whale and watches the boats row out to the hunt, she realizes that she will see and experience more aboard the Jupiter than most girls will in a lifetime. She will learn to navigate, and she will see the incredible beauty of the Sandwich Islands and feel the biting cold of the Arctic. Best of all, she will fall in love.
While life aboard ship is not easy, Celia learns everything she can about being a captain's daughter. In her heart, though, she still dreams about the day she will return home again. But when disaster strikes, Celia must gather all her courage, strength, and newfound knowledge in one desperate attempt to salvage the expedition and the lives of those she loves.
When we left New Bedford it was cold but clear, a fair wind, Papa said. Mother was in her cabin arranging things, but I wanted to be out on deck. I kept my eye on the sweet shoreline till it disappeared from me, bit by bit, till it was just a line. I held it there in my memory long after it was gone. Papa passed me his spyglass and through it I could see what had been lost before. Sometime in the world maybe there will be a spyglass so strong I could see not just New Bedford, but all the way back home, to you in Eastham, or even as far as our cousins in Salem, and beyond.
Books for the Teen Age 2001 (NYPL)
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Corinne Demas is the author of several children's books, including The Shortest Kid in the World and Matthew's Meadow.She has also written adult books, such as What We Save for Last.She lives in western Massachusetts.From Publishers Weekly:
At the helm of Demas's (The Disappearing Island, reviewed p. 79) historical novel is a courageous and intelligent narrator, 12-year-old Celia Snow. Setting sail on her father's whaling ship in 1856, Celia chronicles her two-year voyage in chatty letters home to her cousin and dearest friend, Abigail. Celia's letters pit her independent spirit against her proper mother, who insists on embroidery and Latin studies even at sea. But although Celia more readily soaks up her father's lessons on navigation, the novel's seaworthiness comes in part from the evolution of the relationship between Celia and her mother, who proves to have hidden strengths. The crew and other cast members prove salty,including a sinister first mate named Mr. Grimes; the "despicable" Jerusha Doane, a girl whom Celia meets in Honolulu; and Nate, the attractive third mate. Like the whales hunted by her father's crew, the exploits become larger than life as Celia battles storms, sickness, sorrow and the threat of mutiny. The epistolary form brings with it certain contrivances and some plot developments hinge on unlikely turns; this lacks the freshness of the similarly themed if simpler Good-bye for Today (reviewed above). Nevertheless, the relative novelty of the maritime setting may prove enough to steer fans of adventure and history through this journey. Ages 10-up. (June)
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060287179
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110060287179