By Jane Leslie Conly
(Disney-Hyperion, Hardcover, 9781423104162, 176pp.)
Publication Date: October 2010
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Benjamin Franklin Orville is a boy who wants for nothing. He has his own pony, and he's caught the eye of the charming girl next door. He doesn't have a care in the world--until the day his mother sends him to market to get a chicken for dinner. Suddenly Benjy is caught up in a scuffle, kidnapped with a group of immigrants, and forced to work aboard the Ella Dawn--one of the most ill-reputed oystering vessels in Baltimore. He tries to plead his case, but his captors are unimpressed by Benjamin's way with language. Soon the boy knows only hard work and hunger, a little bit of German, and a whole lot about injustice. It's more of an education than he ever got at home. And along with a growling stomach and aching muscles, he also experiences the joys of the sea--a gentle rhythm that rocks him to sleep at night and freedom he never felt between the fancy walls of his home. Will Benjamin ever see home again? And if he does, will he know what to do there?
Jane Leslie Conly is the author of several books, including Rasco and the Rats of NIMH, an ALA Booklist Children's Editors Choice, the critically acclaimed Trout Summer (an ALA Notable Children's Book and Best Book for Young Adults), and the Newbery Honor Book Crazy Lady! She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.