Young Adult

Oliver’s Surprise

Carol Newman Cronin (Author)

Oliver's Surprise by Carol Newman Cronin

Available Formats

Paperback | eBook

Oliver’s Surprise

by Carol Newman Cronin

Historical young adult fiction on the Storm of ’38 by Olympic sailing superstar Carol Newman Cronin.

Longing to feel closer to his favorite grandfather, Oliver skips school on a sparkling September afternoon and hides out on a tired schooner. When he wakes up on the ways of his grandfather’s boatyard and realizes he’s been transported back to 1938, he must decide what to do before the dangerous hurricane he’d been studying in school hits.

While the main character is a 12-year old boy, Oliver’s story, and the story of a powerful weather event, is appropriate for an adult audience. September 2009 marked the 71th anniversary of the dreadful storm.

This edition includes a sailing glossary, history of Hurricane of 1938 and NEW history of coastal schooners as well as maps and photographs. The book nicely captures the look and feel of coastal New England in the early part of this century. A Teacher’s Guide is available from the publisher at no cost to instructors.

About the Author

Carol Newman Cronin crowned a lifetime of competitive achievement by winning two races for the USA at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. She has won numerous national and international sailing championships. Since retiring from Olympic sailing, Carol has focused on writing and graphic design. Carol Newman Cronin lives in Jamestown, RI.


“Carol Newman Cronin has written an evocative story of a young man and the sea. You can smell the salt, hear the groan of the sails and feel the tiredness of Oliver’s muscles–and as he’s travelling through time, surviving hurricanes, and discovering his love of this way of life, he’s also discovering himself. A wonderful book.” -Holly LeCraw, author of the “The Swimming Pool”


“For the past 40 years I have raced along the waters of Narragansett Bay. After reading Oliver’s Surprise my vision of the area will be of the infamous hurricane of 1938 and the young Oliver seeing the catastrophe take place.” -Gary Jobson, America’s Cup Hall of Fame, ESPN commentator, “The Voice of Sailing”

“A vivid glimpse of boatyard life for a modern boy whisked back to his grandfather’s day, just before the hurricane of ’38” -Molly Bang, author and illustrator of When Sophie Gets Angry

“For a kid smitten with the sea, an old schooner is the ideal vehicle for going back in time. Through young Oliver’s eyes, Carol Newman Cronin offers a view of life along the 1930s Jamestown waterfront. Above all, Oliver’s Surprise reminds us of the connectedness of family and friends through generations.” -John Burnham, Editor of Cruising World