Castaways of the Flying Dutchman by Brian Jacques.
Philomel Books/Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers: NY, 2001.
author of acclaimed Redwall series

The angel who doomed the Flying Dutchman to sail the seas for all eternity spared a boy and his dog from that fate. Because of their innocence and good-heartedness, they were instead given the opportunity to live through the centuries helping people in ditsress. This first book introduces the Flying Dutchman legend and then focuses mainly on a village that is soon to be destroyed by industrial development and the coming together of townfolk to save it with the guidance of the boy and dog.

My sons are big Redwall fans, but personally, I enjoyed The Castaways of the Flying Dutchman and its sequels The Angel's Command (2003) and Voyage of Slaves (2006) more. There is an exciting treasure hunt and references to the founding of the village. The boy tries to get as many townspeople involved as possible so that they come together as a community instead of depending on a hero. The community working together is a recurring theme in most of Brian Jacques's books. As usual the characters and attention to detail contribute to another success for Jacques.
related-heroes, angels, dogs

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