Tuesday 28 May 2013


Sailmaker by Rosanne Hawke (University of Queensland Press)
PB RRP $14.95
ISBN 9780 7022 4973 3
Reviewed by Jo Antareau

In the sequel to The Keeper, life’s good for Joel Billings. His father is behind bars, his foster Dad, Dev has stuck with him through tough times, and is now accepted by Joel’s family. And water-loving Joel has a windsurfer all of his own. Still, some doubts linger. Dev might not want to hang around forever, he has a life outside of Joel’s world.

A tear in the sail of his windsurfer leads Joel to the sailmaker, an eccentric who lives a hermit- like existence on an island where he tends the lighthouse. Stories about the place being haunted don’t scare Joel off; quite the opposite, he wants to spend the night there.

Joel also finds an abandoned boat, a tinny, drifting near shore. But who owned it? And where is that person now? These thoughts are far from Joel’s mind as he and his best friend Mei spend the night on the island. But a sudden storm cuts them off from the mainland, and the children are plunged straight into danger. Joel needs to keep a cool head and use his resourcefulness to survive.

First published in 2002, this has been re-released as a companion to the newly published third book in the series, Killer Ute. Another fast paced story by Rosanne Hawke for children aged 9 and over. Although Sailmaker is the second in a series, it is able to stand alone.

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