Cast Off: The Strange Adventures of Petra De Winter and Bram Broen
Written by Eve Yohalem
Mutiny aboard ship, would you be with the captain or against? Petra and Bram would each have to decide. They didn’t care about the gold the mutineers were stealing from the hold. They were each trying to find a place and way to live free from danger in the world.
Petra’s father would likely kill her if she were forced to return to Amsterdam. Bram would never find a place he truly belonged in the world because of being a mixed race boy.
This story of life aboard the ship, The Golden Lion, in the year 1663 is a fast paced tale of pretending to be a boy while surviving a long journey at sea. It involves bad weather, an attack by pirates and mutiny at sea.
The diagram of a ship of this sort is accurate. Much research went into writing this book with as much accuracy as possible. The author’s note explains the amount of research, but it would have been helpful, from an educational viewpoint, to have included some of the sources.
The book will still fulfill literacy requirements, as well as, core curriculum standards for geography, history. The world map showing the journey is great, but an added timeline as to how this story fits into world history would be a good thing to have students create as they enjoy this exciting swashbuckling adventure.
Grade four, grade five and grade six readers will enjoy reading this ocean journey late into the night, maybe with a flashlight under the covers!
Author: Eve Yohalem
Publisher: Dial/Penguin, 2015
Reviewer: Elizabeth Swartz
Format: Hardcover, 312 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Grade level: 5 up
Extras: Diagram of Ship, Map of Journey, Author’s Note