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The Hand of Robin Squires

TitleThe Hand of Robin Squires
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1977
AuthorsClark, Joan
PublisherClarke, Irwin
DescriptorsDiscovery; England; English Language; First Nations; Friendship; Historical Fiction; Mi'kmaq; Mystery; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Novel; Oak Island; Pirates; Travel; Treasure

In this illustrated historical novel, based on the Triton Alliance Company's November 23, 1971 discovery at the Oak Island site, fourteen year old Robin Squires tells the story of his family's involvement with the mystery of the island. Robin's father, a surveyor and an inventor, travels with his Uncle Edward from England to America on a mysterious expedition and upon his return, refuses to share many details about the project with his son. He dies before he has the chance to return to America and Robin, eager to learn about his father's project, decides to join his uncle. He soon discovers that his uncle is a pirate and that he must complete his father's plan to bury his uncle's stolen treasure. Robin makes friends with Actaudin, a young Mi'kmaq boy whom his uncle takes prisoner and forces to work on his excavation. His uncle does not intend to leave behind any survivors to tell about his secret, but Robin and Actaudin manage to escape from the pit. Among the illustrations, this book includes a rough map of the island. The postscript to the novel establishes the historical context of the story. Author Joan Clark was born in Nova Scotia and lives in Newfoundland.


Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia

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Robin Squires is a young man who has just lost his father. Robin’s uncle, Edward, persuades Robin to go on an adventure across the ocean to North America. The catch is that Robin must help craft a device that will conceal treasure buried at the bottom of the sea. Uncle Edward quickly realizes that Robin’s skills are necessary in completing this task, and despite the feelings of Edward’s shipmate Bill Boyles who wants Robin dead, Edward decide to let Robin live, so long as he is useful. For Robin, this dream adventure has become a nightmare as he is enslaved by his uncle. Upon arriving in North America, Robin is allowed to explore the land, during which time he meets Actaudin, a Mi’kmaq youth. Robin brings Actaudin back to the ship, but rather than establish a trading partnership, Edward captures Actaudin, chaining Actaudin and Robin up with the other slaves. Robin must now figure out a way to save himself and his new friend from the tyranny of his uncle and crew.