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Sea Gift: 07/20/08
I have a thing for nautical stories: whether just near or actually on the sea. Sea Gift by John Ashby caught my attention at my local library for the painting of a boy dangling on a rope over the ocean.
When the book starts off with a lengthy chapter about a hockey game with the two lead characters against rivals from the other side of Cape Breton Island (off the coast of Nova Scotia) I was worried that my choice was based on cover art by an artist who hadn't read the book. Fortunately though, the hockey game is confined to that first chapter.
Sea Gift is mostly a coming of age tale set against lobster fishing and treasuring hunting. The treasure in question is presented as an old scrap of parchment found in an old tar sealed bottle under a cairn. The note inside describes a pirate treasure and a doctor's meeting with members of the Mi'kmaq Nation, years before recorded settlement by Europeans.
The parchment sparks the boys' interest in Cape Breton's history and a friendship with their old rival, Maurice aka "Moose" who is Mi'kmaq. I liked following along with Lauchie and Angus as they learn about their home and its rich history. Watching their perceptions of Moose change felt real.