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The Drift House: The First Voyage
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The Drift House: The First Voyage (Drift House #1)

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  485 ratings  ·  62 reviews
In the tradition of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and A Wrinkle in Time comes the first book in an exciting fantasy series about three siblings' adventures on the high sea--the Sea of Time, that is.


After 9/11, Susan and her younger brothers, Charles and Murray, are sent to live with their uncle Farley in Canada. Uncle Farley's house looks like a ship perched at the...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published October 31st 2006 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens (first published 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 785)
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Sara
In aftermath of the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, the Oakenfeld family is scared. The oldest daughter, Susan, normally a BBC junkie, is banned from watching any news and before long she and her brothers, Charles and Murray, are sent off to live in Canada with their Uncle Farley. Uncle Farley's home is a large, rambling estate, Drift House, situated on the Bay of Eternity. Yet from the moment they arrive, the Oakenfeld children feel that there is something just a bit off with...more
Genna Kaminski
"Drift House: The First Voyage" is a story about three siblings who go to live with their uncle in an old house that looks like a boat. The house is called the Drift House. The two older children start noticing weird things around the house that do not add up. When they wake up in the morning they realize that they are no longer on land; the house has washed out to sea. The house turns out to be a transtemporal vessel, which means it can travel across time. This house/vessel takes the 3 children...more
Cball
Jul 03, 2011 Cball rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: young tweens
Shelves: 2011, audio, tweens
Audio. I'm continuously searching for that Potter-fantasy replacement. This is not it. The backseat crowed liked it more than me but just by a little. It started out really strong and enticing. Three siblings must leave New York City immediately following 9/11 in order to be safe. I was excited to find a youth book willing to use 9/11 as the backdrop. But that was as far as that story line went. They go to Canada to hang out with their Uncle Farley who lives at Drift House, a house which leaves...more
Jams
In this story, three siblings find themselves adrift on the "Sea of Time" with their Uncle and a talking parrot, in the mysterious floating Drift House.

I definitely would have liked this book better if I had liked any of the kids, or the uncle...or even the parrot. The idea was interesting, but the character development was so annoying I almost didn't finish the book.

The best part of the book was the very last chapter, which was the glossary.

The messed up thing is I will probably read the next...more
Noodles
This was something I read either in middle school or early high school that I really enjoyed, and I found that even now, in college, it's still a great story!

One of the most spectacular things is the treatment of the background characters. The dynamics of the pirates and the mermaids is extremely interesting but that's spoilers. It should be sufficient to say that it is very different than the usual fantasy version of mermaids, even if their appearances are the same. It's just really nice the wa...more
Eyebright
Feb 16, 2008 Eyebright rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys a good fantastical adventure tale
I really enjoyed this book. The children learn to get along and work with one another, which is something that I need to learn to do, they use big words, which I love, and it has pirates, and mermaids, and adventure!
Kateri
I first read this book when I was in Junior High and it's really stuck with me. I have since been wanting to slowly make my way through old books I read once upon a yesteryear and so I decided to pick this one up because it's summer and I think you can probably tell by the cover why I chose this particular title. This books is about three young children, Susan (12), Charley (9), and Murray (5) who are siblings and, after the attacks of 9/11, go to live with their Uncle Farley in Canada at an old...more
Caitlin
Apr 23, 2008 Caitlin rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes magic and animals
Recommended to Caitlin by: Mom
Summary: When Susan and her younger brother Charles and Murray, are sent to stay with their eccentric uncle Farley in Canada, little do they realize that they are stepping into the adventure of a lifetime. Uncle Farley lives in a dilapidated old house that looks like a ship, and when the children wake one morning to discover they've been washed out to sea, the name Drift House begins to make sense. Without sails or an engine to propel them, and with no communication from the world they know, Dri...more
Beverly
This attempt at a Narnia-style adventure - that is an adventure with deeper meaning - should have been great. Problems: too much undigested philosophy re. time, mortality produced a cold, dry tone in some places. One reviewer remarked that the author is trying too hard. I agree. There is also a strong hint of anti-Americanism to come in future episodes through the explicit suggestion that the people of the child-heroes' era (today, that is) are causing time to move improperly resulting in (perha...more
Lindsey

This was a great summer read to share with my 8 year old. It took us a long time reading around so much summer fun, but we did it and loved it thoroughly. I think my son's question, "Mom, want to start The Lost Cities tomorrow?" (2nd book in the Drift House series), sums up how much he loved this adventurous tale of 3 young siblings navigating the Sea of Time.

This book includes smart, independent kids along with time travel, mermaids, pirates and talking creatures. My son chose this book because...more
Sarah Sammis
The reviews I've read of Drift House by Dale Peck either ignore the World Trade Center destruction or gloss it over. Regardless, it is the grim starting point of the book and the loss of life is one of the dominant themes of the book. It is also a pirate tale full of derring-do and time travel.

The book begins with Susan and her brothers, Charles and Murray, being driven to Canada from their home in Manhattan. Their mother wants them out of the city until she feels it is safe again for them to re...more
Julie
Aug 27, 2008 Julie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Julie by: Zachary
This starts off like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: 3 resourceful yet believably bickering siblings get sent off to an unknown uncle’s eccentric house because of unsafe conditions at home (in this case, NYC right after 9/11), and magical adventures ensue.

The house in question is Drift House, a curiously galleon-shaped house which drifts out onto the Sea of Time. Susan, Charles, and Murray (the latter two whose names make me wonder if Peck was nodding to A Wrinkle in Time) each deal with...more
Melody
It starts right after 9/11 in NYC, but quickly moves into the territory of magic. Three children, Susan, Charles and Murray are adrift and at sea in more than one fashion. The ways they cope with the strange and unfathomable happenings, as well as Peck's wonderful writing style, kept me turning pages well into the night. This book had me biting my lip trying to stay awake to finish one more page in the wee small hours, and when I finally gave up, it followed me into my dreams. I can't remember t...more
Emily
Jun 07, 2008 Emily rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Harry Potter, Narnia, well written fantasy
Shelves: ya
I'm a sucker for a good (ie, smart, well written) children's novel, but they're harder to find than one might imagine. What a joy to stumble upon Drift House! I actually read it for work, and what a pleasure. It's rare to find a fantasy novel (aside from Harry Potter) where the world of the book feels so grounded, real and complete. I love the characters (I see a bit of myself at 12 in our heroine, Susan), and the story is just a delight. It does weigh down a bit near the end of the climax, but...more
Amy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melanie
I really enjoyed this - it started off feeling slightly derivitave of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and did continue to use elements of other fantasy novels, but the characters were interesting (I wish there was more Murray, though, he was my favorite of the children) and the whole theme of time was fascinating. There were a couple places where I felt it could've been a little less heavy-handed with the "life lesson" stuff (lectures from adults about x, y, and z) but all in all I think...more
Krissy
Disclaimer: I stumbled upon an advanced reading copy of this book, so I don't know how much of it was edited later. I can only hope that it was a lot.

I liked the idea (traveling on a house boat through the sea of time) and the characters (espeically President Wilson, the parrot). But the story could have been at least 150 pgs. shorter. Peck goes on for pages about the scientific reasons behind the nature of the sea of time, and in the height of the conflict goes on about the nature of eternity,...more
Michelle Polk
I thought this book was great. My children and I read it together. It was fun and full of excitement. It is full of intricate details of a puzzle that is completed by the end of the book. The characters are perfect for the story and no one is out of place. The work well together to find the solutions to every problem.

Three kids left an eccentric uncle who lives in an interesting house. From the moment the children arrive they know there is something amiss with the house but they just can't figu...more
Tim
I should have realized there were problems with Drift House earlier. My daughter, who rarely does not finish a book, left her bookmark about a third of the way through and when asked said, "Oh, I just never got into that." It should be an interesting book. The kid characters have potential, as does the setting (a house that can sail on the sea of time). But the plot is plodding, the other characters, inexactly drawn, and the setting becomes vague and unfocused. Should have quit when my daughter...more
Kathy
Aug 20, 2008 Kathy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Kathy by: stumbled on it at the library
Shelves: juvenile
We listened to this on tape in the car during our vacation and at first I had to beg everyone to give it a chance. By chapter 4 everyone wanted to listen to it. It was sort of like the Wanderer by Sharon Creech meets a Wrinkle In Time. Very inventive-- 2 brothers & a sister are sent to live w/ their eccentric uncle after 9/11.He lives in Drift House on the Bay of Eternity which turns out to be an inlet on the Sea of Time. Exciting action--time travel--feirce mermaids--characters tested--all...more
Christy
We LOVED Drift House. My son read the next book in the series and enjoyed it as well. This book is safe for kids (no language, graphic violence). There is some death of mermaids but it's written more like they fall in the water and you just understand they're dead.

I really hope to see more books in this series as there are a few branching story lines that would make for great adventures in themselves.
kenzie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Robin
Currently listening to this one. Although a compelling, mysterious adventure, it's just so gloomy. Maybe it's the reader's deep voice. It's like spending hours and hours with Marvin the Paranoid Android sharing his feelings. The three main characters (two brothers and a sister) are well-crafted, and they continue to get more interesting as the story goes on. We'll see.
Jennifer Marie
Grade: B

One word: Tedious. I can see how kids would love this, but it was too "explained" and too much telling me "This is what will happen" by the narrator, then experiencing it through the children's eyes. That drives me nutty! Absolutely bonkers. Can't stand it!

That said, the writing wasn't half bad, but I won't be reading the sequel.
Allison
A very creative book about time, pirates, mermaids, etc. I got tired of the bickering kids at times, but it was very true to how kids really act and think. I liked the fact that every one of the kids had their own specific purpose and reasons why their talents and none other were needed in specific situations. I look forward to the next book.
S.  Dixon, DTR
Drift House was a sweet read. I enjoyed all of the characters and the journey we went on together. This book also reminded me of the Shack. Susan the oldest of the children, had to make some hard decisions and it was awesome how the author allowed her to be comforted during those times. I can't wait to read the next book!
Katy
After 9/11 3 kids are sent to live with their uncle out of the city. His house turns out to be a boat on the "Sea of Time" and the family takes on adventures with mermaids, pirates, & a whale. Insteresting and creative idea, but not so much of a page turner. Points for originality.
Sarah Tilatitsky
Just so you know, I was reading the unrevised copy of this book. This is one of the few copies, and I'm so glad my mom grabbed it for me. I wouls reccomend this book at any time of day, and you really should read it. It's funny, and some of the text has double entendre.
Hannah
This book is aimed at a younger audience, so I could never really get into it and I thought that the characters were boring. I did, however, like the talking parrot and the talking whale. This would probably be considered as a great book by someone a bit younger.
Jared
This book has a really interesting premise and idea driving the story. I liked seeing how the mystery unfolded at the beginning, but got a little tired of it mid-way through (which is common for me). It was still pretty good and worth a read if you like fantasy.
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Dale Peck (born 1967 on Long Island, New York) is an American novelist, critic, and columnist. His 2009 novel, Sprout, won the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Children's/Young Adult literature, and was a finalist for the Stonewall Book Award in the Children's and Young Adult Literature category.
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