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Leif is an orphan; his father was unknown and his mother died giving birth. He was raised on the docks by a variety of people, but he never belonged to anyone. He grew up being used pretty much as slave labor on a number of ships. Now around thirteen, he’s lucky enough to be taken under the wing of one of the sailors, Old Carl, who, with some other men, makes a fish camp. One day, a strange ship comes to the camp and sick men come onto shore, spreading disease. The men begin to die, and Old Carl tells Leif to flee to the North. He takes a dugout canoe and a few supplies and heads out, but he hasn’t missed the sickness entirely.

Gary Paulsen was the king of survivor stories for middle graders. This one is set hundreds of years ago off the coast of Norway and is written in such a way to convey the time and place. The characters are interesting and believable, and the story is very compelling with lots of tension on every page. Paulsen was a master storyteller and this book is no exception. Youngsters will love it.

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Author Gary Paulsen
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 256 pages
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publish Date 11-Jan-2022
ISBN 9780374314200 Buy this Book
Issue March 2022
Category Children's