Lawrence, L. S. Escape by Sea.
Holiday House 2008 195p 16.95 978-0-8234-2217-3 ms/hs
Sara and her father flee Carthage, under attack during the Punic Wars. An exciting swashbuckling adventure with pirates, war ships and information about trading practices. This strong female character is reminiscent of Avi's Charlotte Doyle. Grades 6-12.
Sara and her father are forced to flee Carthage as the Romans invade. Her father, a Carthaginian Senator, made his fortune in trading. With the death of her brother in the Punic War, father and daughter realize their best chance of survival is to set sail on the senator's merchant vessel, the "Heron". A treacherous leave-taking from Carthage finds many trying to climb on the ship - one being Jerem, a cunning street-fighter, who becomes a staunch ally of Sara and her father. As they head to open sea, a Roman warship tries to board the "Heron". With Sara's help, the Romans are defeated but add a wounded noble Roman soldier to their crew. Sara's nursing skills bring the soldier back from near death. In ensuing pages, her nursing skills will help Romans as well as friends. Swashbuckling events leave Sara's father dead and Sara in charge of the merchandise aboard. Having seen her father barter his goods for new merchandise, she naturally steps into her new duties as trader. At a Roman port, Sara is unjustly charged with the a crime. Her only hope is to get the once-again ailing Roman soldier to come to her aid. A tense scene follows until the Roman soldier's father arrives to help plead her case. A tidy ending that could lead to a sequel and maybe love, between Sara and the Roman soldier. Sure to be enjoyed by adventure fans in grades 6-12. L.McNicol