MANUEL AND THE LOBSTERMAN by Cat Urbain

MANUEL AND THE LOBSTERMAN

Age Range: 9 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

There is little that 13-year-old Manuel Luis Menendez likes about his mother and new stepfather’s decision to move from New Haven, Conn., to boring Rockport, Maine. The backward coastal town lacks the amenities—pizza, Pepsi and video arcades—that Manuel enjoyed back home. The locals see Manuel as an outsider and make offensive remarks about his Puerto Rican ethnicity. Eager to earn bus fare back to New Haven, Manuel secures a job helping the curmudgeonly Zeke on his lobster boat. The two form an unlikely friendship, and Zeke shows Manuel a secret cove known for its rich deposit of mussels. The lobsterman claims a big chunk of change can be made by harvesting the “black gold.” Manuel’s quest for cash puts his life, and that of a local boy who befriends him, in grave danger. While Manuel’s feelings of frustration and isolation are realistically portrayed, this first novel is flawed by awkward dialogue and stereotyped portrayals of the region and characters. Middle graders may nevertheless enjoy this lighthearted adventure, if they can get past the unfortunately unappealing cover. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-59078-516-4
Page count: 216pp
Publisher: Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2008




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