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THE YOUNG MAN AND THE SEA by Rodman Philbrick


by Rodman Philbrick

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-439-36829-4
Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

This beautifully told, plainspoken Maine tale is about much more than a boy and his determination to catch a fish. Twelve-year-old Skiff’s father passes his days in a haze of beer and television. Their fishing boat has sunk at the dock, taking with her their livelihood. With an old man’s help, Skiff fixes the boat’s planks, but repairing the motor costs too much. An upper-class bully, who calls him “swamper” (“local talk for white trash”) and steals his traps, destroys his next inspiration, a lucrative lobster-hauling plan. So Skiff decides his only option is to go 30 miles out to sea all by himself and harpoon a giant bluefin tuna that will yield more than enough money to fix the boat and might just prompt his father’s return to active life. Here, in true Hemingway fashion, the fishing adventure sings with urgency and determination; depth and thoughtfulness arrive via technical fishing details as well as Skiff’s poignant mental dialogues with his beloved late mother. Readers will be hooked. (Fiction. 9-12)