The Wreckers
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The Wreckers (High Seas Adventures #1)

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3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  693 ratings  ·  69 reviews
There was once a village bred by evil. On the barren coast of Cornwall, England, lived a community who prayed for shipwrecks, a community who lured storm-tossed ships to crash upon the sharp rocks of their shore. They fed and clothed themselves with the loot salvaged from the wreckage; dead sailors' tools and trinkets became decorations for their homes. Most never question...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published March 16th 2011 by Yearling (first published January 1st 1998)
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Jason Koivu

(I'm dusting off and resurrecting the ol' "INCOMING" baby...)

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Forget it! I'm through with this!

The Wreckers a book with an old timey feel about ship-wrecking on the coast of England should be right up my alley, and maybe it would've been, but at only about a quarter in, I'm giving it up. I found Iain Lawrence's book amongst the audiobook shelves at my local library and the summary made me think it could provide a pleasant diversion while I was doing yard work or what have you. Oh the promise was...more
Melissa Mahle
This is a great "boy book". It is organized around a rather dark plot--running ships aground for profit--which makes it even more appealing. John is a great character. I've decided to read other books by Iain Lawrence because this story is so well written.
Lisa Rathbun
I'm torn about this book. It was certainly adventurous and exciting, but the subject matter was SO DARK and the people were SO EVIL!!! Wreckers deliberately lighting signals to make a ship crash on the rocks and then deliberately killing any survivors - this is a level of depravity so deep that I found horrifying and haunting. I really wouldn't have wanted to read this as a child nor will I recommend it to my children. Thankfully, there is a satisfying ending and some heroic and likeable charact...more
Goochas
I've read this book about 20 times; four classes of 8th graders per year, times 5 years...you get the picture. The book is well-crafted and is a pretty quick read for my students, and it provides opportunity to discuss relevant terminology (flashback, foreshadowing, figurative language, etc.) and the book clearly holds their attention as John, a 14 year-old boy sees his father's boat intentionally drawn in and wrecked on the rocks of Pendennis, a fictional town along the southern English shoreli...more
Meera B
I thought that this book was very different then others that I have read. The plot was kind of weird but interesting at the same time. The author really describes the scenes well, but sometimes it's confusing to follow the character's journey from one place to another. At times it felt boring to me, and was hard to understand the language and traditions that common people spoke of. Overall, I thought that this books was written well, but was kind of creepy, with a few mysteries here and there.
Ann
Wow! What a book! It's so exciting when a book blows me away - it may not be the best book I've ever read, or something that I would adore if I'd known about it going into it, but this was entirely unexpected and I loved it. It's definitely one of the darkest books I've read (in the first couple of chapters, a ship is wrecked on a coast by villagers who lured it there by false harbor lights, a teenaged boy is chased by villagers who want to kill him to eliminate any survivors, and he encounters...more
Mary
John Spencer survives the wreck of his father's ship, and finds himself on the beach amid wreckage and bodies. When he sees some men drown another survivor, John tries to run away before he too can be killed. But the wreckers don't want to kill him; they want him to tell where his father - a captive - has hidden the gold or diamonds they are sure were in the ship's cargo. John is taken in by Simon Mawgan, who has right of the wreck, and his niece Mary, but Simon has a violent temper and disappea...more
Charlotte
At first it was a slow beginning, but once it got in to the story it started to become interesting. After his father's shipped being wrecked, John, doesn't know what to do. Trying to save his father, John meets Mary. This book wasn't my favorite, but it was still good.
Dayna Smith
The first book in the High Seas Trilogy. In 1799, 14-year-old John Spencer of London falls in love with life at sea on his first voyage as a passenger on his father's merchant sailing ship. Then a storm claims the vessel and its crew. Washed onto a Cornish beach, John feels lucky, but soon finds himself in great danger. The nearby village of Pendennis supports itself communally through the practice of "wrecking": tricking vessels onto the lethal coastal rocks, then looting the remains. However,...more
Lea
I assigned this book as summer reading because I have a few reluctant boy readers in my class and I knew they would want something short, but I have to say that I was totally sucked into this book myself! John Spencer is accompanying his father on a trip aboard his father's trading ship when the ship wrecks on the coast near Cornwall. The crew is either killed in the wreck or murdered by the locals, John's father is missing (or held hostage?) and John is alternately chased by men with knives and...more
Christy
This one is very different for me that might be where the 3 stars comes in; it's just not what I'm used to. In all honesty though it was a interesting story. I got this at a used book sale at a library.
Tracy
Jun 17, 2010 Tracy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Chris Swensen
Recommended to Tracy by: Guys Read website
This is one of those recommended books off of Guys Read that I have been getting for Ryan lately. I end up reading a lot of his books when he says they are good. He gives this 4 stars. He warns that there are a lot of sailing words, but you don't have to know what they mean, just skip them.

This is a strange little book, almost a horror novel for kids. It was quite creepy (in a good way), and tense. A dark story with lots of normal people gone bad. Living with how bad they've gone makes many of t...more
Kristen
Written for young adult readers, this is an adventure from the high seas. Along the coasts of Southern England, live people who after dangerous storms seek out the wreckage of sailing ships on the beaches to salvage for profit. In one such town, the inhabitants go even further by luring the ships onto dangerous shoals and killing any crewmen that manage to make it to shore alive. A young first time sailor, John Spencer, is one of the survivors of the wreck of his ship. Although he lives through...more
Karina
This book was haunting. A very quick read but great for reluctant readers because it grabs you and won't let you go. It has a breathless first person perspective that makes you feel anxious. Although, I'm a sucker for sailing stories, so that bias definitely influenced my feelings on this book. My suggestion would be to go into this one with as little plot knowledge as possible. That's what I did and I was wonderfully caught off guard by the story. Fair warning: some unpleasant (gruesome) detail...more
Robyn Motl
My 9-year old son picked this out for us to read as our first book for our "mom and me" book club. Being the only two members, he gets to select the books we read. I read the book and really enjoyed it. There were parts that jumped around a bit - I actually thought I missed a page at one point. I appreciated that it wasn't some predictable bit of fluff, though. It kept me guessing until the final chapters. As for my son's review, he never even opened the book. He would have liked it if he had!
Geokowgurl
This book started out a little slow and I didn't think I was going to finish it, but by the middle of the book I was actually wondering how it would end and so I finished it. This would be a great story for 4th through 6th graders I think. It is a story of a boy, John Spencer, that survived a shipwreck. What he had to find out was if the wreck was accidental or murder. The adventure that he gets himself into is filled with twists and turns.
Manda
This is one to pick up if you like stories like Treasure Island, Jamaica Inn, and Moonfleet.
Jenny
John Spencer barely makes it to shore after his father's ship, the Isle of Skye, is shipwrecked. It was lured onto the rocks by a false beacon, and the villagers of Pendennis are responsible. John's father makes it also, but he is held captive. John is taken in by the local Laird, but doesn't know if he can be trusted. With only the help of the laird's neice, Mary, John must solve to plot of the wreckers before his father dies.
Kristi
A very interesting spin on the typical pirate story. I liked it. I did wish that the author would have put in a diagram of ship so that I could really understand some of what he was saying. It all worked out. I just pulled out my very worn copy of the The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (if you haven't read it, DO!) and figured out where exactly the upper-main topsail was. :)
Heep
This is a very exciting story but very sinister - perhaps too much so for younger children. Parts of it disturbed my eight-year-old. It is in the tradition of Robert Louis Stevenson, but a little blacker. The characters are credible and the historic setting is captured well by the author. Overall, it was a good read.
Susan
Exciting adventure in Cornwall of shipwrecks, hidden treasure, pirates, wind-swept moors, a Reverend, a man called Stumps (guess why), a rich merchant living in a remote mansion, ghostly lights on a cliff and a mob of townsfolk. A very enjoyable and absorbing story and I've already ordered the next few in this series.
Sarah
Kind of weird...what kind of people would purposely wreck ships and then kill any survivors so that no one survived? I know that the people of the village depend on the wrecked ships for supples, but the rule that a ship can not be salvaged unless all of the crew are dead is completely insane!!
Alli
Emma read this book and said it was REALLY good. I thought I'd give it a try. While I was reading it I kept thinking "I can't believe that Emma read this". It was intense and suspenseful. It had gore and murder and mystery and I didn't want to put it down. I'd definitely recommend the book.
Christine
This was not a book I would typically choose to read--I happened into our book room on a qwest to find a book very quickly and figured I would read a few chapters and then find a different book--and I was so surprised at this book! It truly lured me in and I really enjoyed reading it!
Aspen
When I read the book it was good but didn't move me or anything. Years later I still find myself thinking about this book which is pretty amazing considering I read it four years ago and book don't stay with me for long. I recomend this book for a quick but unique read.
Lisalvold
with the kids as a books on tape...I liked it. I liked the "starry gazey" pronunciation!
Anna Beack
Took me almost 4 months to finish! Slow paced and at times super confusing due to all the nit picky details. Not a go to book but it's a wonderful imaginative book that's a great adventure throughout!
Melissa
Fast-paced action adventure. Chapter 1: here we are on a storm-tossed ocean, aboard a ship destined to crash on the rocks. I read it with a student at Oxford, my last act of rebellion before moving ;-)
Joeydag
Written in 1998, it has the feel of a classic young teen adventure tale. Set in 1799 on the English coast, a 14 year old has a violent adventure after a shipwreck. Inspired by Treasure Island.
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Sha Tin College: ...: The wreckers: What was your favorite part of this book? Why? 1 3 Jan 20, 2014 07:11AM  
i rated it!!!! 1 2 Jun 10, 2011 04:01AM  
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