The Voyages of Brian Seaworthy by Ralph Nading Hill

This book was an absolute delight.  The Secretary of State of Vermont has this book on its recommended reading list for grades 5 – 8, but I can tell you that as an adult I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It is presented in an older format, to be consistent with the style of the period in which it is set – the 1870’s, with two columns of print on a page and lots (37) well-drawn, full-page black and white illustrations that greatly add to the charm of the story.

Ralph Nading Hill worked for three years on the Ticonderoga, the last of the side-wheel steamers that went between New York and Vermont on Lake Champlain. He was an accomplished non-fiction writer, Vermont historian and preservationist. Among other things, he convinced Electra Webb to buy the Ticonderoga for the Shelburne museum. I knew very little about this part of history and this novel really brought to life, for me, the period, the area and the part the side-wheel steamboat played in this region.

The Voyages of Brian Seaworthy was Hill’s fictional story of a 15-year-old boy whose father’s death makes him the owner of a steamboat company beset with financial problems. It’s a great adventure – and it includes a tug of war between a steamboat and a locomotive, a fraudulent uncle, a crooked captain, and a good friend.

Published in: on May 16, 2011 at 8:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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