Windcatcher by Avi

This is a great book for older boys who are reluctant readers! Written at a 5.3 reading level- but only 120 pages! Not intimidating at all! There are some "boating" terms I would introduce to the boys first... maybe have them identify parts of a boat on a diagram before they start the book so they are familiar with terms like, port, starboard, tiller and stern.

What a great little book filled with adventure and hunting for sunken treasure!

(Also a great book for Scouters! Bears have a Boats Elective pg 196, and Boy Scouts have a Rowing Merit Badge click HERE to see.)

(photo from This is a picture of what a

frigate ship looked like.... what the Swallow would have looked like.


Buy trinkets and goodies to be your hidden treasure. Prepare and set up your treasure hunt- in your house, yard or neighborhood.

Snack/Dinner: Clam chowder, or corn chowder if you are worried about allergic reactions

Energy Game: "Captain- May I" (adapted version of game Mother - May I?)

Play this game with at least three players.
One player will be "Captain."
Line the players up facing the captain about 10 feet away.
Give commands to the players one at a time. Use boating terms: port =left, Starboard =right, Captain says, for example, "John, you may take one starboard step forward." ( meaning he can take one step with his right foot forward.)

Wait for the player to respond. If he says, "ey, ey Captain!"

If the player forgets to say "ey ey Captain!" he must go back to the starting line.

Captain continues to give commands to the players in any order that he chooses.
Play until one boy is close enough to the captain to touch him.. then he is the next captain.

Incentive Game: Going on a Treasure HUNT!

Use the following questions as clues to your treasure hunt. For every right answer- the boys will earn a letter and a step closer to finding the hiding spot for your hidden treasure.

(The Letters spell out the words : In the Dryer. Hide the treasure in your dryer if you use my clues exactly. Or change your clues to match your hiding spot.)

1. How did Tony earn his money?

g = by mowing lawns

t = walking dogs and washing cars

i = delivering news papers

Next clue is hidden _________________

2. What is the name of his sailboat?

n = snark

o = shark

a = spark

next clue is hidden ___________________

3. what does a Harbor Master do?

b = keeps the harbor free of sharks

t = is like a water cop

h = master of all the ships in the harbor

next clue is hidden _______________

4. What can shift and change the sea bottom?

r = earth quakes

g= tidal waves

h = hurricanes

next clue is hidden _________________

5. How were the treasure hunters looking for the treasure?

e = diving

s = digging

y= with radio waves

next clue is hidden _______________________

6. What did Chris say about respecting the sea?

b = never turn your back to the sea

d = it's always bigger than you

t = it's unpredictable

next clue is hidden____________________

7. What looks like whale bones?

r = the sides of a sunken boat

o = a whale - duh

b = dinosaur bones

next clue is hidden _________________

8. Who would the treasure belong to?

m = finders keepers , loser weepers

a = no one- it goes in a museum

y = the state of Connecticut

next clue is hidden ________________

9. why is the town called Swallows Bay?

t = a long time ago a sailor was choking and the crew chanted "Swallow!! Swallow! Swallow!" the name just stuck.

e = named after the ship that sank in the bay.

h= lots of swallows nest in the cliffs during spring.

next clue is hidden ____________

10. Why did Tony dive down to the bottom when he saw the sunken Swallow?

r = he was trying to find his shoe

s = he was trying to find his watch

n = he was trying to find his compass

Snack/Dinner: Enjoy nice warm bowl of chowder and talk about the book. What would the boys have done differently than Tony- if anything.

What would they have spent $300 on?

Would they have made a deal with the treasure hunters?


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