Author Tags: Kidlit & Young Adult, Maritime

Having been born and raised in England, where she was taught how to sail on the River Thames by the Royal Navy, Amanda Spottiswoode of Salt Spring Island has transformed her yearly sailing adventures along the West Coast aboard her 34-foot wooden sloop, South Islander, into a children's book partially inspired by the nefarious shyster and self-proclaimed religious mystic The Brother, XII who built a cult-based colony at DeCourcey Island and Cedar-by-the-Sea. Illustrated by Molly March, Spottiswoode's playful Brother XII's Treasure (Heritage 2015) also appears to be inspired by M. Wylie Blanchet's West Coast classic, The Curve of Time. In Spottiswoode's tale for pre-teen readers, we meet seven children from English boarding schools who embark on a sailing adventure in 1936. Hearing about the transplanted English eccentric Edward Arthur Wilson (who became a cruel theosophical leader in partnership with his mistress known as Madame Zee), they search for buried treasure that was supposedly left behind when Wilson, aka The Brother XII, hastily disappeared, one step ahead of the law. The book was shortlisted for the Chocolate Lily Book Award and a selection of the Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids and Teens.

Spottiswoode followed with a sequel, The Silver Lining (Heritage 2017) in which the seven children go on a cattle driving adventure in Interior B.C. They run into a familiar villain and are led to a dangerous old mine. It's an ode to the sights and sounds of the Okanagan in the 1930s, also illustrated by Molly March.


Memoirs of a Cruising Dog (self-published)

Brother XII's Treasure (Heritage 2015) $12.95 9781772030716

The Silver Lining (Heritage 2017) $12.95 978-1-77203-132-4

[BCBW 2017]