Summary and book reviews of Stowaway by Karen Hesse

Stowaway

by Karen Hesse

Stowaway
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2000, 302 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2002, 320 pages

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Book Summary

Sparkling with humor, poignancy and adventure, this story was inspired by a real boy who stowed away aboard Captain James Cook's ship Endeavour on its 1768 voyage..... Hesse's impeccable research buttresses the narrative with a wealth of detail. Age 11+

In the summer of 1768, an eleven-year-old butcher's apprentice named Nicholas Young climbed aboard a ship, hid himself from captain and crew, and waited to be carried far away from the life he hated in London.

Nick didn't know it, but the ship he chose -- H.M.S. Endeavour -- was bound for an astonishing adventure. Captained by James Cook, Endeavour was on a secret mission to discover an unknown continent at the bottom of the globe. During his three-year voyage, Nick encountered hardship and was awed by new discoveries; he weathered danger and proved himself brave when disaster struck; he earned the respect and trust of the gentlemen on board; he made a friend for life. And he made history.

An eleven-year-old boy named Nicholas Young really did stow away on Cook's Endeavour. Based on exhaustive historical research and illustrated with evocative drawings by Robert Andrew Parker, Stowaway is Newbery winner Karen Hesse's extraordinary fictional account of the real Nicholas's journey.

Chapter One
Stowaway

August 1768

SUNDAY 7th TO FRIDAY 19th [Plymouth]

With the help of Seamen Francis Haite, John Ramsay, and Samuel Evans, I have managed to keep my presence aboard Endeavour
secret. She's a small Bark, and her Company over eighty in number. It's a wonder I've not been discovered, with all the coming and going of the men aboard, but I have not. The three seamen I paid to get me on bring biscuit and water. They make certain I exercise each night during middle watch, when there are fewer hands on deck. But there is little to relieve my situation till Endeavour sails.

It's a good hiding place I've got, in the aft of what Samuel Evans calls the Pinnace, a small boat Endeavour
carries aboard her. I can look over the edge and see the deck without being noticed. But it is difficult, lying still, day and night. Sometimes the urge to cry out nearly gets the better of me. I haven't yet. It would go hard on the men who have helped me if I did. And I would be returned to ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

School Library Journal

Grades 5-9. The author's subtle yet thorough attention to detail creates a memorable tale that is a virtual encyclopedia of life in the days when England ruled the seas.

Kirkus Reviews

In a lucid, readable style, free of excessive nautical jargon, Hesse simultaneously takes readers along on one of history’s greatest enterprises, and introduces them to one of history’s most prodigious natural leaders.

Publisher's Weekly

Sparkling with humor, poignancy and adventure, ..... Hesse's impeccable research buttresses the narrative with a wealth of detail.

Reader Reviews

Caylin Johnson

This book is AWESOME!!
Hi!! I'm Caylin (aka KK:D) and I read the book Stowaway very lately actually. I am 11 years old and I just LOVED this book. I don't really want to write about the ending or whatever because you don't want to spoil a good ending!! So, if you want to ...   Read More

Amiri

Great Book
This is a great book that many young adults can relate. There are times when Nicholas is feeling down, happy, in pain, and more. Kids nowadays look for something that things have in common. This will let people know that they aren't alone out there ...   Read More

Gabe Kittle

Stowaway book review
This book is amazing and inspirational. I hate reading but I read this book in three days and Karen Hesse is an inspirational writer and I highly recomend this book to any one who likes adventure.

Gabrielle

OMG!!!!!
OMG! this was seriously THE best book I have ever read in my LIFE ! I loved it soooo much! Read this book today!

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