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Sailmaker is a mysterious adventure for 9-12 year olds.

Joel and Mei are back. Joel finds an abandoned tinny in the bay. Then the old sailmaker says the ghost is back in the lighthouse. Can Joel and Mei find the answer to a scary mystery. Set on an island off the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia.

Themes: family, ADHD, foster parent, fishing, mystery, Cornish culture and stories.


CBCA Notable Book 2003

Published 2013

University of Queensland Press


This book is available in other formats: Large Print, Daisy or Braille at Read How You Want. Click the Other Formats button to purchase.

What people are saying

Sailmaker' is a work of art.
       Max Fatchen

A ripping yarn.
      Courier Mail

Sailmaker is a sequel as good as its forerunner.
      David Beagley, Bendigo Advertiser

      Sally Harding, Magpies

"Sailmaker is a fast moving adventure story involving ghosts, an escaped convict, bullying and boyish rivalries. Joel, with his impulsive, but questing nature, is the triumph of this book. The boy's first person narration, his struggle for self control and self confidence is convincingly portrayed, as he battles many odds. The imagery of the boy as a lighthouse rather than a sandcastle is effective. The book features well-written descriptions and many apt metaphors that highlight the themes. Joel's struggle forms a poignant exploration of ADHD."

     'Notable Australian Children's Books 2003' The Children's Book       Council of Australia, p. 15.


The lighthouse ghost, an abandoned tinny, small-town rumours: it all adds up to a mystery just waiting to be solved. Joel and Mei try their hand, and along the way learn a lot about dealing with their own fears and foes, and making sound friendships. Told from the perspective of Joel, a somewhat troubled youngster who is dealing with a range of emotions and difficulties, including daily medication, an adopted dad, a bullying troublemaker, and a flighty mum, the story takes the reader on an action packed adventure which is easy to read, and maintains a high level of interest throughout. I particularly like the character of Vern, the old sailmaker/lighthouse keeper, whose down to earth, wise approach to life keeps Joel on track more than once. There is something for everyone in this book, and I recommend it for ages 11 and older, particularly 12-15 year olds.
     Judith Hall, Reading Time Vol 46 No 2 May 2002.

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