Race to the Bottom of the Sea
Race to the Bottom of the Sea

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Annotation: In this steampunk-tinged sea adventure, recently orphaned Fidelia Quail is forced out of her mourning when she's kidnapped by the notorious pirate Merrick the Monstrous, who demands that she use her marine know-how to retrieve his treasure.
Catalog Number: #148804
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Pages: 423 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-7636-7923-2 Perma-Bound: 0-605-99159-6
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-7636-7923-1 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-99159-0
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2017956984
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
After her marine-biologist parents are killed, Fidelia is kidnapped by Merrick the Monstrous, a pirate who needs her diving skills to retrieve his treasure from a sharks territory. Fidelias grief fits somewhat strangely with the high-flying adventure; nevertheless, the seagoing exploits are first-rate, and Merrick is a charismatic, credibly flawed swashbuckler whose doomed romance will grab reader sympathies once its revealed.
Kirkus Reviews
Sometimes a hearty dose of escapism is exactly what's needed for trying times.Fidelia Quail, a white 11-year-old in a pinafore with "a knack for inventing," is happily assisting with her marine biologist parents' shark research when they drown in a storm. Fidelia feels responsible—she'd built the submarine that Dr. and Dr. Quail were in when the storm struck their beloved Arborley Island. But it was the Undertow, a well-known ocean current, that was to blame. Within days, Fidelia's life is upended when she's kidnapped by a pirate named Merrick the Monstrous, a man with "skin so pale it was almost lavender." The captain and his crew, a woman with "white-blond hair" called Bloody Elle and "dark-skinned" Cheapshot Charlie, believe that she can retrieve their sunken treasure. Onboard a battle-worn ship called the Jewel with only a knapsack full of sweets, Fidelia tackles her situation head-on. She tweaks another of her inventions, a filtration system she calls a "Water-Eater," to survive the dive. This fantastical tale, set in an indeterminate time and place, is chock-full of humor and swaggering pirate adventure. There's romance, too, as Merrick turns out to be a pirate with a heart of gold and a secret past with Fidelia's aunt Julia. An old-fashioned, rip-roaring adventure featuring a smart, independent girl. (Fiction. 9-13)
Publishers Weekly
The tidal pull of Eager-s swashbuckling pirate adventure has its source in 11-year-old Fidelia Quail. The daughter of acclaimed marine biologists, Fidelia takes an active role in her parents- work, even inventing the research submarine they employ to explore the ocean depths. After the
School Library Journal
Gr 46Fidelia is still mourning the death of her marine scientist parents when she is kidnapped by pirate Merrick the Monstrous. Fidelia, a shark enthusiast and brilliant inventor, must complete her underwater breathing device, the Water-Eater, or die retrieving Merrick's treasure from deep in the sea. Fidelia is just one of many strong female characters, including her "librarian supreme" Aunt Julia and the pirate Bloody Elle. This adventure is full of action, humor, and amusing details: Fidelia's steampunk contraptions, a pirate ship candy stash, and lively dialogue (at one point, Merrick's navy nemesis calls him a "dung-munching varmint."). The tale makes an effective read-aloud, though some of the more violent scenes may not appeal to younger readers; more than one character points a gun at Fidelia, and pirates are stabbed in the neck and thrown overboard. A thread of grief adds depth to the book as Fidelia learns, from her careful observations of both sea and human life, that death is a natural component. VERDICT More than just another lively pirate adventure, this novel celebrates science, invention, and the pursuit of knowledge while sensitively exploring loss.Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn Public Library
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Hoist your sails for an unforgettable high-seas adventure in Eagar's second novel, which swaps the magic realism of Hour of the Bees (2016) for science and piracy. Eleven-year-old Fidelia Quail is a shark-obsessed inventor, predilections heartily encouraged by her marine scientist parents. Her life verges on idyllic until a storm triggered by the Undertow deadly shift in ocean currents kes the lives of the Drs. Quail. Heartbroken, Fidelia prepares to move in with her librarian aunt, but while packing, she is kidnapped by the most notorious pirate on the nine seas: Merrick the Monstrous. Knowing the Quails' reputation for aquatic exploration, he makes off with Fidelia, who he needs to retrieve a precious treasure from the seafloor. She's terrified, yes, but her curiosity and scientific reasoning soon kick in, and she realizes that there's more to Merrick and this quest than meets the eye. Instantly immersive, Eagar's novel never lags or loses heart, and it's irresistibly baited with a cursed treasure hoard, danger, and candy. Flashback chapters fill in important backstory on Merrick, and readers will adore Fidelia for the passionate and clever heroine she is. Refreshingly, women are as likely to captain a ship as plunder it in this fictional world, a small but enriching detail. Earnest and exciting, this swashbuckling voyage of self-discovery sparkles even when threatened by the stormiest seas.
Word Count: 77,009
Reading Level: 5.9
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.9 / points: 12.0 / quiz: 192704 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.3 / points:16.0 / quiz:Q72101
Lexile: 810L
Guided Reading Level: F

Can a clever young inventor uncover a ruthless pirate’s heart of gold? Thrilling sea adventure takes on a hint of steampunk in the second book by the author of the acclaimed Hour of the Bees.

When her parents, the great marine scientists Dr. and Dr. Quail, are killed in a tragic accident, eleven-year-old Fidelia Quail is racked by grief — and guilt. It was a submarine of Fidelia’s invention that her parents were in when they died, and it was she who pressed them to stay out longer when the raging Undertow was looming. But Fidelia is forced out of her mourning when she’s kidnapped by Merrick the Monstrous, a pirate whose list of treasons stretches longer than a ribbon eel. Her task? Use her marine know-how to retrieve his treasure, lost on the ocean floor. But as Fidelia and the pirates close in on the prize, with the navy hot on their heels, she realizes that Merrick doesn’t expect to live long enough to enjoy his loot. Could something other than black-hearted greed be driving him? Will Fidelia be able to master the perils of the ocean without her parents — and piece together the mystery of Merrick the Monstrous before it’s too late?

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