WWI has ended, and Ben (13 years old) and Lotti (age 12) have both suffered losses that have left them largely on their own in England. They love the freedom of a little canal narrowboat called the Sparrowhawk, but the local authorities are closing in. In an attempt to reclaim their freedom, the two attempt to take the canal boat over the channel to France to find their family.
This book was a sweet palate cleanser from some of the sadder stories I've been reading as of late. Although the synopsis might indicate otherwise, there are no great stakes in this book and the writing honestly felt like it was from another time. This book is historical fiction only in the sense that it takes place in history. Beyond that, it's an endearing little story with classically written characters. It's best for younger middle-grade readers and it would be perfect for a bedtime read also.
From the publisher, “From a beloved middle grade author: a propulsive seafaring adventure in search of loved ones and a place to call home.
In the aftermath of World War One, everyone in the small town of Barton is rebuilding their lives. Ben needs to find his brother, Sam―who was wounded in action and is now missing―if he wants to avoid being sent to the orphanage. Lotti’s horrible aunt and uncle want to send her away from her beloved home to boarding school, just when she has successfully managed to get expelled from her last one.
When a chance encounter brings the two children together, each recognizes the other as a kindred spirit. But just as they’ve found their feet, disaster strikes, and Ben and Lotti must run away. They hatch a plan to cross the English Channel on Ben’s narrowboat, the Sparrowhawk, and track down Sam in France. But there’s something in France that Lotti is looking for, too. . . .
Funny, heartwarming, and wise, Voyage of the Sparrowhawk is full of high stakes, twists and connections, and―most of all―adventure.”