Author: Woodruff, Elvira
In late 1600s England, Digory becomes an apprentice to the architect who built a lighthouse on the rocks that sank his grandfather's ship.
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|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.30
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 122220
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.80
Points: 12.0 Quiz: 43518
Common Core Standards
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Kirkus Reviews (03/15/08)
School Library Journal (00/04/08)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (M) (05/08)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 04/01/2008 Gr 5-8-Life for Digory, 11, and Cubby, 9, is hard on the Cornwall coast in the late 1600s. After hearing that their father's ship has been lost, they are sent by their aunt to Plymouth 100 miles away to discover if their father survived. Without his income, she cannot afford to keep them. They receive discouraging news but are rescued by a fascinating man named Henry Winstanley of Littlebury, who is known as a jester due to his marvelous, somewhat whimsical inventions. Winstanley believes, however, that his greatest accomplishment is the lighthouse he designed and built on the Eddystone Reef, which was responsible for a tremendous loss of life and ships before the light was erected. Word comes to Winstanley that the light is in need of repairs and supplies so he and the brothers journey back to Plymouth only to discover that the worst storm of the century is approaching. This fascinating, well-written story is closely based on the life of the real Henry Winstanley. It introduces one of the leading inventors of the day and provides a glimpse, through the young brothers, of harshness of life for the common people during this period. The characters are finely drawn and the action is nonstop. Many of the short chapters are cliff-hangers, making the book a great read-aloud.-Nancy P. Reeder, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, Columbia, SC Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information. - Copyright 2008 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 05/01/2008 Aunt Alice has offered shelter and board to her two motherless nephews, Digory and Cubby Beale, while their father is away at sea, but when word arrives that Mr. Beale’s ship has sunk, she sends Digory off to Plymouth to confirm that his father’s name is officially listed among the lost. Cubby sneaks away to join his older brother, and after losing their few possessions on the journey, they are narrowly saved from arrest (and probable hanging) for theft by a kindly man who takes Digory on as an apprentice. The Beales’ benefactor turns out to be Squire Henry Winstanley, whose lighthouse at the infamous Eddystone Reef off England’s southern coast has saved countless sailors’ lives over the five years it has been standing. Readers who skip ahead to the closing notes will learn that Winstanley was a beloved eccentric and a doomed man—when the fictional brothers accompany him on his journey to make emergency repairs during what turns out to be the freakish storm of 1703, Winstanley won’t be around for a happy ending. The boys fare better, though, finding their father, inheriting a cache of silver from Winstanley, and returning to their home in Mousehole, no longer reliant on Aunt Alice’s meager hospitality. The Beale boys’ story is little more than perfunctory, and it’s stodgy and contrived; Winstanley is the real draw, but by capturing only the final few months of his life, Woodruff omits his design and improbable construction of the lighthouse and reduces the inventive marvels scattered around his estate to a simple inventory of mechanical wonders. Although this title does introduce readers to an historical figure whose hubris and heroism are worthy of further investigation, it never fully succeeds as either an adventure story or a fictionalized biography. In addition to the author’s note, two glossaries and a bibliography are included. EB - Copyright 2008 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 05/01/2008 In early-eighteenth-century Cornwall, Digory Beale sets off to Plymouth to see if he can find his sailor father, who has gone missing after a storm. His little brother joins him, but once in Plymouth, the boys are falsely accused of theft. The eccentric inventor Henry Winstanley, who was one of the most famous persons in England during his lifetime, rescues the brothers from the gallows, and Digory is hired as Winstanley’s apprentice. All seems well until a huge storm threatens Winstanley’s greatest creation, a lighthouse on a dangerous reef, and Digory joins his employer in a dangerous fight to save the amazing landmark that has rescued so many sailors. Woodruff is best at capturing the perilous existence of the impoverished people on the Cornish coast, adding authenticity with many colorful local expressions. Readers who look for action and suspense will find it here, and they’ll connect with Digory, who struggles to find the courage to save his illustrious boss and his famous creation. - Copyright 2008 Booklist.