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|Race to the bottom of the sea|
Author: Eagar, Lindsay
Fidelia Quail, 11, is kidnapped for her marine skills by a pirate who wants her to retrieve lost treasure on the ocean floor. With the navy in hot pursuit she realizes he has a death wish and doesn't expect to live to enjoy the treasure, causing her to wonder about his true motives and if he can be reasoned with so as not to endanger her life.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.90
Points: 12.0 Quiz: 192704
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 5.30
Points: 16.0 Quiz: 72101
Kirkus Reviews (08/01/17)
School Library Journal (09/01/17)
Booklist (+) (08/01/17)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/10/17)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 08/01/2017 *Starred Review* Hoist your sails for an unforgettable high-seas adventure in Eagar’s second novel, which swaps the magic realism of Hour of the Bees (2016) for science and piracy. Eleven-year-old Fidelia Quail is a shark-obsessed inventor, predilections heartily encouraged by her marine scientist parents. Her life verges on idyllic until a storm triggered by the Undertow—a deadly shift in ocean currents—takes the lives of the Drs. Quail. Heartbroken, Fidelia prepares to move in with her librarian aunt, but while packing, she is kidnapped by the most notorious pirate on the nine seas: Merrick the Monstrous. Knowing the Quails’ reputation for aquatic exploration, he makes off with Fidelia, who he needs to retrieve a precious treasure from the seafloor. She’s terrified, yes, but her curiosity and scientific reasoning soon kick in, and she realizes that there’s more to Merrick and this quest than meets the eye. Instantly immersive, Eagar’s novel never lags or loses heart, and it’s irresistibly baited with a cursed treasure hoard, danger, and candy. Flashback chapters fill in important backstory on Merrick, and readers will adore Fidelia for the passionate and clever heroine she is. Refreshingly, women are as likely to captain a ship as plunder it in this fictional world, a small but enriching detail. Earnest and exciting, this swashbuckling voyage of self-discovery sparkles even when threatened by the stormiest seas. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 09/01/2017 Gr 4–6—Fidelia is still mourning the death of her marine scientist parents when she is kidnapped by pirate Merrick the Monstrous. Fidelia, a shark enthusiast and brilliant inventor, must complete her underwater breathing device, the Water-Eater, or die retrieving Merrick's treasure from deep in the sea. Fidelia is just one of many strong female characters, including her "librarian supreme" Aunt Julia and the pirate Bloody Elle. This adventure is full of action, humor, and amusing details: Fidelia's steampunk contraptions, a pirate ship candy stash, and lively dialogue (at one point, Merrick's navy nemesis calls him a "dung-munching varmint."). The tale makes an effective read-aloud, though some of the more violent scenes may not appeal to younger readers; more than one character points a gun at Fidelia, and pirates are stabbed in the neck and thrown overboard. A thread of grief adds depth to the book as Fidelia learns, from her careful observations of both sea and human life, that death is a natural component. VERDICT More than just another lively pirate adventure, this novel celebrates science, invention, and the pursuit of knowledge while sensitively exploring loss.—Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn Public Library - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.