On a field trip to see famed privateer Francisco Ventana’s once-sunken ship, the Defiant, six kids from San Francisco’s Greenly School—a last-chance refuge for orphans, troublemakers, and misfits—find themselves stranded at the center of a storm unlike any other. By the time the clouds have cleared, and the strange pink flashes have faded from the sky, the Defiant is out on the open sea, San Francisco ablaze behind it. What follows is an adventure that will change the classmates’ lives forever—a journey across a dangerous ocean in search of a new home, with only their instincts and each other to rely on. Can they master the ship? Can they work together, and defend themselves against the unexpected adversaries they encounter on the way? Will they ever find land? You’ll have to join their voyage to find out.

A remarkable debut in the tradition of Gulliver’s Travels and Lord of the Flies, The Defiant creates a world that’s all its own—thrilling and wholly original, filled with strange energies and superstitious survivors, and dozens of moments you won’t soon forget.

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Praise for The Defiant:

“This book is by turns exciting, dark, and moving—it’s a hallucinatory and mysterious take on the pirate novels I loved as a kid.”
—Mac Barnett, bestselling author of the Brixton Brothers and The Terrible Two series

“A quirky, fast-moving sea odyssey with a diverse and well-realized cast.”

“An unsettling, fablelike debut… Quint creates an intriguing satire on the excesses of civilization, as well as a tense adventure in its own right.”
Publishers Weekly

“[M]esmerizing. Young people will root for this unlikely crew as, one by one, each member meets challenges with growing maturity… The Defiant will appeal to middle grade and young adult readers interested in adventure, mystery, and eerie situations.”
The Children’s Book Review

“The refreshingly diverse crew members—encompassing a range of ethnicities, ages, and economic backgrounds—learn tricks for survival and how to sail the caravel they now call home. With shades of Lord of the Flies, this well-written novel pits the Defiant’s crew not only against nature but the other communities of survivors they encounter—comprised entirely of children. This high-seas adventure offers much to ponder, and although answers may be elusive, readers will be swept up in the dangers, interesting character dynamics, and resilient spirit coursing through its pages.”
— Julia Smith, Booklist

“A ragtag group of kids from the last-chance Greenly School are on a field trip abroad the Defiant—the ship of legendary explorer Sir Francesco de Ventana—when all of a sudden a pink flash lights up the sky and a huge wave unmoors the ship from the dock. Suddenly the kids find themselves sailing the open waters alone in a strange world.”
Middle Shelf