NACKY PATCHER AND THE CURSE OF THE DRY-LAND BOATS by Jeffrey Kluger

NACKY PATCHER AND THE CURSE OF THE DRY-LAND BOATS

Age Range: 12 - 15
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A one-footed ex-thief and a homeless orphan with a ruined hand figure prominently in this ambitious tale of a town that unites to rebuild a clipper ship. Some say that Yole lies under a curse, sitting as it does on the infertile bed of a berry-blue sea that was drained generations ago by land speculators. In any case, it’s never amounted to much—until ne’er-do-well Nacky and young Teedie Flinn find 40,000 pieces of teak floating in the local (berry-blue) lake, and persuade the impoverished townsfolk to undertake the seemingly pointless task of fitting them all together. There are obstacles aplenty to overcome—notably the schemes of rapacious landlord Mally Baloo—but overcome they are, and though things don’t work out quite as planned, by the end Nacky’s in love, injustices have been corrected and Yole has become a workers’ paradise. There isn’t much here to hook young readers; more a prose stylist than a storyteller, Kluger salts his narrative with fanciful names and words. The pace ambles, he pays more attention to the adult characters and he blithely disregards internal logic to trot in convenient solutions to every problem. A noble effort, but may struggle to find an audience. (Fantasy. 12-15)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-399-24604-3
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2007




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