MY BOY JOHN THAT WENT TO SEA by James Vance Marshall


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(YA) The boy, John, is the skipper Sven Larson's son at sea as a ""deckie"" for the first time on a whaling mission to Antarctica. John, a sensitive, chafes at the discipline and the fact that he has not been accepted as a man by the crew. Sven meanwhile sees his vision of a close rapport and partnership with the boy vanish when John confesses his ambition to become a concert pianist. The story of how Captain and crew team up to win a $10,000 bonus prize (given to the first ship to bring in the 200th whale) to send John to the Academy could have been a fifth-rate fable. Instead, Mr. Marshall has skillfully, presented a first rate adventure story complete with the whale hunt, titanic storm, menacing ice flow, and killer whales. And the details of the science of whaling as well as the exotic setting of rising wind and waves and falling barometers are handled with dexterity. It is also a tale of growth into maturity with the sacrifice and satisfactions involved as the boy meets his Moby Dick. Nice.

Pub Date: March 31st, 1967
Publisher: Morrow