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Abby Lost at Sea

by Pamela Walls
Series: South Seas Adventures #1
211 pages, Historical Fiction
Reviewed by Lily A.

A spunky Christian heroine embarks on a tropical adventure; marred by some disobedient behavior.

Plot

Abby Kendall has always wanted to do something adventurous, so when her parents talk of going to the beautiful Sandwich Islands to help out on her sick uncle’s ranch, it should seem like the chance of a lifetime. What really spoils it for Abby is that they will be leaving her best friend, a plucky orphan named Luke, behind. But Luke has his own ideas — and forces outside of their control will make this more of an adventure than Abby bargained for.

Morality

Friends go out of their way to watch out for one another. However, this includes well-intentioned but misguided or rebellious behavior. Some characters are generous and kind, and some are quite harsh. Good and bad are mostly clear-cut, but there is one significant instance where a less law-abiding action is treated sympathetically.

Spiritual Content

Christian, with some mentions of local polytheism. Characters speak of God’s faithfulness and their families’ faith, reference heaven, make Biblical allusions and quotations, pray, and invite one another to prayer. A pastor is seen as a source of help. God speaks in a chracter’s mind in time of need. Some people have difficulty believing in or trusting God because of circumstances in their lives, and one of these seems to return to his faith before the book’s end. An old man “remembers the old gods,” and a sailor jokingly compares his mother to the Hawaiian goddess Peli.

Violence

Characters worry about sharks, are in danger of drowning, and are threatened by troublemakers with knives and guns. Fist-fighting occurs. Corporal punishment of sailors is discussed in brief.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Some characters drink and are drunk, but this is not condoned.

Sexual Content

None significant. Kissing is briefly joked about, and used as a greeting. A character is dressed immodestly by the standards of that day, but not of this.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

Most of the time, exclamations and interjections are more whimsical than crude.

In one instance a very angry boy tells someone, under his breath, that she can take her money to the grave with her. Insults used seriously include yellow-bellied snake and varmint. A man is said to swear, but his words are not given.

Conclusion

Abby and those closest to her don’t always behave well, but they do act out of loyalty and love. Christianity is given vocal and respectful treatment. There is danger in this book’s world, but there is nothing portrayed in a particularly graphic or disturbing manner. The author has a good hand with her descriptions, allowing you to see the characters’ features and expressions, to feel the textures of sand and food, and to smell flowering trees. There is much to enjoy here, should readers choose to embark on a voyage with the Kendalls.

Fun Score: 4.5
Values Score: 3.5
Written for Age: 11-12

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