The Sea Singer book cover

The Sea Singer

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–8 — Twelve-year-old Finn is disappointed when he is left behind to watch the farm while his brother and father sail off to explore the new Vineland of North America. When Leif Eriksson’s ship soon departs to follow, Finn stows away with hopes of finding his father and seeking adventures as a sailor. Discovered by Eriksson, Finn is put to work to earn his keep and proves himself a worthy sailor and entertainer to the crew. But once on shore, he constantly defies Eriksson’s orders, instead wanting to go in search of his family. Shipwrecked and lost, his father and brother are soon rescued thanks to Finn’s persistence but not without casualties. Adventure seekers and those longing to follow their dreams will empathize with the protagonist's plight. Although the story ties up loose ends a little too neatly, the author does not shy away from the realities of sea life and the dangers that explorers faced. The plot moves fast enough to hold the interest of reluctant readers and subtly incorporates historical facts about Greenland and the Vikings who ruled the Scandinavian seas.

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From Booklist

Grade 5–8 — Twelve-year-old Finn is anxious to follow in the footsteps of his father, explorer Olaf Farseeker, who has been gone for more than a year. When the famous Leif Eriksson stops at Finn’s village before tracing Farseeker’s route, Finn is quick to stow away. Once discovered, he is put to work as a deckhand. When Eriksson’s crew finally reaches Vineland's mythical shores, Finn is eager to search for his father, but the only sign of Farseeker is the wreck of his boat. Where is Finn’s father? Has he fled? Has he fallen prey to the mysterious Skraelings? Moodie’s first novel for youth falls squarely between Nancy Farmer’s Sea of Trolls (2004) and Henrietta Branford’s The Fated Sky (1999). Although it is neither as epic and fantastical as Farmer’s opus nor as realistically graphic as Branford’s book, it is solidly written, middle-grade historical fiction that introduces Viking life and lore with a focus on exploration rather than pillage.

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