Twin brothers Eric and Clive are ready for adventure on the high seas, so instead of staying with their grandparents yet again, they stow away on the cruise ship on which their father serves as Senior Steward.
"Gr. 4-6. British twins Clive and Eric usually stay with their grandparents when their widowed father, a steward on luxury cruise ships, is at sea. Dreading boring weeks staring at their grandfather's great big corduroy bottom as he gardens, the boys decide to stow away on their father's ship. Miraculously, they slip through security and find bunks in an empty storage closet--rat class, as Clive says. Shearer keeps the ensuing high jinks on a plane of pure slapstick as the boys nearly drown, evade their father and a posh classmate, visit Egypt on a port of call, and thwart a band of modern pirates. Readers may groan over narrator Eric's corny jokes, exaggerated naivete, and Who's on First digressions with his brother, whom he loves to disparage. Still, many children will enjoy the British-flavored comedy, the excitement, and the smugness of knowing where the story is headed before the boys do, as well as the understanding and closeness that deepens between the boys and their affectionate father. --Gillian Engberg Copyright 2005 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Shearer's (The Speed of the Dark) buoyant sea adventure introduces narrator Eric and his twin brother Clive, who is younger (but only by five minutes) and the usually patient recipient of his brother's constant barbs. Readers will easily get caught up in the boys' sometimes silly banter and will willingly follow them as they stow away on a cruise ship, a move prompted by their desire to be with their widower father, who works as a steward on the vessel. In a plot that often blithely tosses credibility to the wind, the siblings find sleeping quarters in a storage cabin in the bowels of the boat and spend their days relaxing on deck. A string of humorous incidents ensues after the two run into a classmate who is traveling first class, and the brothers get caught up in an elaborate lie; they tell the boy's uppity mother that their father is the ship's captain (People are very suspicious of children with no grown-ups. I don't know why that should be. As nobody seems suspicious of grown-ups with no children, Eric observes). A wave of intrigue washes over the comedy as the twins foil a plan masterminded by a crew member and some shady-looking passengers to rob the wealthy passengers of all their valuables. Occasional poignant moments including those in which Eric mentions his much-missed mother temper the madcap elements of this caper, which lands with a satisfying finale. Ages 8-14. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved