Drift House: The First Voyage by Dale Peck

The First Voyage

This is a tale of time travel, and pirates and adventures!  It is also the story of three  siblings who love each other very much and struggle to be sure that they will all remain safe and together.  Each child  shows a lot of cleverness, loyalty, and bravery although they also do a lot of arguing and sometimes are not very nice to one another.


Susan, Charles and Murray have been sent off to their Uncle’s house on The Bay of Eternity in Canada because of 9/11.  They find their uncle to be very likable but also strange.  He doesn’t seem to know the housekeeper’s name and he seems to be keeping secrets.  The children find a mural which contains their uncle’s house, Drift house, mermaids, a whale and an island and most puzzling of all is that the mural changes and that they find pictures of themselves in the mural.  In trying to discover what is going on, they lose Murray and discover a strange key.  Then things really go wrong. 


The house begins to drift, a parrot begins to converse with them,  Uncle Farley becomes very agitated and a mermaid shows up at the door demanding to speak with Susan. The house is adrift on the Sea of Time and the mermaids want Susan to rescue one of their sisters who has been kidnapped by Time Pirates.  This would be daunting in itself but Murray claims to have been lost in the future and knows that Susan dies trying to help the mermaids.  He doesn’t remember how that happens but he desperately wants to prevent it.  Can they change the future?  Can they escape from the mermaids and steer Drift House back to the Bay of Eternity?  The answers are not easy and the children, Uncle Farley and the parrot, President Wilson, face many surprises, difficult choices and dangers.


This book is full of mind-boggling creatures and strange twists and turns in the plot.  It was a lot of fun.  I actually listened to the book on CD and it was well done.  I recommend it to readers in 5th and 6th grade who like adventure fantasy. 


Posted by: Fran W.


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