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Young Nick's Head

3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  1,275 ratings  ·  145 reviews
To 11-year-old Nicholas Young, the tall masts of the exploratory ship Endeavour look like an answer to his fervent prayers. On the run from his demanding father and the cruel butcher who employed him, Nick finds adventure beyond his wildest imaginings when he stows away on the ship of legendary Captain James Cook. Once he is discovered and put to work, Nick becomes party t ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published April 2nd 2001 by Simon & Schuster Childrens Books (first published April 1st 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,207)
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Ashley
I thought it was a pretty good book. I don't know why he would stowaway on a ship and risk being killed, but otherwise, it was really good.
Madison Jones
Stowaway is the fictionalized story of the amazing adventures of a real-life boy named Nicholas Young. Only a few facts are known about the real Nicholas Young: 1) he really did stow away on Captain Cook's voyage around the world when he was 11 years old; 2) when he was discovered, Captain Cook commissioned him into the Royal Navy and made him assistant to the ship's surgeon aboard the Endeavour 3) he was the first person on Captain Cook's ship to spot New Zealand; 4) when he grew up, he explore ...more
Diane
This is a young adult novel about Captain Cook’s 1768-71 voyage to the South Seas and around the world on the ship Endeavour. The author found documentation that a boy, Nicholas Young, about age 11 had stowed away on the Endeavour. The book is told entirely through the eyes of Nick in his journal. (There was evidence that Nick was literate.) The author has used ship logs and diaries so that the story of the trip is accurate. Read the brief epilogue first.

I have read a number of books about sea v
...more
Doug
A great adventure story, for readers in the 9-12 year old age group who like adventure/science/nature/history. Highly recommended.
People
STOWAWAY
Part 1: Synopsis
The novel tells the story of Nicolas Young when he become a stowaway on the ship Endeavor. Nicolas run away from the butcher he was working for and bribed some crew to let him stay on board. He was founded by the captain and then became a helper on board until he leaves. He soon became friends with most of the crew and was very liked by one of the scientist/gentleman on board named Mr. Banks. He saw the death of many of his friends and grew a better understanding of the w
...more
Lydia
Stowaway was slow at times but if you like adventure stories (particularly taking place on a boat) then you'll love this. The way Hesse writes makes it seem like an actual journal written by an actual boy. Her factual style and young-boy personification makes it even more enjoyable.
Alice
What an amazing book! We had read about Cook's journey in school, but this made the trials and triumphs and the accomplishment of "discovering" Australia and circumnavigating the globe seem so much more real and concrete.
I was surprised how much I was drawn to these characters and story. It was hard to read the book in places as I was moved by the deaths of the people who I had been reading about, more so because they were all real, living people from the ship's log, embellished and developed
...more
Mary Beth
Based off the true story of Captain Cook's first voyage around the world and written in a journal style. Fascinating, and well written you will be cheering for NiK throughout the book!
Christine
I listened to the audio version of this book. While the story was interesting, and it was a good way to learn some history of one of Captain Cook's voyages around the world, I didn't care for the journal style of the book.

Listening to it, I also found it hard to follow the Endeavor's course because each entry started with the latitude and longitude of the ship. It probably would have been more enjoyable and easier to picture had I been reading a print copy and plotted the ship's course on a map
...more
Jack
me and my mom tried to read it but didn't succeed. too long/ boring im sorry Karen Hesse im sorry

Connie
Nick Young, age 11, stows away in a ship that, unknown to him, will take him on a two-year sea adventure around the world on a mission for the King of England. This is his journal in which he describes his shipmates, the islands they explore, the food, the illnesses, the interactions with the island natives, the losses and deaths in a way that makes them come to life. There is written historical evidence that Nick Young was an actual stowaway on the ship Endeavor, captained by Captain Cook in th ...more
Patrick M
I enjoyed Stowaway by Karen Hesse first because of the genre which is Historical Fiction and second because of the connections the author made to real world. One of my favorite genres of reading is Realistic Fiction and Stowaway being Historical Fiction was fairly close to it. I liked how Karen Hesse wrote the book very accurately to the time period of the setting. This made the book more enjoyable to read because she made it easy to relate to. Overall I really like Stowaway by Karen Hesse, it w ...more
Katie Tatton
Eleven year old Nicholas Young stows away on Captain James Cook's ship Endeavor on her attempt to circumnavigate the globe for the first time. I'm fairly dense and didn't realize it was based on fact until halfway through the book. I liked it very much----so much that when two thirds of the way through the book when my copy skipped from page 182 straight to page 221, I went directly to the library and picked up a different copy. A refreshing break from the predictable Regency rut I've been in la ...more
Effymathers
Disons que j'ai été agréablement surprise à la lecture de ce bouquin....

Je ne m’attendais pas à ça honnêtement. Après un certain temps d’adaptation, j’ai été prise par le rythme du récit. Il est vrai qu’au début, la formule journal de bord paraît étrange, d’autant plus qu’il est question de temps et de nourriture. Mais après quelques pages… On découvre la vraie portée, et ça m’a plu.

Simple, intéressant, symbole de voyage et d’évasion. Voilà comment je pourrais qualifier ce livre. Il est vrai q
...more
Lisa Rathbun
I loved Hesse's "Out of the Dust", written as a series of poems. This book was different: it is a series of journal entries from an eleven year old boy who stows away on Captain Cook's ship and is part of the voyage around the world. I found the book interesting because I love history and I enjoyed seeing how Nick changed over the years of the voyage, but the story did seem rather slow, especially for young readers. I don't think a lot of middle schoolers would have the perseverance to make it t ...more
SailingByAshBreeze
I have to give this book 4 stars simply because I'm amazed at the amount of research that must have been undertaken to write such a book. In the Afterward we are told which events in this book were taken directly from the logs of other true life diaries of this voyage. Be sure to read the Afterward.

This is somewhat dry reading at times as it is written in diary form and lacked detailed descriptions to help you envision the scene. It takes a few pages to get a flow, but you are soon cruising alo
...more
Keegan
"Stowaway" by Karen Hesse is a book about a boy named Nicholas Young who stowed away on the ship called Endeavor, captained by James Cook, to escape his terrible life in England. This, however, is a little known fact. But he isn't a stowaway forever for he soon becomes a member of the crew and he discovers the dangers and wonders of life at sea. And young Nick is amazed by his luck on stowing away on such an important vessel for an important journey.

I know that life is terrible for me sometimes
...more
Arlene Starr
When I first began reading this book, I was not too excited about continuing, and put it down for several weeks. I gave it another try and found that it is an interesting book, and am glad I continued. This book is based on Captain James Cook's first voyage of discovery on a ship named Endeavour for the king of England. Included in the book is the ship's company list, the ship's itinerary and reference to journals of some of those on the ship. This book is a day-by-day journal by Nicolas Young, ...more
Susan O'Bryant
"This afternoon, at last, we weighed anchor. Now there are new sounds to join with the others. The wind clapping the sails, the men singing out in the rigging, the water churned by Endeavour's prow. Fine sounds. Sailing sounds."

The first thing I did this year was travel around the globe. With the help, of course, of author Karen Hesse who penned this excellent and educational young adult novel about the expedition of Captain Cook and his crew between 1768-1771.

The novel is made up of faithful jo
...more
The other John
One drawback to reading the books assigned by my daughter's curriculum is that I start to get bored with reading about the same events or the same settings. A few months back I had gotten my fill of Leonardo da Vinci, Queen Elizabeth I and the whole Renaissance. These days, as my daughter studies the age of exploration and colonization, I'm starting to tire of reading accounts of ocean voyages. If I read about seasickness, scurvy and wormy biscuits too many more times, I'm going to have to start ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Stowaway reminded me of author Karen
Hesse's book, Out of the Dust, in a
couple of ways. Both had young teen
main characters with one parent who
died and one parent who didn't handle
single parenting well. Both characters
are forced to handle big adult issues
(the suffering and death of loved ones)
too early in life. Both books are written
in the form of diary, with short choppy
entries. And both center around historical
events (OOTD-The Great Depression in America;
S-Captain Cook's
...more
Carrie
I felt like I was missing the background on this. Like, if I had done as much research on Captain Cook's voyages as the author clearly did, I would have enjoyed the way she retold it from the POV of an eleven year old.

But, I know nothing about Captain Cook, other than he spent a lot of time sailing the Pacific, so most of the details went right over my head.

Karen Hesse's stuff is usually great on audiobook, but this was tedious. The repetition of the dates and locations for the beginning of ea
...more
Karolinde (Kari)
I've been a Karen Hesse fan ever since I read Witness. One of the things I enjoy about her writing is the way she can write in so many different styles. Stowaway is the story of a boy who literally stows away aboard Cpt. Cook's ship. It is told in the form of diary entries by Nicholas Young. The format is both the strenght and weakness of the book. It's exciting to experience Nick's discovery and wonderment at the new creatures, people, and experiences; however, we learn very little about the ot ...more
Krista
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it inspired me to read on and learn more about Captain James Cook's three voyages. The narrator's voice was enjoyable and felt authentic for his age and time. I think it would be a good book recommendation for reluctant readers.
Emily
Nov 09, 2012 Emily rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emily by: Michael
Michael (age 10) doesn't like to read, and fulfilled his daily 20-minute reading with Calvin and Hobbes all last year... His teacher won't let him do that this year, and she recommended this book to him. Thank you, Ms. Gadd! He says it is the best book he has ever read, and he really connected with the main character, young Nicholas who came on board as a stowaway and later disembarked as an honorable crew member. So he borrowed the book again, so I could read it, and it is excellent. It took me ...more
Kyleigh
This book was very well worded it even had a glossary in the back however since it wasn't a modern book it was sometimes hard to comprihend it was very good i would reccomend it but it would be best read as a group or by a teacher i read it in a group so when i didn't get a phrase i would ask my group at our next meeting but iother than that it was 5 stars. its about a boy who was not excepted by his famly and was going through alot his father sent him to go with somone and lived there and since ...more
Danielle
I very pleasant surprise. I read and enjoyed Out of the Dust, so thought I'd give this one a try. It is an excellent YA book, yet was mature enough to keep me turning the pages.
The story follows Nick who stows away aboard Captain Cook's famous circumnavigating voyage at the age of 12. I was impressed with Hesse's research, since the facts of Nick's age and presence on the ship are historically accurate. His journal is fiction, but follows the events in the ship's log (down to longitude and lati
...more
Bonnie Gayle
Sep 13, 2007 Bonnie Gayle rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of books in diary format, and fans of the exploration age
This is the fictional diary of an 11 year old boy who really stowed away on Captain Cook's world exploration voyage. They sailed around the coast of South America, to Tahiti, New Zealand, they were the first to sail the east coast of Australia, and sailed around Cape Horn back to England.
This was adventuresome and exciting reading with close calls and disasters. It did drag in some parts though.
I would definitely recommend it for an older reader because there is a lot about hunting and killing
...more
Laura Baldassari-Hackstaff
Readalike to The Wanderer by Creech, the Crispin trilogy by Avi
4-Star rating.
Nick is an historical figure, an 18th-century stowaway, running from the cruel butcher he is apprenticed to, running from his family as well. He wants to be away from everything he knows for a long time,long enough to be forgotten. Nick chose the right voyage for what he wants- a three year sail around the world with Captain James Cook intended to prove the existence of a continent at the bottom of the Earth. Nick is th
...more
Michelle
We started this with high hopes as a bedtime read and Groovy Girl finally admitted she wanted desperately to give up. story just wasn't compelling enough for her and I have to say I agree.
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Karen Hesse is an American author of children's literature and literature for young adults, often with historical settings. Her novel Out of the Dust was the winner of the 1998 Newbery Medal and the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction. In 2002, Hesse was a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship.

For more information, please see http://us.macmillan.com/author/karenh...
More about Karen Hesse...
Out of the Dust Letters from Rifka The Music of Dolphins Witness A Light in the Storm: The Civil War Diary of Amelia Martin, Fenwick Island, Delaware, 1861 (Dear America)

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