Why are they making a map. The King decides he needs one :
"He has decided Verdania will create the first map of the world.' Map of the world? Why did he want one of those? Besides, everyone knew that if you went too far in either direction, you'd fall of the end of the earth."
Ten boys are selected to enter a school and from there three will be chosen to travel on three ships in the race across the oceans to complete the first map of the world. Quinn is the youngest son in a family of six boys. His mother has taught him to read and he has the gift of a photographic memory. He does not want to go on the voyage because he enjoys life on the farm even though his brothers often tease and taunt him but Zain (a slave of the king who wants the prize of freedom) selects Quinn to go on his ship the Libertas. Quinn and the crew will face many dangers and so will his friend Ash who has stowed away on the voyage. "I don't think it's fair that boys get to do all the fun stuff ... they didn't even consider trying out girls for the mapmakers' school."
Read about the whole series here. Read this review by Jazzy at Children's Books Daily. The Book Chook has detailed comments about each of the four books. Here is a set of teachers notes by the author. I would follow this book with Bartlett and the Ice Voyage by Odo Hirsch and The Eye of Neptune by Jon Mayhew.
Take a minute to watch this trailer from the US Publisher. I am no longer working in my school library but if I was there I would not hesitate to recommend this book to my keen readers.
Mystery, monsters, murder and mayhem all feature in this action-packed adventure that will appeal to boys and girls alike. Kids Book Review
Alison Tait shares her inspiration for this series :