John loved the idea of the open sea and lands to travel to. His father, however, didn’t like the idea of John wanting to go to sea and be a captain. He wanted John to stay firmly in England, running the office part of the shipping company John’s father owned. In an attempt to convince John that sea life was a terrible life, his father has him accompany him on a sea voyage. Of course, rather than discouraging John from the sea, it only makes John love travel and being at sea even more.
On their return trip, they run into a terrible storm. Looking for a safe harbor, they spot lights on a cliff top, indicating that there is a safe place for ships in the storm to take cover. However, this proves to be terribly wrong and John’s ship cracks up on rocks near the shoreline.
John survives, only to witness something terrible. It turns out his father’s ship was unlucky to encounter a storm near this particular town in Cornwall. Because this community wants shipwrecks, so they can have all the goods that come with a shipwreck. But the catch is, they can only claim the goods…if all the people on board the boat have died. John is in danger since he survived the wreck.
The Wreckers by Iain Lawrence is the first book in a trilogy about John and his adventures set in the era when ships ruled the world.
Recommended for 6th grade and up.