word craft




Simon & Schus­ter, 1991

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audio book nar­rat­ed by 
George Guidall

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What’s this book about?

Tony can hard­ly believe it. He’s sail­ing with the wind, maneu­ver­ing through the nar­row chan­nels between the off­shore islands with amaz­ing skill. And he’s just learned to sail! But sud­den­ly Tony is con­fused. Which way had he come? Which way is he head­ed? And who are the mys­te­ri­ous cou­ple with the high-pow­ered motor boat who are too busy search­ing beneath the water to answer his call for help?

Tony does some search­ing on his own. What he dis­cov­ers leads him on a dar­ing hunt for a 200-year-old ship­wreck … and a dan­ger­ous con­fronta­tion with trea­sure hunters who will stop at noth­ing to keep Tony from learn­ing their secret.

Story Behind the Story

For a short time I lived in Con­necti­cut, and for some rea­son or oth­er I came upon a US gov­ern­ment map (I like maps) of its south­ern coast. That’s when I dis­cov­ered the Thim­ble Islands, which, to quote Wikipedia, “is an arch­i­pel­ago con­sist­ing of small islands in Long Island Sound, locat­ed in and around the har­bor of Stony Creek in the south­east cor­ner of Bran­ford, Con­necti­cut.”

Aside from the charm of the name, I was struck with the fact that these islands were rel­a­tive­ly close to shore, and close to one anoth­er. I had also recent­ly pur­chased a tiny sail­boat with a friend, some­thing called a Snark. It was bare­ly more than a styrene cup with a sail. But I learned to sail it—one man in size—and great­ly enjoyed myself.

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Awards and Recognition

  • Bank Street Teach­ers Col­lege, One of the Best Books of the Year, 1991


““… a potent brew of mys­tery and adven­ture in this tale of an 11-year-old boy involved in a search for a cen­turies-old ship­wreck.” (Pub­lish­ers Week­ly)

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