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Submarine Outlaw by Philip Roy
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Submarine Outlaw

by Philip Roy

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This is an incredible adventure series. My children love Roy's novels, and they're always waiting for the next installment. And then it's a real plus that the main character is so admirable, too. You can't get much better than a story with a boy (Alfred) who travels all around the world in his own homemade submarine--with two fabulous sidekicks for crew members: a dog and a seagull! Alfred is just a great role model for children and teens. Submarine Outlaw was nominated for a Red Maple Award. It also won first prize in the Atlantic Writer's Competition. If you ask me, Roy should be winning the Forest of Reading awards every year that he comes out with a new book. We never get tired of reading about Alfred's journeys! The series is a hit with my kids, that's for sure! And the audiobook is great for road trips, too, when the kids want to hear the story for a second (or third or fourth) time. Roy does a terrific job with the narration, and the sound effects are fun, too! ( )
  Isabella2 | Mar 15, 2013 |
This is an incredible adventure series. My children love Roy's novels, and they're always waiting for the next installment. And then it's a real plus that the main character is so admirable, too. You can't get much better than a story with a boy (Alfred) who travels all around the world in his own homemade submarine--with two fabulous sidekicks for crew members: a dog and a seagull! Alfred is just a great role model for children and teens. Submarine Outlaw was nominated for a Red Maple Award in Canada. It also won first prize in the Atlantic Writer's Competition. If you ask me, Roy should be winning the Forest of Reading awards (also in Canada) every year that he comes out with a new book. We never get tired of reading about Alfred's journeys! The series is a hit with my kids, that's for sure! ( )
  Isabella2 | Mar 15, 2013 |
Okay, I'll admit it. I was worried about this one. Realistic fiction about a kid who, with the help of a junkyard maven, turns an oil tank into a working submarine? I'm all for fantasy, but huge suspensions of disbelief in a story that is supposed to be realistic, of the kind I thought I was going to have to make right there in the first chapter, are not my strong suit. But then Ziegfried started, matter of factly, building a submarine out of an oil tank. There are almost 80 pages of the building and testing of this submarine, a lot for a 250 page book. It makes for a slow start to the story, but not a slow start for the book. Ziegfried explains everything he's doing as he goes along, ostensibly so that Alfred will be able to handle minor repairs on his own at sea, but really so that we readers will not have to make that huge jump on our own. It's so interesting to read about all the ways he's making sure things float and sink when you want them too, and it is, to my limited mechanical knowledge, pretty realistic.

Once the submarine is built, Alfred is off! Along the way he picks up a seagull and a dog, meets a lady who lives alone on an island save her own menagerie of furry and feathered companions, rescues a family at sea, finds some treasure, and gets chased by the coastguard, navy, and excited locals. Looking back, the whole thing is a bit episodic, but while reading, the story is not the least disjointed. The connecting theme is Alfred's realization that the actions of his 14 year old self in his little tiny submarine have consequences, good and bad. Over the course of the novel he learns how to weigh his choices before rushing into a decision, who to trust to help him, and that other people (and a bird and a dog) are counting on him. Basically, during his year at sea, he grows up.

The descriptions of how the submarine worked as well as the life at sea and along the coast of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia were incredibly interesting and often beautiful. This series will be a hit with readers interested in oceanography, treasure-hunting (but not pirates), and the general way things work. I can't wait to read about Alfred's next adventure, which will take him a bit farther from home and the relative safety of the coast.

If you need another reason to read this book, the paper it is printed on is made of 100% post-consumer waste! It doesn't really have anything to do with the story, clearly, but it's definitely a practice that should be applauded!

Book source: Review copy from publisher ( )
  lawral | Aug 27, 2010 |
Showing 3 of 3
"A truly riveting adventure story, Submarine Outlaw will likely capture the heart and minds of all who have longed to escape the confines of their everyday world and try something exciting and even dangerous....the dramatic escapes and encounters Alfred makes in his undersea voyage are fascinating and believable...."
added by Manuscript_30 | editJane On Books, Jane (Sep 4, 2009)
 
"The Submarine Outlaw series has an original and appealing central concept: young Alfred pilots his unregistered submarine wherever he likes, with a seagull for a first mate and a dog for a second. He gets into trouble because he can't resist rescuing people (and animals) and so is always barely evading capture by the authorities who will take his submarine away from him. Thus, Alfred is firmly a good guy and yet still an outlaw, an irresistible combination...."
 
"Submarine Outlaw and its sequels have firmly established themselves as a riveting adventure series that has gathered a significant following who are anxiously awaiting this next installment. And they will not be disappointed! This personal quest and the internal struggles that it evokes for Alfred give this book a new dimension and allow his character to be more fully developed....Roy continues to keep this series fresh and engaging. We will all join Alfred in anticipating his next voyage...."
 
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In the third volume of the Submarine Outlaw series, River Odyssey, Alfred sets off in his submarine up the dark and willful St. Lawrence River. With Hollie and Seaweed, his dog and seagull crew, Alfred follows the route of Jacques Cartier, nearly five hundred years before them, as they sail down the Strait of Belle Isle into the largest river mouth in the world. But the St. Lawrence is a treacherous river, concealing many dangers beneath its surface, not least of all the cursed and ghostly Empress of Ireland, a sunken ocean-liner that has claimed the lives of over a thousand people and that reaches up to entangle the sub as they pass. Alfred must sail to Montreal to confront the man who abandoned him at birth — his father. Only then will he escape the unfinished business that haunts him. But is the quest worth the danger? And why is Alfred plagued with bad luck? Is someone, or something, trying to turn him back?
Submarine Outlaw takes young-adult readers on a unique journey when Alfred, a young boy who wants to be an explorer – not a fisherman, as his family demands – teams up with a junkyard genius to build a submarine that he sails around the Maritimes. When the submarine is mistaken for a Russian spy sub and chased by the coastguard, a thrilling high-seas chase ensues. The first prize winner of the Atlantic Writers Competition, Submarine Outlaw shows how any great goal in life requires patience, determination and hard work, but also how hard work on one’s dream can be a joyous and valuable experience.
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What happens when a fearless young explorer teams up with a junkyard genius and builds a submarine? Going to sea with an unusual crew, a strangely intelligent seagull with attitude and a dog that nobody wanted, Alfred unwittingly becomes the "Submarine Outlaw" and discovers that the sea is a busy place.… (more)

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