Brian Jacques was both a master storyteller and a jack-of-all-trades. He lived the life of a sailor, actor, stand-up comedian, radio host, bobby, even a bus driver. He was the recipient of an honorary doctorate in literature from the University of Liverpool and a New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty-five books for younger readers, including the wildly popular Redwall series. Dr. Jacques was a lifelong resident of Liverpool, England.
Gr 5-8-Having escaped from the Flying Dutchman and its odious Captain Vanderdecken, Ben and his dog, Ned, are cursed to wander the Earth for eternity, never growing older. In this third account of their adventures, the castaways are again shipwrecked and separated. Ben is captured by the slave trader Al Misurata, while Ned is rescued by a company of itinerant entertainers. The two are reunited when the entertainers, the Rizzoli Troupe, are forced to perform for the trader, and all of them end up on Al Misurata's ship to be sold as slaves. Ned speaks to Ben telepathically, and since no one would expect a dog to understand human language, he overhears the villain's plans. This is just the beginning of the swashbuckling adventure as Ben and his black Labrador attempt to escape the ship and to rescue the Rizzoli Troupe, while, at the same time, avoiding recapture by the ghostly sailors of the Flying Dutchman. Numerous footnotes translate various snatches of dialogue in German or Italian. This can be either helpful or annoying, depending on your way of looking at it. However, it is easy to just enjoy the compelling and readable adventure. This book is a good choice for any library in which Jacques's books in general and the "Castaways" stories in particular are popular.-Tim Wadham, Maricopa County Library District, Phoenix, AZ Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
"Thrilling." -The Charlotte Observer
"Swashbuckling...[A] compelling and readable adventure." -School Library Journal