Earlier this year I met author Timothy Davis through Twitter. I was intrigued with his award winning book Sea Cutter Book I: The Chronicles of Nathaniel Childe. So much so, I bought the digital copy from Amazon and began reading that very night. I read until my eyelids just couldn't stay open any longer. I finished this great suspense filled sea adventure the next night.
Mr. Davis' Sea Cutter is the First Place winner of 2012 International Digital Awards for Short YA Fiction.
I had originally thought this might be a perfect read aloud for my own children, although this book is geared more towards late elementary and middle school children. So I decided to pre-read Sea Cutter before deciding whether or not to use it as a read aloud for my children. They are 4, 6 and 8. After that first reading a few months ago, I decided it might be too intense for them.
Fast forward a few months, Mr. Davis' book was released in paperback with a beautifully illustrated front cover. Ironically at the same time, I had decided the kids just might be ready for Sea Cutter and planned to begin reading our digital copy in only a matter of days! Mr. Davis and I had continued our online friendship over the months and he offered to send a copy of his beautiful paperback to us as a gift! ~ I do want to make clear that Mr. Davis has never asked for a review. I am doing this because we love Sea Cutter so much! I want to spread the word about this wonderful book.
Our copy arrived on Saturday; the kids opened the package with great excitement! We immediately sat down on the couch and assumed the read aloud snuggle position.
As each chapter drew to a close the children would say read more! After about forty-five minutes had passed I asked if anyone was ready for a break. I was met with a big unanimous, “No!” At about the hour mark the boys couldn't sit still any longer. But, C8 sat beside me and insisted we read together until the very last word! Thankfully, we had nothing planned that Saturday afternoon and we read all 128 pages! Sometimes I could feel her cuddling closer ~ it's probably best the younger ones left to play outside because there are some dangerously intense moments. And there were times I needed C8 to take over reading because I was all choked up. It made for great discussions on how telling the truth and doing the right thing is always the best choice and also the importance of forgiveness.
The next day, I noticed C8 had grabbed Sea Cutter off the bookshelf and taken it to her room. She had begun reading it on her own! She will tell you this is one of her favorite books of all time!
So what makes this book so interesting and irresistible to put down?
Well, let’s start with a brief summary of the book. Our story begins in New Bedford, Massachusetts in the late 1760's. Nathaniel Childe, a boy just eleven years old, is grieving the shipwreck of Father whom was lost at sea and feared dead.
Nathaniel holds onto deep rooted anger as his heart clings to hope that his father is alive. His hope is that Father is merely stranded on an island in the South Atlantic. Nathaniel receives a chest from Father, delivered two years late, full of secrets and treasure! He is now determined to search for Father. The Sea Cutter is centered on his dream of rescuing Father - no matter what the price.
But, Nathaniel gets caught up in his web of lies. We met a scary and mean "smelly, slim, oily-looking sailor with a tattoo of a viper coiled around his arm." We meet Wayland, Father's good friend and first mate. He's a man faithful to reading his Bible and always looking to do the right thing. It is apparent he loves Nathaniel very much.
We journey with Nathaniel and Wayland on his small ship the Sea Cutter on their quest to find Father on an island filled with treasure of pearls unimaginable thought to only exist in fairy tales.
Mr. Davis writes in a way that pulls you into the story and the characters' lives. He brilliantly ends each chapter in a way that you must read on to find out what happens next. Sea Cutter is chock full of adventure and suspense.The moral of this story is timeless and the page turning adventure will captivate young and old alike.
If you are studying colonial America, seafaring, whirlpools, pirates, the city of Recife in Brazil or even cliff hangers and foreshadowing this book would be a welcomed addition. If you're looking for a fun, sit on the edge of your seat the whole time book, this fits the description too!
You may read the first four chapters here.
You may purchase the Kindle edition of Sea Cutter for $3.83 or in paperback for $8.98.
Sea Cutter is a wonderful book to read aloud and discuss with your 8 year old or older child. There are moral dilemmas perfect for discussion with your growing one. We enjoyed learning more about the beautiful seaside cities of New Bedford and Recife. We loved researching whirlpools and cobblestone streets. We researched different seafaring ships, pirates and ... cliff hangers. So, not only was this an excellent book to read, it also inspired us to learn more about the world around Sea Cutter, too.
Sea Cutter is a sit on the edge of your seat type of book. It's filled with excitement, danger, adventure and moral dilemmas. I highly recommend reading this beautiful book.
Disclaimer: I purchased the digital copy of Sea Cutter myself, was gifted the paperback edition by Mr. Davis. Mr. Davis never asked for a review in exchange for his gift of the paperback book. I offered this review completely on my own.