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Escape From Home (Beyond the Western Sea #1)

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  662 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
Avi's suspense-filled, seafaring adventure gets a bold new package!

It's 1851. Fifteen-year-old Maura O'Connell and her twelve-year-old brother Patrick are about to set sail on an epic voyage to America to flee the brutal poverty of Ireland and to be reunited with their father.

Eleven-year-old Laurence Kirkle, the son of an English lord, runs away from home to escape his cru
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Scholastic Press (first published 1996)
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I've found it!!!

I feel like squealing with joy. Do you know I hunted everywhere for this book? But I couldn't remember who it was by or what it was called. However, I never, ever forgot to story. Need I say it was amazing? I love love, love this book. Avi writes just the kind of YA I like, and I'm very picky. I like that descriptions are Vivid, Characters have faults, and it feels true to the time period. I highly recommend to anyone who loves historical fiction.

There is some language, mainly J
Sue Carr
Jan 10, 2012 Sue Carr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I love, love, love Avi. He weaves historical fiction like no other, in my opinion. I picked up this novel as research for my own historical novel and was instantly captivated. His attention to historical detail, his character development, his scene-setting all combine to transport the reader to 1890's England. This book feels Dickensian without the stiff, subtly nuanced language that can drive Dickens' readers batty. It reminded me, in good ways, of Oliver Twist (which I loved). Avi manages an o ...more
Keair Snyder
Dec 04, 2014 Keair Snyder rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in the fourth grade and I absolutely loved it. I remember rounding up change at the next Book Fair to buy the sequel and I loved it as well.
Feb 22, 2016 Carrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, Avi, you've done it again.

Having stumbled upon this book in the library (which you can see from the thumbnail I read the library version), I instantly knew I had to read it. Any book that promises action, adventure, and a grand journey is irresistible.

The characters in this plot were so colorful and unique, which was refreshing in this day and age where most characters fall into very specific typecasts. There was the loyal, adventurous Patrick (who I'll say was probably my favorite), the ind
It is 1851. Thousands are fleeing the Old World for the New, desperate to reach America.

Maura and Patrick O'Connell, fifteen-and twelve-year-old Irish peasants, are forced by Lord Kirkle, their English landlord, to leave Kilonny and seek refuge elsewhere. When their father sends money for passage over to America, they begin a perilous journey from starved Ireland to the bustling, crowded streets of Liverpool. The streets are filled with villains of all size waiting to prey upon Irish immigrants,
As his village is tumbled by English soldiers, Patrick O’Connell, 12, throws a rock at Lord Kirkle’s agent, who threatens him with arrest if he doesn’t leave Ireland in two days. He and his sister Maura, 15, sail to Liverpool. Does he stay out of trouble there? No. He meets Laurence, 11, a runaway who doesn’t give his surname. It’s Kirkle, and he’s trying to avoid being found by various parties. The boys form a plan to stow Laurence on the ship the O’Connells are sailing to Boston on. You have t ...more
Finished reading this and went on to the second book. The characters are intresting and well drawn out. The story like Holes has many different story threads that funnel down into one. The story though stays in one time period of three days.

One problem with the story is that Avi doesn't seem to take into account that people married and had children a lot younger than they do now. Lord Kirkle at sixty with an eleven year old son doesn't seem too likely even if he the son is the youngest. This pr
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Mr. O'Connell preceded his family to America hoping to find a way for them all to escape the extreme poverty in Ireland. Father Mahoney, the parish priest, brings tickets and passage money for Mrs. O'Connell, Maura, and Patrick just before Lord Kirkle's agent tumbles their cottage for back rent. They walk to Cork where a steam packet to Liverpool is waiting. Mrs. O'Connell loses heart and leaves Maura and Patrick as they are boarding the boat. The two children go on to England alone. Meanwhile i ...more
Jeni Enjaian
A review from my old blog (covers the whole series)...

I have to say that I was rather disappointed with the series. I guess it comes from reading a ton of other books written in the same era and written poorly.

While these books were not written poorly neither did they sparkle and entertain. I almost know the end outcome of the books before I read more than a few chapters.

Avi also dragged the plot of the books down with too many extraneous characters and subplot lines. For a children's book I had
May 04, 2012 17audreyw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
During the last month or more I was reading this book, a book that i have really enjoyed and most the of the time couldn't put my book down. At the start of the book I thought it was a bit boring but once i got into the climax it was really interesting and not that easy to put my book down.
This book is about 3 run away kids that travel to America. Patrick and Maura who travel to America without their mother to find there father. Laurence runs away from his father in England and travels to Americ
Aug 13, 2016 Eileen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I borrowed this book, thinking that it would be interesting to read about the 1800s ship journey of the people sailed from England to the United States in the hope of a new life. Then as I read the book, I realised the story is just going to be about the whirlwind of events the children experience before they even step on the boat bound for the States! But the story is very interesting, and the many characters and their activities over the span of the two or three days before the ship set sail a ...more
Jan 25, 2010 Mitch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Maura and Patrick O' Connell leave thir home in Ireland for America after their home is tumbled. Prince Laurence Kirkle runs away from his home after he is beaten. They both run into many different people, both hurting and helping them. Eventually they meet up and board for America. But will they get there that easily?

I liked reading this book. You never knew who the 3 charcters would meet or what would happen next. I kept wanting to read it so i could find out wha
Judi Paradis
Dec 05, 2009 Judi Paradis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous historical adventure story featuring three young people who are trying to get to America without an adult to help them. Maura and Patrick arrive at the dock in Ireland on their way to meet their father in Boston--only to have their mother announce they must go without her as she cannot leave her home. At the same time, wealthy 12-year-old Laurence runs away to escape his cruel older brother and all his money is stolen on his route to America. This exciting story really helps us apprecia ...more
Andrei Secu
Nov 15, 2009 Andrei Secu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enclosed in these pages is the story two different families with the same destination. Maura and Patrick O'Connel are two poor Irish immigrants whose father went to America, became rich, and is now bringing his family over. Laurence Kirkle is a rich child who has been greatly mistreated. After he receives a harsh punishment for something he did not do, he decides to run away to America, taking with him one thousand pounds. Destiny brings these three people together as both the O'Connels and Laur ...more
Sep 16, 2012 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Avi tells a wonderful story and has a talent of setting things up so you feel you are there. The characterization is well done. I was frustrated when I got to the end where it said something like,
"Would he live?" That was the end. I've started the second book because I couldn't leave it like that, and refreshingly it actually starts exactly where it lets off. None of this 50 pages of explaining what already happened. Why didn't he just make this one long book?
Jul 14, 2010 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
okay, so this book wasn't quite what i expected. For being part of a series called "beyond the western sea" it seems like more of this book should have taken place at least *on* the sea, rather than the characters not even making it *to* the sea until the last 5 pages of the book. Overall, I had a hard time getting into the book, and only thought it was okay.
Maura O'Connell, 15, and her brother, Patrick, 12, escape Ireland's brutal poverty with only the belongings in their bundles and tickets for ocean passage. Sir Laurence Kirkle, 11, flees a life of privilege to seek justice. When fate brings them ogether, the three join forces in a daring scheme that may lead to freedom and glory...or dire consequences.
May 23, 2012 Ben rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Kind of boring. Dissapointing ending, and in my opinion poorly captured the time period.

In my words, AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!nomegusta
Jan 17, 2016 Elise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay. Kind of slow at times. Some of the characters I really didn't like--and everyone was just so nasty. But mostly, I found Maura tedious and overbearing, and I thought she would be likable. Laurence was okay--a little whinny and unable to think for himself, but that's consistent. Patrick was the only likable character.
Sep 23, 2010 Brittany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book one summer in high school. I think this was the book that started my interest in stories about Irish immigrants. I liked the characters, the story was intriguing, and I was definitely excited to read the second half of this story.
Harry Hunter
Oct 28, 2011 Harry Hunter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
Right know i believe this is a very good book that describes everything well. I don't really like the Patrick and Maura part of the story and personally prefer the Laurence side and that's not because i'm British.
I read this book together with my class last year during our historical fiction unit. We seemed to hate the book at first but started to really get into it once the main character Patrick O'Connell and his sister Maura went to America after the Irish Potato Famine...
Jul 17, 2012 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book, even though it was sad and remotely religous, it was still pretty good. I'm glad they all made it to the boat, and away from most of the people trying to hurt them. I hope Laurence finds happiness in America. I can't wait to get the next book.
Jun 14, 2010 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Riveting and clean. What a great alternative for grades 4-8 (RL 4-6) than the more popular and darker YA novels shouting at us from bookstore display shelves. The Avi books are still worth a pursuit, even if hidden under "alphabetized fiction."
Oct 26, 2011 Rachael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: class-books
I just finished reading this book, and i would recomend it to readers with really, good memories because there are soooooo many characters. Also, it was kind of boring for me, and it didn't have a good conclusion. at the end i was like "what?... Thats it?!"
A good historical fiction set in 1851. It helps develop a picture of the society and culture of Ireland and England and the appalling circumstances of Irish immigration. Reads a bit like a play. Short chapters.
the beginning of a complicated story with many characters, it takes two Irish immigrants and a boy from London to Liverpool, then onto a ship to America.
Mar 29, 2008 CLM rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrensbooks
I would give this book a higher grade if Avi hadn't messed up the English titles. A modicum of research would have prevented this problem.
Boo Langdon
May 23, 2012 Boo Langdon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: class
this book is very suspenseful but the characters were not very smart and the story was lame at some parts.
Gabe The
This is a fascinating book that we read in class about the journeys of some children staying in Liverpool England awaiting their voyage to America.
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Avi is a pen name for Edward Irving Wortis, but he says, "The fact is, Avi is the only name I use." Born in 1937, Avi has created many fictional favorites such as The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Nothing but the Truth, and the Crispin series. His work is popular among readers young and old.
More about Avi...

Other Books in the Series

Beyond the Western Sea (2 books)
  • Lord Kirkle's Money (Beyond the Western Sea, #2)

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