Gemini Summer
Iain Lawrence
Hardcover | Delacorte Books for Young Readers | Juvenile Fiction | 978-0-385-73089-1 | October 2006| $15.95

Paperback | Delacorte Books for Young Readers | Juvenile Fiction | 978-0-440-41935-8 | November 2008| $6.50

Click here to read an excerpt


In the quiet of Hog's Hollow, each member of the River family pursues a dream. Old Man River sets out to build a fallout shelter in case the war in Vietnam "brings the end of everything;" his wife Flo, who collects Gone with the Wind dolls, attempts to pen her own Southern saga; Beau, their older son, suffers from "space fever" and aspires to be an astronaut. As for Danny, the younger River boy, well, he just dreams of having a dog. Then in the spring of 1965 tragedy befalls the Rivers--a tragedy that makes the Old Man wish he'd never started building the shelter, stops Flo from finishing her bestseller, and leaves Beau grounded rather than airborne. But the tragedy does finally bring a dog into Danny's life. And not just any old dog. Danny comes to believe that the mixed-breed stray embodies the spirit of someone he dearly loves. He won't allow anyone to separate him from the dog, not even after it bites the neighborhood bully and the police are sent to take it away. Together Danny and his dog run off, heading toward Cape Caneveral, where the Gemini missions blast off from, and where dreams come true.


Praise for Gemini Summer:

Winner of Canada's Governor General's Literary Award

A College of Education Best Book Award

A Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award Winner

“Lively prose, quirky characters and strong dialogue animate this moving story.”
Kirkus Reviews, Starred

“Lawrence creates a poignant family drama that will pull the heartstrings of anyone who has looked up to an older sibling or has fallen in love with a dog.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred 



The Seance
Iain Lawrence
Hardcover | Delacorte Books for Young Readers | Juvenile Fiction |
978-0-385-73375-5 | July 2008| $15.99

Click here to read an excerpt


Scooter King understands illusions. In the midst of the Roaring Twenties, he performs them behind the scenes at his mother’s séances, giving the impression that Madam King communicates with the dead. Scooter also admires Harry Houdini and can hardly wait to see the famed magician escape from his razzle-dazzle Burmese Torture Tank. But when Scooter stumbles upon a dead body in the visiting Houdini’s tank, it’s no illusion. Who could the murderer be? And did he—or she—kill the right person?

As Scooter sets out to unmask the killer, the mysterious worlds of mediums, séances, and magic are revealed. No one is above suspicion, and appearances are deceiving. If Scooter doesn’t sort out the clues—and fast—he may end up as the next dead body.


The Cannibals
Iain Lawrence
Hardcover | Delacorte Books for Young Readers | Juvenile Fiction | 0-385-73088-8 | November 2005| $15.95

Click here to read an excerpt


As Tom Tin nears Australia, where he’s to serve a lengthy sentence for a murder he didn’t commit, he and his fellow convict, Midgely, plot their escape. No matter that the ship carrying them and the other juvenile criminals is captained by Tom’s father. Tom knows his father can’t help him clear his name and regain his freedom–not as long as Mr. Goodfellow, a man who wants the ruin of the Tin family, wields power back in London. So Tom and Midgely decide to go overboard! So do other boys who seize their chance at liberty–boys who aren’t so innocent, and who have it in for Tom.

To make things worse, the islands in the Pacific look inviting, but Tom remembers his father’s warnings: headhunters and cannibals lurk there! The boys go anyway. And as conflict among them mounts, as they encounter the very dangers Captain Tin spoke of, Tom must fight to keep himself and Midgely alive.


Praise for The Cannibals:

A Kirkus Reviews Editor's Choice

"Fire-breathing monsters, headless corpses, gigantic snakes, a mysterious woman, and islands full of cannibals make this high-spirited, old-fashioned adventure tale, complete with cliffhanger chapter endings, a treat."
Kirkus Reviews

"Offers a Robert Louis Stevenson brand of excitement that will draw fans of exotic adventure tales."
Publishers Weekly

"Readers in search of swashbuckling adventure, gripping plot twists, and hair-raising encounters will gravitate to this sequel to The Convicts."
School Library Journal

"Lawrence keeps the reader on edge."
The Horn Book Magazine

"Excellent writing. . . . The action comes at breakneck speed."



The Convicts
Iain Lawrence
Hardcover | Delacorte Books for Young Readers | Juvenile Fiction | 0-385-73087-6 | April 2004 | $15.95

Click here to read an excerpt


After seeing his father hauled off to debtor’s prison, Tom Tin sets out to take revenge on Mr. Goodfellow, the man responsible for his family’s misfortunes. But the fog-filled London streets are teeming with sinister characters. Tom encounters a blind man who scavenges the riverbed for treasure—and wants what Tom digs up; Worms, a body snatcher who reveals a shocking surprise; and a nasty gang of young pickpockets who mistake Tom for someone ominously known as the Smasher. And ultimately, Tom comes up against the cruel hand of the law.

Accused of murder, Tom is given a seven-year sentence. He is to be transported to Van Diemen’s Land with other juvenile convicts. But Tom can’t abide life on the Hulk, the old ship where the boys are temporarily held. He decides to escape. But if he’s to succeed, his luck needs to turn. . .


Praise for The Convicts:

"Brilliant writing, adventure and a likable character mired int eh claustrophobic dark of a nineteenth-century convict ship will entrance all readers who love an old-fashioned tale well told."
Kirkus Reviews, Starred

"One of the dkaret yet most engrossing of Lawrence's advnture novels. [The] action moves at a fast clip. . . [and] draws readers into another time and place."
Publishers Weekly, Starred


B for Buster
Iain Lawrence
Hardcover | Delacorte Books for Young Readers | Juvenile Fiction | 0-385-73086-1 | June 2004 | $15.95

Click here for for commentary and photos from Iain Lawrence about B for Buster.


Nicknamed after his hometown of Kakabeka, Canada, Kak dreams of flying with the Allied bombers in World War II. So at 16, underage and desperate to escape his abusive parents, he enlists in the Canadian Air Force. Soon he is trained as a wireless operator and sent to a squadron in England, where he’s unabashedly gung ho about flying his first op. He thinks the night ops over Germany will be like the heroic missions of his favorite comic-book heroes. Good will vanquish evil. But his first time out, in a plane called B for Buster, reveals the ops for what they really are—a harrowing ordeal.

The bombing raids bring searchlights . . . artillery from below . . . and night fighters above hunting to take the bombers down. One hit, Kak knows, and B for Buster, along with him and his six crewmates, could be destroyed.

Kak is terrified.

He can’t confide his feelings to his crew, since he’s already worried that they’ll find out his age. Besides, none of them seem afraid. Only in Bert, the slovenly caretaker of the homing pigeons that go on every op, does Kak find an unlikely friend. Bert seems to understand what the other men don’t talk about—the shame, the sense of duty, and the paralyzing fear. As Kak seeks out Bert’s company, he somehow finds the strength to face his own uncertain future.


Praise for B is for Buster:

A Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book

ALA Best Book for Young Adults

An ALA Notable Book

"Send this straight to the top of the war-story aficionados' list."
-The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Starred

"This is a lyrical coming-of-age novel and a fascinating bit of aviation history."
School Library Journal, Starred

"The Story. . . is powerful enough to make audience members reevaluate their concepts of war and courage."
Publishers Weekly, Starred

"A sure hit for fans of war stories and adventures."
-Kirkus Review, Starred




The Lightkeeper's Daughter
Iain Lawrence
Hardcover | Delacorte Books for Young Readers | Juvenile Fiction - Family| 0-385-72925-1 | September 2002 | $16.95

Readers Circle edition

Click here for commentary and photos from Iain Lawrence about The Lightkeeper's Daughter.


Three years have passed since Squid McCrae last saw her parents and the remote island off the coast of British Columbia where she grew up. She returns now at seventeen, a young woman with a daughter in tow. The visit, she knows, will be rough. Lizzie Island-paradise to some, a stifling prison to others-brings an onslaught of memories. It is the place of Squid's idyllic childhood, where she and her brother, Alastair, explored the abundant natural life, and where they blossomed into precocious adolescents. But Lizzie Island is also the place where Alastair died.

Squid blames her parents for Alastair's death-especially her father, the island's lightkeeper, a man anchored to his isolated surroundings. He couldn't accept that Alastair wanted to leave. In fact, he didn't allow it. Even Squid's mother's entreaties on behalf of her son didn't succeed. And through it all, Squid was both her brother's fiercest protector and his tormentor.

Now the past collides with the present as Squid's homecoming unleashes bittersweet recollections, revelations, and accusations. But nothing is what it appears to be. No one possesses the complete truth, and no one is without blame.


Praise for The Lightkeeper's Daughter:

ALA Best Books for Young Adults

A Children's Book Sense 76 Selection

A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age


“A beautiful, unsettling story.”

“A beautiful story of light and dark, of magic, ghosts, tempests and shipwrecks, and of sadness and letting go. A must-read for lovers of tales rich in setting, atmosphere, and human understanding.”
Kirkus Reviews, Starred

“This lyrical novel is an experience not to be forgotten.”
School Library Journal, Starred

“With adult characters every bit as memorable as the teen characters, Lawrence’s novel may well attract a wide adult readership.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred



Lord of the Nutcracker Men
Iain Lawrence
Hardcover | Delacorte Books for Young Readers | Juvenile Fiction - History - Military| 0-385-72924-3 | October 2001 | $15.95


Ten-year-old Johnny eagerly plays at war with the army of nutcracker soldiers his toymaker father whittles for him. He demolishes imaginary foes. But in 1914 Germany looms as the real enemy of Europe, and all too soon Johnny’s father is swept up in the war to end all wars. He proudly enlists with his British countrymen to fight at the front in France. The war, though, is nothing like what any soldier or person at home expected. The letters that arrive from Johnny’s dad reveal the ugly realities of combat — and the soldiers he carves and encloses begin to bear its scars. Still, Johnny adds these soldiers to his armies of Huns, Tommies, and Frenchmen, engaging them in furious fights. But when these games seem to foretell his dad’s real battles, Johnny thinks he possesses godlike powers over his wooden men. He fears he controls his father’s fate, the lives of all the soldiers in no-man’s land, and the outcome of the war itself.


Praise for Lord of the Nutcracker Men:

A Publishers Weekly Best Book
A School Library Journal Best Book

"War--idealistic, brutal, awe-inspring, numbing, jingoistic and ultimately heartbreaking--is the central theme of this thoughtful and thought-provoking novel."
--Publishers Weekly, starred

"Big themes are hauntingly conveyed through gripping personal story and eerie symbolism."
--Kirkus Reviews, starred

"A fine introduction to World War I."
--Booklist, starred



The Wreckers
(The High Seas Trilogy, Book One)
Iain Lawrence
Hardcover | Delacorte Books for Young Readers | Juvenile Fiction - Action & Adventure| 0-385-32535-5 | May 1998 | $15.95


Where John Spencer's adventures first begin...

There was once a village bred by evil. On the barren coast of Cornwall, England, lived a community who prayed for shipwrecks, a community who lured storm-tossed ships to crash upon the sharp rocks of their shore. They fed and clothed themselves with the loot salvaged from the wreckage; dead sailors' tools and trinkets became decorations for their homes. Most never questioned their murderous way of life.

Then, upon that pirates' shore crashed the ship The Isle of Skye. And the youngest of its crew members, 14-year-old John Spencer, survived the wreck. But would he escape the wreckers? This is his harrowing tale.


Praise for The Wreckers:

An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
An ALA Quick Pick
A Geoffrey Bilson Award Winner for Historical Fiction for Young People
An Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee for Best Children's Mystery
A Booklist Editors' Choice
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
A Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book
A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age

"Call it a survival story, historical fiction, mystery, or adventure, this tale will sweep readers along with its irresistible tide of action and give them haunting scenes to remember."
--Booklist, starred

"Fast-moving, mesmerizing."
--The Horn Book Magazine, starred



The Smugglers
(The High Seas Trilogy, Book Two)
Iain Lawrence
Hardcover | Delacorte Books for Young Readers | Juvenile Fiction - Action & Adventure| 0-385-32663-7 | May 1999 | $15.95


John Spencer once again takes to the high seas.

Young John is charmed by the Dragon, the schooner he is planning to sail to London and use for the honest wool trade. But a mysterious gentleman delivers an ominous warning to "steer clear of that ship," because the ship was "christened with blood." The ship looks clever and quick, and the crew seems to know how to man it, but with such a warning John is left to wonder how well he really knows what lies ahead. Will he heed the advice given by the mysterious man? Or will he brave the unknown on his own?


Praise for The Smugglers:

An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
An ALA Quick Pick
A Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book
A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age

"A second riveting high-sea adventure featuring swashbuckling characters, salty dialogue and a taut succession of cliffhangers."
--Publishers Weekly, starred

"Readers who devoured The Wreckers will be eager to dig into this seafaring sequel ... [filled with] a cast of wildly colorful characters."
--Booklist, starred

"A real page-turner."
--School Library Journal




The Buccaneers
(The High Seas Trilogy, Book Three)
Iain Lawrence
Hardcover | Delacorte Books for Young Readers | Juvenile Fiction - Action & Adventure| 0-385-32736-6 | August 2001 | $15.95


The page-turning conclusion of John Spencer's adventures.

"There’s pirates in the West Indies. Cannibals. They cook you alive," says Mr. Spencer to his son. These words will come to haunt 17-year-old John as he embarks on his first voyage to foreign lands. Carrying cargo destined for Jamaica, John and his crew of the Dragon set off for waters few of them have sailed before. So when they come upon a lifeboat adrift at sea, some are wary of the sailor aboard. Something about his story doesn’t quite make sense. Still, John respects the stranger’s awe-inspiring seamanship. With Horn on deck, he feels the Dragon is in the best of hands.
But is Horn to be trusted? The answer becomes muddled as the Dragon encounters a very real — and very dangerous — pirate ship. Now John starts to believe his father’s warnings, especially after he becomes stranded on an island reputed to have buried treasure. A place teeming with buccaneers!


Praise for The Buccaneers:

"...Offer[ing] plenty of full-blooded salty characters, cunning dialogue, surprises around every corner and a classic battle between good and evil ... [this novel] will keep readers riveted from first to last page."
--Publishers Weekly, starred

"The action on the seas is as constant as the waves."
--KLIATT, starred



Ghost Boy
Iain Lawrence
Hardcover | Delacorte Books for Young Readers | Juvenile Fiction - Self-Esteem| 0-385-32739-0 | October 2000 | $15.95


Harold Kline is an albino—an outcast. Folks stare and taunt, calling him Ghost Boy. It’s been that way for all of his 14 years. So when the circus comes to town, Harold runs off to join it.

Full of colorful performers, the circus seems like the answer to Harold’s loneliness. He’s eager to meet the Cannibal King, a sideshow attraction who’s an albino, too. He’s touched that Princess Minikin and the Fossil Man, two other sideshow curiosities, embrace him like a son. He’s in love with Flip, the pretty and beguiling horse trainer, and awed by the all-knowing Gypsy Magda. Most of all, Harold is proud of training the elephants, and of earning respect and a sense of normalcy. Even at the circus, though, two groups exist—the freaks, and everyone else. Harold straddles both groups. But fitting in comes at a price, and Harold must recognize the truth beneath what seems apparent before he can find a place to call home.


Praise for Ghost Boy:

An ALA Notable Book
An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
A School Library Journal Best Book
A Publishers Weekly Best Book
A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age

"This touching novel will speak especially to readers who consider themselves different, flawed, or misunderstood."
--School Library Journal, starred

"Memorable in every way."
--Kirkus Reviews, starred

"This poignant adventure invites readers to look beyond others' outer appearances and into their souls."
--Publishers Weekly, starred




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