Bet: Stowaway Daughter
Lisbet “Bet” Lindstrom is the 13-year-old daughter of a sea captain convicted of theft and sent to prison. Bet is convinced her father is innocent, but she has no way to prove it. Desperate to free her father, she visits his old fishing boat, and spots a horribly scarred sailor who might know the truth about the crime. Ignoring the warnings of her friends, she secretly jumps aboard the ship and sails to Alaska. She braves huge storms, performs daring rescues, and faces the man who threatens everything she loves.
Read an interview with the author about ebooks, editing, and the future of independent publishing at The Editor’s POV.
Advance praise for Bet: Stowaway Daughter
Bet: Stowaway Daughter is a wonderful new addition to the genre of tales about seafaring girls. Fast-paced, with plenty of twists and turns, the novel moves from the salty wharves of Depression-era Seattle to the rough waters of Alaska. Bet shows her mettle—and her math skills—in solving a mystery at sea. I loved the details of the sailors’ lives on one of the last sail-powered fishing boats along the Northwest coast, but it’s the portrayal of Bet and her love for her father that really pulled me along until the exciting last pages. This is a book for girls—but also for anyone who loves ships and the sea.
—Barbara Sjoholm, author, The Pirate Queen: In Search of Grace O’Malley and Other Legendary Women of the Sea
I love this novel! I don’t know if having daughters has influenced the author but Joe Follansbee has conceived a smart, gutsy, yet very believable female protagonist whom I cheered for from page one.
Setting, character, plot — Follansbee has woven them together beautifully. Stowaway Daughter is filled with adventure and suspense aboard a fishing boat in the Bering Sea, but what I liked best was Bet herself; a smart, gutsy, yet fallible girl on a mission to clear her father’s name. I have no doubt the heroine of the story will grow up to be a mathematician, a prosecuting attorney, or captain of her own fishing fleet.
As one who loves historical novels about girls throwing themselves into a man’s world and not only surviving but thriving, I greatly enjoyed Stowaway Daughter; a novel for smart girls and boys of any age.
The strength of the book is a result of painstaking research by the author and clearly reflects his grasp of maritime history in and around Puget Sound and Alaska. This knowledge combined with interesting character development, a suspenseful mystery, and working knowledge of the mechanics and design of a classic sailing schooner results in a very readable and inspirational story. Young teens will find the book a worthy read and learn about large sailing ships and 1930s Seattle while doing so.
—Steven Wells, author, Ginger’s Story: A Golden Retriever Reflects Upon Her Life With Humans
Joe Follansbee has created a memorable new character in Bet Lindstrom, a brave young girl who stows away on a fishing boat bound for the Bering Sea in the 1930s. Desperate to clear the name of her sea captain father, who has been falsely accused of theft, Bet sets out on her own to pursue the truth and finds herself experiencing a season of cod fishing and adventure. In the process, she encounters allies and enemies, learns how to make herself useful, and becomes a capable fisher”man” in her own right.
Several aspects of this book will appeal to readers and teachers. Small details reveal certain elements of life in Depression-era Seattle, and the emphasis on Bet’s strong math skills and wily independence make her a relatable and inspiration character. The story is most compelling, however, when Follansbee applies his extensive knowledge of maritime history to the narrative. Scenes of life at sea – from the descriptions of the cod fishing process, to the cozy and ample hot meals in the ship’s mess hall, to the near death face-offs with nature herself – are rich with detail and make Bet’s world come alive.
—Tamara Bunnell, history teacher, The Northwest School
I especially like the fact that the story will carry young people on a journey back into a time they might know little about, and forward toward enlightenment and maturity through this book’s positive and inspiring themes. By traveling in either direction, they are guaranteed to learn plenty. That would include an appreciation for the hard lives of commercial fishermen in those days and the character of Scandinavian immigrants who settled in large numbers in what is now the neighborhood of Ballard, in north Seattle, once a separate town…
Having grown up around the water, I can say that he definitely puts the reader right on location, with all five senses stimulated. I swear I could smell the salt spray, hear every hiss of the water and creak of the wood, feel the deck pitching and see the canvas sails fill with wind. And that’s not all. It contains plenty of conflict and suspense.
—Candace Brown, Good Life Northwest
Cover art by Damon Brown.