I, Tom Cringle, two days before my thirteenth birthday, have made the decision of my life: to go to sea. Just two and a half weeks after Tom makes this bold declaration, he sets sail aboard the Bream as a midshipman in England's navy. The War of 1812 is raging, and Tom's ship is headed for Jamaica to patrol the waters against pirates. Tom finds all the adventure he ever dreamed of -- and then some. Within his first few months as a sailor, he's caught in a life-and-death battle with a mysterious ghost ship, is rescued from a shipwreck by his faithful dog, Sneezer, survives an earthquake, and is kidnapped by Obediah Glasgow, a fierce and dangerous pirate for whom Tom develops an unexpected loyalty. Tom Cringle: Battle on the High Seas is a fast-paced and gripping story of life on the high seas, of conflicting allegiances, and of finding friends where they are least expected. But most all, it is the tale of a boy who seeks a personal code of honor to guide him through unpredictable and perilous times. Tom's earnest, honest voice and the dynamic and memorable characters he meets make this an irresistible coming-of-age story that will resonate with readers long after they've turned the final page.
Gerald Hausman is a professional storyteller who has spent more than thirty years gathering stories in the United States and West Indies. He based Tom Cringle: Battle on the High Seas on Tom Cringle's Log by Michael Scott, a novel originally published in 1833, and on authentic logbooks of the time. Mr. Hausman is the acclaimed author of many books for children and adults, including Doctor Moledinky's Castle, which School Library Journal named to its list of "Sleepers: 100 Books Too Good to Miss." He co-authored two books with his wife, Loretta -- Dogs of Myth, illustrated by Barry Moser, and Cats of Myth, illustrated by Leslie Baker. He lives in Bokeelia, Florida.