Being on a sailboat in the warm waters of the Pacific with a bunch of kids the same age could sound like a vacation dream come true. However, when this month-long trip is part of a strict program called Charting a New Course, and each participant--or inmate--is there for disciplinary problems, things don't look quite as rosy. And then, of course, when a big storm strikes, and the captain and first mate disappear, and the boat seems to be sinking... the whole idea becomes less and less appealing. Still, for Luke, Will, Lyssa, J.J., Ian, and Charla, this is the way the cards have been dealt, and whatever problems they may have with each other, however much they don't want to be there, it's time to start working together to save their own lives.
The first book of Gordon Korman's exciting new trilogy introduces readers to the six troubled kids who will become unwitting partners in their desperate bid for survival. A steely captain and a gruff first mate who calls every boy "Archie" and every girl "Veronica" keep order and attempt to turn their charges into young sailors--an effort that may pay off more than any of them ever anticipate. A hint of menace permeates Shipwreck, along with humor, angst, and mystery. Readers won't want to miss the continuation of the riveting saga in books 2 and 3, Survival and Escape. (Ages 9 to 13) --Emilie Coulter [via]