by Geoff Rodkey
Jacopo Bruno, illustrator
G. P. Putnam’s Son Books for Young Readers
Inside Jacket: It’s tough to be thirteen, especially when somebody’s trying to kill you. Not the Egg’s life was ever easy, growing up on a sweaty, pirate-infested Deadweather Island with no company except an incompetent tutor and a pair of unusually violent siblings who hate his guts. When Egg’s father hustles their family off on a mysterious errand to fabulously wealthy Sunrise Island, then disappears with the siblings in a freak accident, Egg finds himself a long-term guest at the mansion of the glamorous Pembroke family and their beautiful, sharp-tongues daughter Millicent. Finally, life seems perfect. Until someone tries to throw him off a cliff. Suddenly, Egg’s running for his life in a bewildering world of cutthroat pirates, villainous businessmen, and strange Native legends. The only people who can help him sort out the mystery of why he’s been marked for death are Millicent and a one-handed, possible deranged cabin boy.
First Sentence: Nobody lived on Deadweather but us and the pirates.
Twelve-year-old Egbert lives a tortuous existence with a brother who constantly attacks, a sister who instigates and enjoys those attacks, and a father who pays little attention or concern over his youngest son’s predicament. Deadweather Island is a sweltering hot island with few inhabitants. Only pirates and the Masterson family plantation—filled with “retired” pirates—are on the island. The plantation grows nothing but the ugliest fruit only a few really want.
One day, dad has the family dress their best for a trip. He is meeting his attorney, on Sunrise Island, for advice about a map he found. Not long after, the wealthiest man on Sunrise is treating the family to a fancy lunch and inviting them to stay at his mansion, rather than the hotel. He offers the family a ride in his hot air balloon, a rare treat. With the family tutor also in the basket there is too much weight for liftoff. When the tutor exits, so does Egg, hoping to spend time with his new crush instead of flying in the air. The balloon never returns and the family is presumed dead. Now all alone, Egg spends several weeks at the Pembroke mansion getting to know Millicent and enjoying a happy life. Then, one of Mr. Pembroke’s associates tries to toss Egg off a cliff. Egg runs away in fear, eventually meeting Guts, a displaced pirate ship cabin boy. Together they look for the hidden map that Guts hopes will lead to a large treasure. Egg wants to stay alive and find out why Pembroke wants him dead. First, he must find the map, defend his father’s land, and figure out how to keep Millicent in his life.
Deadweather and Sunrise is one crazy series. There is adventure, mystery, murder, slavery, pirates—bad and sometimes not so bad—and page turning excitement. I love this story. Egg turns thirteen soon after the story begins, but the twelve-year-old Egg endures nothing but heartache living on Deadweather Island with a family that does not want him, all because he killed mom. The pirates are probably the best thing about this story. They are a ruthless bunch, always out for what they can get for themselves. Each of the three gangs are different and there is a hierarchy involved. The biggest surprise is the meanest, scariest, kill-first-and-ask-questions-later kind of pirate, Burn Healy.
Each character in Deadweather and Sunrise is so well developed the reader can easily visualize them and see the places they go. The description of each background, minor players, and even the weather is visible to the reader’s mind’s eye. It was very hard to put this book down. “Just one more chapter, then I’ll go to bed,” was the thought that led to a very late night of reading Deadweather and Sunrise. In fact, that may be the only problem with this series—kids will not want to stop reading to eat dinner, do chores, or go to bed (more than usual, that is).
The only physical illustration is the map on the inside of the cover.
Deadweather and Sunrise is Geoff Rodkey’s imaginative debut novel. His complete series will be a minimum of three books. If they are all as exciting, enthusiastic, and enthralling as Deadweather and Sunrise, The Chronicles of Egg will be a huge hit among kids and adults wise enough to understand many middle grade novels have great writing, interesting places, and three-dimensional characters worth reading about. The Chronicle of Egg, Book 1: Deadweather and Sunrise is one of those middle grade novels.
The second book, New Lands, will be released May 3, 2013. Catch a review right HERE, next month. There will also be a giveaway associated with Book 2’s release. Deadweather and Sunrise is now available in paperback.
by Geoff Rodkey bookwebsite blog authorwebsite facebook twitter Jacopo Bruno, illustrator worldcat facebook twitter G. P. Putnam’s Son Books for Young Readers website blog facebook twitter Released May 2, 2012 ISBN: 978-0-399-25785-8 296 Pages Ages: 8 to 12 . Copyright © 2012 by G. P. Putnam’s Son, used with permission. Text: Copyright © 2012 by Geoff Rodkey Illustrations: Copyright © 2012 by Jacopo Bruno
DONATED TO LOCAL PUBLIC LIBRARY
- The Chronicles of Egg: Deadweather and Sunrise (kristisbooknook.blogspot.com)
- Endangered Author Tour with Jobling, Rodkey, West and Gidwitz (examiner.com)
- The History of Pirates (halloweenexpress.com)
- Tybee Pirate Festival (tybeeisland.com)