Every year, high-school-student Luke and his family go on a summer sailing trip on their small boat, Piper. This year is different, though: Luke's beloved older sister is overseas, and their mother leaves the family the night before the sailing trip. Luke and his father decide to make the voyage anyway, but they are both angry and confused and make a series of bad decisions with disastrous results: Luke's dad is swept overboard during a storm, leaving Luke alone on Piper in the Gulf Stream, where he has never sailed before. The text abounds in sailing lingo, and nonsailors may get bogged down in the details. Young boating fans, though, will be happy to find a story that takes their obsession seriously. Readers interested in the arts will also connect with the story. Luke and his family are all artists, and Moodie writes beautifully about an artist's vision. The colors and moods of the sea feel like additional characters in this unusual novel that is combines a gripping survival story with a contemplative family drama.
- Carton, Debbie.
Eddie Atwell's family has been trapping lobsters for years on Fog Island, MA. Lately someone has been stealing their catch. The whole book takes place in 24 hours. While fishing one morning at 5:01 a.m., the 12-year-old comes across the lobster thief's trap. Before he knows it, the culprits see his boat and take off with it. Unbeknown to them, Eddie happens to see who they are. He starts to wonder how he is going to bring them down, but first he needs to figure out how to get back to land. Lucky for him, Briggs Fairchild, a 13-year-old runaway from a sailing camp nearby, shows up. He is being bullied by one of the counselors, who happens to be one of the thieves. Together the boys embark on a wild adventure and almost risk their lives, all in the name of saving lobsters. Into the Trap is unbelievable at times, because some of the situations seem too far-fetched. However, it is an action-packed tale with boat chases that may appeal to some boys.
- Shannon Seglin, Patrick Henry Library, Vienna, VA
A true summer adventure
Vampires, ghosts, wizards, angelsthey're hard to escape in books these days. But every once in a while, a kid longs for an old-fashioned summer adventure story, which is exactly what Craig Moodie delivers in his exciting new novel, Into the Trap.
Eddie Atwell is the 12-year-old son of a lobster fisherman on Fog Island. The local lobstermen are being hit by a series of thefts: Nearly 10,000 pounds of lobster have disappeared from fishermen's holding areas. Meanwhile, Eddie's father is laid up with a shoulder injury. Eddie wants to help out by catching some striped bass, even though he's not supposed to go out fishing alone.
That's how Eddie finds himself on Greenhead Island early one August morning, staring with shock into a tidal pool full of stolen lobsters. Eddie manages to hide from the two thieves who come to check their cache, but he recognizes their voices. One is Jake Daggett, his sister's boyfriend. What's worse, Jake recognizes Eddie's skiff, and he and the other thief, Marty, take it, leaving Eddie stranded.
Luckily for Eddie, an unlikely rescuer is at hand. Briggs Fairfield, a rich, nerdy New York kid who's AWOL from a nearby sailing camp, is happy to have Eddie aboard. Eddie doesn't think he and this rich kid have much in commonuntil he realizes that the camp counselor who has been tormenting Briggs is none other than Marty, one of the lobster thieves. Eddie and Briggs decide to join forces to rescue the lobsters and bring the thieves to justice.
Full of sailing lore and page-turning excitement, Into the Trap is the perfect book to stick into a duffel bag for a young camperalong with a flashlight for reading under the folds of a sleeping bag.
- Review by Deborah Hopkinson
The Atwell family has hit a hard patch. Dad needs to go off island for shoulder surgery just when their lobster catches (and those of their neighbors) are being routinely stolen before they can be brought to market. Twelve-year-old Eddie feels the possibility of making a little extra money by catching striped bass is worth the risk of disobeying his father's orders to stay ashore, and while out on an early morning jaunt on the family's boat, Eddie stumbles upon the lobster thieves and their cache. Before he can clearly plan his next move, he's called upon to rescue Briggs Fairfield, a well-to-do young teen who is running away from summer sailing camp. A bargain is struck: if Briggs will help Eddie offload the purloined crustaceans, Eddie will ferry Briggs over to the mainland. The boys' adventures, based on the perennial premise that kids should not alert the authorities or seek professional help, will surprise nobody. What sets the novel apart from similar offerings is the tidy compression of events into a precise twenty-six hour and twelve minute time frame, and the contrast between plainspoken, assertive Eddie and formally eloquent, game but bumbling Briggs. The nonstop action clocks in at just under two hundred pages, making this a fine quick pick for readers with places to go and things to do.