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3.43  ·  Rating Details ·  1,480 Ratings  ·  164 Reviews
In the summer of 1768, an eleven-year-old butcher's apprentice named Nicholas Young climbed aboard a ship, hid himself from captain and crew, and waited to be carried far away from the life he hated in London.
Nick didn't know it, but the ship he chose -- H.M.S. Endeavour -- was bound for an astonishing adventure. Captained by James Cook, Endeavour was on a secret mission
Hardcover, 328 pages
Published November 1st 2000 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (first published April 1st 2000)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,645)
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Emma Jane
Sep 02, 2015 Emma Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
This was an interesting historical read. I don't know if I would have enjoyed it so much if I wasn't so fascinated by 18th century ships and crews, but if you're interested in that sort of thing I'd recommend it! :-) Not a very happy book, that's for sure; lots of hardships, some talk of savagery, lots and lots of people dying. (Seriously, in the last twenty pages or so, they were dropping like flies! What even!) I REALLY like the character of Nicholas Young, though. He was an engaging narrator ...more
Madison Jones
Oct 19, 2014 Madison Jones rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Feb 09, 2016 J rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Remember, one man's bookflap summary is another man's spoiler.

I was intrigued that Karen Hesse built this fictional account of a young teen who stowed aboardship for Captain James Cook's 1768 voyage around the fact that a young Nicholas Young is listed by name in the historical records of the history-making voyage. (The world voyage went from England across the Atlantic and around South America, past Australia, below Africa, back to England.)

I'm believing she has imagined the dynamics to the you
This is a good book for people who enjoy seafaring stories. I'm afraid most of it was lost on me, as I don't have a good grasp of latitude/longitude, parts of a ship, or the ability to quickly grasp the names of crew members, many you might never hear from again. Many times the story reads more like, "Performed duties. Some people have scurvy. Saw a bird." But, again, if you're into 18th century nautical tales, you're used to this, and will understand that sometimes that itself is action. Every ...more
Jul 07, 2015 Doug rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great adventure story, for readers in the 9-12 year old age group who like adventure/science/nature/history. Highly recommended.
Feb 04, 2015 People rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 30, 2010 Lydia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 10, 2014 Alice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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!
Nov 14, 2015 Quince rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-fiction
Awesome book!
Oct 22, 2009 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Dec 10, 2008 Jack rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
me and my mom tried to read it but didn't succeed. too long/ boring im sorry Karen Hesse im sorry

Sep 12, 2016 Teri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: explorers, england
3.5 stars. Maybe this book isn't the most readable story--as it's written in diary form, BUT the book is very valuable! We felt like we made their voyage with them: mapping the places they went, (learning latitude and longitude along the way), cringing at the effects of scurvy, mourning the loss of most of the crew as they die from malaria and dysentery, trying to describe kangaroos for the first time, crashing on a the great barrier reef, trying to patch a hole at sea, and finally the nostalgia ...more
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
Oct 17, 2014 Katie Tatton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 04, 2014 Effymathers rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: realiste
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
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
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
"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
Arlene Starr
Aug 04, 2012 Arlene Starr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Sharon Honeycutt
If you like boating/sailing and historical fiction, this might be a good choice. The book centers around Captain Hook's first round-the-world trip and his discovery of New Zealand and Australia. I am not into boating and sailing, and thus found much of the book to be boring. I preferred the few parts when they encountered native peoples. My kids (middle schoolers) weren't thrilled either; to date, it is the only book we have abandoned in our homeschool.
I read this with my 7th grade students. For a historical narrative set on Captain James Cook's ship, Hesse does a decent job of portraying colonizing european forces as the exploitative force they were. My students found it slow but it generated good discussions on the problematic language of "discovery," the difference in cultural definitions of property, and the heinous repercussions of these early voyages on the indigenous populations they encountered.
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
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
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
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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.

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