Title: Escape by Sea
Author: L. S. Lawrence
Publisher: Holiday House
Concepts: trade, incentives, barter, wealth
Review: Panic spread throughout the city of Carthage as residents heard news of the Romans' imminent attack. Sara and her father Hanno, a wealthy merchant and Senator, had heard the news in the worst possible way, for it came with word that Sara's only brother had died in battle. Despite the chaos, Sara managed to gather a cargo of valuable spices, metals, and coins for trade, and then she got herself and her grief-stricken father on board the Heron, the fastest of Hanno's ships.
Their narrow escape from Carthage proved to be just the first of a series of adventures that involved sailing through a raging storm, evading the overwhelming Roman navy, fighting ruthless pirates, and bargaining with shrewd merchants. Throughout these struggles, Sara drew upon her impressive skills in medicine and negotiation at a time when women had virtually no rights.
This novel, with its setting in the Mediterranean Sea of ancient times, draws extensively on incentives associated with merchant trade to motivate the plot. Haggling over prices, sailing particular courses depending on supply and demand, and trying to predict changes in the prices of key commodities are all activities involved in Sara's escape by sea. Readers seeking an exciting read with substantive content and strong characters will not be disappointed.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children