Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Gone to Drift” as Want to Read:
Gone to Drift
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Gone to Drift

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  102 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Life gets even tougher for Lloyd, a boy from a Jamaican fishing village, when his grandfather goes missing at sea - ‘gone to drift’ as the local fishers say. Lloyd sets out to find him but no one will help except for an uptown girl who studies dolphins, his best friend Dwight and - just perhaps - a mad man called Slowly on a sun-baked beach.

Truth? Respect? Survival? Gone t
Paperback, 210 pages
Published February 28th 2016 by Papillote Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  102 ratings  ·  36 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Gone to Drift
Polenth Blake
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Lloyd's grandfather, Conrad, doesn't come back from a fishing trip. Lloyd is certain that Conrad wouldn't have got caught out at sea, so something else must have happened. He's going to find out what, no matter the danger.

The story is told from two points-of-view. Lloyd in third person, as he searches for his grandfather. Conrad in first person, as he thinks about his past and his current situation. It's an interesting mystery, as Conrad's disappearance is not as simple as an accident at sea. Ll
Amanda Brenner
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, netgalley
You can read all of my reviews on my blog ->Cover2CoverMom

I requested Gone to Drift because the cover gave me Island of the Blue Dolphins vibes.  While this was nothing like Island of the Blue Dolphins, this was a very interesting YA novel about a boy’s quest to find out what happened to his beloved Grandfather who never returns from a fishing trip.  It sounds simple, but this book was much more than I was anticipating…

In Gone to Drift we are getting two stories: the present day story of Llyod s
Jan 01, 2022 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2022
I had no idea what to expect as I opened this book. It was lent to me by a friend I met through my local camera club. He is older than me, I think in his 70s, and he supplements his pension by peer-reviewing technical documents about something I don’t understand. He is a clever man. I didn’t read the blurb on the back of the book but just opened it and began to read.

It was something of a surprise to find myself realising about 3 pages in that I was reading a YA novel. Not that’s there’s anything
May 06, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actual rating: 4.5 stars

This was an extremely touching story about the bond between a young boy, Lloyd, and his grandfather. When Lloyd's grandfather goes missing at sea, Lloyd devotes all his time to trying to find him and figure out the circumstances behind his disappearance.

Diana McCaulay's love for Jamaica and its culture radiated through each page of this novel and it was truly a joy to read. However, I did deduct .5 a star because I feel like the ending was extremely rushed in the last thr
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a wonderful middle grade book that is about "gone to drift" aka missing at sea. Lloyd's grandfather is missing from a fishing trip. Lloyd fears his grandfather is "gone to drift", a saying in Jamaica. Lloyd is not about to give up and tries to get assistance from people in the community to help him find his grandfather. There are many things going on in the fishing community and waters of Jamaica, many more than young Lloyd new about, or wants to know about. Told in alternating voices o ...more
Gatlin Luke
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
A young boy and his father were best friends until one day disaster had struck upon them. The book I have read is Gone To Drift by Diana McCaulay. The genre of this book is adventure and fiction.
A boy named Lloyd loved to fish. He really loved to fish with his dad, it was their thing that loved to do together. Ever since Lloyd was a little boy he wanted to fish all the time because it was just in his blood to fish. Lloyd and his father would go out on their boat to fish together. On one specific
Nkeisha Francis
Jan 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
Lloyd, if ever I am lost I would want you to look for me. Lloyd’s determination, grit, bravery in this story was fueled by the love for his grandfather who was lost at sea (“gone to drift”). The author skillfully developed this plot via two different voices: Lloyd’s whose plot was told in 3rd person as he ventured to find his granddad (this method she was able to develop a great story which sometimes mask the age of the Lloyd who was only twelve as he made some mature decisions) and his grandfat ...more
Nov 10, 2019 rated it liked it
The setting of Jamaica makes for an interesting backdrop to the story of a boy, his love for his grandpa, and what happens when his grandpa gets lost at sea. The chapters alternate between Lloyd and his grandfather (as he remembers his life while lost). It is a slower story with bits of action, and it has a lot of information about how fishing has changed along with the hard lives that some people lead. The dialect took me a little to get into but once I did it flowed. There is some mention of d ...more
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
For a debut t his is beautifully written. I spent time in Jamaica and this book made me want to go back as soon as possible.

I love adventure books and let's be honest our hero went on one heck of an adventure to find his grandfather. I can't believe this is a debut. I loved this story and can't wait to read more by the author.
Richie Partington
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, box9
Richie’s Picks: GONE TO DRIFT by Diana McCaulay, HarperCollins, April 2018 [Originally published in 2016 by Papillote Press], 272p., 0-06-267296-7

“I remember when we used to sit
In the government yard in Trenchtown
Oba, observing the hypocrites
As they would mingle with the good people we meet
Good friends we have had
Oh, good friends we’ve lost along the way
In this bright future you can’t forget your past
So dry your tears I say”
-- Bob Marley, “No Woman No Cry” 1974

“The most daunting thing about the
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Gone to Drift is the story of one boy’s unrelenting quest to find his grandfather, Maas Conrad, who has gone to drift in the waters off Jamaica. Lloyd has an unwavering faith in Maas Conrad’s strength of body and will and goes to tremendous lengths to locate his missing grandparent despite the insistence of adults that he give up the search. The story is beautifully told. Lloyd’s voice is strong and his character is very real in his single-mindedness, in his bravery, and in his clear-headed asse ...more
True Nicks
Sep 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
Diana McCaulay’s Gone to Drift tells the tale of Lloyd, or Lloydie as he is affectionately called in his community, who when he realises that his grandfather, known as ‘Maas Conrad’, has been out to sea longer than usual, even for a seasoned fisherman, grows anxious and questions whether he is okay. While the community shares in his worry, no one seems to be too preoccupied with looking for the old man. Fishermen go missing sometimes, it’s part of the risk involved being out on the open water. T ...more
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Gone to Drift is a story about the people whose lives are centered around the sea- those who love and care for it, and those that only care about what it brings to them. The sea is the setting, the creatures within it are a focus and it seems to soak through every page. The fishing culture of the caribbean is practically a world away from my own but, with each page-turn, I experienced it.

This book begins a a slowburner: quiet, unflashy - not groundbreaking, but special nonetheless. It is filled
Jacqueline Smith
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This started off a bit slow for me and the for a while the structure of alternating story lines was annoying. But boy, am I glad I stuck with it! I think the story found a rhythm by about a third of the way through and I found myself rooting for Lloyd and really wanting to know what really happened to his Gramps. The two stories turned out to weave together in a way that makes perfect sense the one a quest, the other a history and they merge in a way that made me nod my head. Not only is the sto ...more
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j-fic
LLoyd's grandfather is assumed to be lost at sea (Gone to Drift), after failing to return home from a fishing trip. But Lloyd thinks he is still alive, out there, and needing to be rescued. This book is two stories-one is Lloyd's adventure to find his grandfather, the second is told from his grandfather's perspective- stuck on a rock out in the sea- surviving the elements and remembering his life and what brought him to this place. The author does a good job describing the fishing culture of Jam ...more
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, tween
This is my 2nd in a row Caribbean novel for young people and I’m amazed by the similarities: striking out alone to survive, the pull of grandparents who are deeply connected to the island, the corruption and financial/moral struggle of their parents’ generation, the love of the sea and its healing powers, the hard lives of the young people. I wish Lloyd’s chapters were written in 1st person instead of 3rd; I wanted to be closer to him. The corruption of the ocean and the increasing violations of ...more
Carli Whinna
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Goodreads Book Review

Realistic fiction grabs my attention as a reader.It makes the reader question the story, scenes, characters. Is what is happening that Grandpa gets taken by the waves? Gone to Drift is a perfect example of realistic fiction. Lloyd, his grandson, tries to find him when Grandpa doesn’t return home. Lloyd is really worried and he wonders what happened. This book is lyrical. Let me tell you that you’re going to have trouble believing what is in the story. The author makes it fee
Camilla Roper
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the author's first novel, and she's done well. The concept of a stowaway isn't a new one, but the circumstances here are, and the initiative of the boy goes far to make the story believable. It is a story of hope in spite of everything to the contrary. The boy has family problems and must help his mother earn money for their family, yet he also feels responsible for his missing grandfather. It has good twists and turns and is a good read. ...more
Sara Wilcox
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a fantastic window into life in a fishing community in Jamaica. I loved the environmental theme woven throughout. I would recommend this book to strong readers since the dialogue takes some extra focus due to the dialect, but the dialect also makes it authentic.
Ms. Yingling
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Did not meet the needs of my collection at this time.
Jennifer Webb Richards
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An all nighter, as all Dianes’s books lead me to do!
Jennifer Storm
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow, I really learned a lot about the lives of poor Jamaican "fishers" through reading the book; the author, having grown up on the island, really knows her stuff! A sad story, yet satisfying. ...more
Shaunda Gomez
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a grate book of you love adventures,and the experience of this book is amazing!
I love this book I'm am hoping for more.
This was probably a five-star read, but the ending was too abrupt and left too many questions unanswered. I loved the main character and how atmospheric the book felt.
Feb 04, 2022 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars. Review to come
Vanessa Salazar
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Gone to Drift is the story of Lloyd, a Jamaican youth who refused to accept that his grandfather, Maas Conrad, was dead when he did not return from a fishing trip after several days. Both family members and neighbours alike implored twelve year old Lloyd to cease his search and dangerous investigations. He defies them and continuously goes to great lengths to trace his grandfather’s steps. Lloyd finds some very ugly truths that he had suspected.

Eventually, with the help of a young female scienti
Aug 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the story of a young boy and his quest to find his grandfather lost at sea. Simple enough and yet it cut so deeply. I'm not sure if it was because I related so much to the place and people, them being my people, but I felt like I was right there alongside Llyodie as he traveled around the island on his journey to rescue his grandfather.

This truly was a touching story, it gives insight into the lives of people living in fishing villages and the struggle they have to go through. It also
Anita McDivitt Barrios
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
We picked this one up on a "library run," and my 16-year-old daughter, who happened to be reading Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea for high school English, pointed out many parallels.

She loved this story about how dolphin rustlers almost kill the MC's grandfather. The old man must survive the open sea on a tiny little rock until his stubborn, persistent, nature-loving grandson defies his parents and comes to save him.

Powerful stuff, wrapped in an eulogy of how rich, diverse and powerful the s
Polly Krize
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Beautiful writing shows Ms. McCaulay's love for her home of Jamaica. When his grandfather goes missing with his fishing boat, Lloyd is convinced he could not be lost at sea. Using his friendships and acquaintances he is driven to locate his grandfather and learns a lot about himself in the doing. Recommended.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Alone
  • Starfish
  • Silverview
  • A Mind Spread Out on the Ground
  • Of Curses and Kisses (St. Rosetta's Academy, #1)
  • A Song Only I Can Hear
  • Finding Junie Kim
  • Brown Girl in the Ring
  • The Piano Tuner
  • A Marvellous Light (The Last Binding, #1)
  • Out of the Easy
  • What She Knew (Jim Clemo, #1)
  • The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali
  • We Are What We Eat: A Slow Food Manifesto
  • Her Own Two Feet: A Rwandan Girl's Brave Fight to Walk
  • Banker
  • Furia
  • The One and Only Bob
See similar books…
See top shelves…

News & Interviews

Celeste Ng’s new novel, Our Missing Hearts, depicts a disturbing version of the United States, set in the vaguely distant future, rife with...
20 likes · 0 comments