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Sam is desperate to leave his sleepy Norfolk village and see the world. He seizes the chance to join a merchant ship, but soon discovers that a life at sea is harsh and often short, especially when his ship is attacked by a French privateer. About to be boarded, they fear all is lost, but the privateers are driven off by the appearance of a Royal Navy ship. Sam's relief is short-lived. Soon after, another Navy ship sends over a press gang, and he is forced to join the frigate Miranda. War with France and Spain is raging and Sam is caught in the middle with a dangerous job as a powder monkey in the company of a brutal crew. This is an amazingly well-researched adventure giving a glimpse of one boy's incredible life at sea.
A former senior editor with Usborne Publishing, Paul Dowswell is now a full-time author. He has written many non-fiction titles, two of which were shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award. Powder Monkey, his first novel, was published to huge critical acclaim and was the first book in his wonderful Sam Witchall trilogy. Paul lives in Wolverhampton with his family.