________________ CM . . . . Volume XIX Number 26. . . .March 8, 2013


Stolen. (Orca Currents).

John Wilson.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2013.
119 pp., pbk., hc., pdf & epub, $9.95
(pbk.), $16.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-0375-6 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-1-4598-0376-3 (hc.),
ISBN 978-1-4598-0377-0 (pdf),
ISBN 978-1-4598-0378-7 (epub).

Grades 5-9 / Ages 10-14.

Review by Libby McKeever.

**** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



My first view is of the beach, where huge rollers, a relic from last night's storm, are crashing onto the sand. Then I turn around and see why we are up here.

The erosion gully is much bigger here --- I guess at least nine feet wide and almost as deep. The walls are steep, and tiny avalanches of sand cascade down occasionally. About sixteen feet away, near the bottom of the gully, several thick black pieces of curved timber are sticking out of the banks.

"Is that---" I begin.

"The Mahogany Ship?" Annabel finishes my sentence for me. "Yes, it is."


School really isn't Sam's thing, and when his dad moves them from rainy Vancouver to South Australia, Sam worries about the painful process of making friends all over again in grade eleven. January is Australia's summer school holiday, and Sam and his dad are spending a few days in the coastal town of Warrnambool where it's hot and there's seemingly nothing to do. That is until he meets Annabel, a self-confessed nerd with a passion for Pi and history. When Sam first meets her, she is different enough to be interesting and is surprised how he is caught up in her enthusiasm for history, shipwrecks and the local museum where she works.

      The area is known as Shipwreck Coast for its vicious storms, and there have been rumors for years of an ancient Chinese shipwreck that is buried in the dunes. When a late summer storm uncovers ribs of dark wood, Annabel thinks they've found this fabled vessel, the Mahogany Ship. The same storm also cuts power to the museum, and an extremely valuable relic is stolen. Both Annabel and Sam are swept up in the mystery of the ship, the appearance of a stranger, the theft, and the strange behaviour of a local boy. In an effort to uncover the truth, Annabel and Sam put themselves in danger and need to rely on their new bond of friendship in order to survive and bring the thieves to justice.

      John Wilson has created an exciting story that will hold the reader's interest. The South Australian setting with its rich shipwreck history is a great backdrop for this story of making friends and finding your way as a teen. Added to the adventure is the teens' realization of the risks that some people take to acquire history for themselves, or profit from its theft.

      Stolen is an "Orca Currents" novel. John Wilson is also the author of numerous novels having historical themes.

Highly Recommended.

Libby McKeever is the Youth Services Librarian at the Whistler Public Library in Whistler, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
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