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On a cold January day in 1851, twelve-year-old Patrick O'Connell huddles on the deck of the Robert Peel. He is leaving his impoverished home behind in Ireland, while in America, his father is waiting with the promise of a new life. But as Patrick watches the shoreline fade from view, he feels torn with worry. His new friend Laurence Kirkle, who is running away from home, waits for food in the ship's hold. If the captain finds the young stowaways, both boys will be arrested. Will Patrick and his companion be able to reach America safely? A master storyteller, Avi has won many awards including a Newbery Award and Newbery Honor. In this dramatic tale, he vividly depicts the overwhelming difficulties Irish immigrants faced in the mid-1800s. From the unsettling opening to the astonishing finish, Simon Prebble expertly narrates the biting irony and riveting suspense of each exciting plot twist. If you enjoy Patrick's thrilling travels, you won't want to miss his exciting adventures before sailing for America in Beyond the Western Sea Book One: The Escape from Home.