Thirteen year old Egbert Masterson doesn’t have much of a family life. Since his mother died bringing him into the world, his older brother and sister treat him worse than the fleas on a stray dog. That usually doesn’t bother Egg much though, not since he taught himself to read and has explored the world that way.
When the family travels from their miserable pirate-infested island of Deadweather to Sunrise where Egbert’s father conducts some business which leads the family to an invention to the wealthy Roger Pembroke’s estate where they are invited on a hot air balloon ride that turns tragic when the family, minus Egbert, disappears.
The wealthy Pembrokes would like to adopt Egg, but something doesn’t quite sit right with him. This feeling is further intensified when there’s an attempt on his life which gets reported as Egg murdering the very man who tried to shove him off the cliff.
Egg escapes Sunrise only to find himself in further troubles aboard a ship where he is about to be given twenty lashes and marooned, only to find himself saved when pirates attack. Egg narrowly avoids more dangers as he meets Guts, a scrawny pirate captive and returns to the Pembrokes for their daughter (and the love of Egg’s life) Millicent. With one unlikely adventure after another, this book is difficult to put down. Readers will eagerly await the sequel.
I lay there unable to move – not because of the pain, but because of the thoughts running through my head. Birch tried to kill me. Roger Pembroke wants me dead. Why? I had no idea. But that wasn’t going to stop him from trying to kill me again. I got up and ran for the horses.
ISBN: 978-0-399-25785-8 296 pages Ages 8 - 11
Recommended by: Alice Cyphers, Librarian, PA USA