Voyage of the Frog

Book review by
Monica Wyatt, Common Sense Media
Voyage of the Frog Book Poster Image
Harrowing adventure good for reluctant readers.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 7 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

A harrowing, gripping and engrossing adventure story that shows the strength of the human will to survive. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

David is brave, strong and unwilling to give up. 


David is seriously injured and alone at sea on a damaged boat.


Two mild religious expletives.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a compellingly written, can't-put-it-down story keeps even reluctant readers engrossed.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLori K. January 7, 2010

Perfect for tweens.

We read this aloud to our three boys when my oldest was 11 ish, then we found The Hatchet, they loved it as well.
Teen, 13 years old Written byda234734 February 28, 2016

The Voyage of the Frog

The story was about a boy that was trying to fulfill his uncle's last wish when he set sail on the Frog, but he wasn't ready what the ocean was going... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old September 17, 2012

Boring book for preteen girls!

Well being a girl aged 11, we have to read this for our language arts class in middle school. I find it boring and since I am a girl I can't relate to Dav... Continue reading

What's the story?

A gripping survival tale begins when David's favorite uncle dies after asking David to scatter his ashes at sea. David sails his uncle's small boat without checking weather reports, and a sudden storm creates disaster. Low on food, becalmed, attacked by a shark, and escorted by killer whales, David hangs on against the odds. A harrowing, uplifting adventure short enough for reluctant readers.


Is it any good?

Most young readers enjoy fast-moving adventure stories, and reluctant readers need such fare to help them experience the excitement that can be found in books; Paulsen satisfies these needs. And he does it with first-rate writing and interesting information as well.

The author respects his teenage character enough to portray the boy's fear, but also enough to show him conquering his fear with intelligence and courage. Coping with an apparent attack by a shark, a near collision with a huge oil tanker, and an escort of killer whales, David learns to use his limited knowledge of the sea to survive. In doing so, he begins to understand his uncle's desire to spend his life studying, to learn everything he possibly can learn in his lifetime, offering an excellent example to young readers without lecturing them. By the time David has won his battle to save his little boat and survive, he has reached a new maturity that allows him to turn down the offer of rescue.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how David matures during his adventure. 

  • How much does he appreciate what his uncle is trying to teach him before his journey?

Book details

  • Author: Gary Paulsen
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publication date: January 1, 1989
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 9 - 12
  • Number of pages: 141
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

Our editors recommend

For kids who love adventure

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