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Grade 6-8?Tom Piccot, 12, is a Newfoundland fisherman, like his father and his grandfather before him. They scrape out a living and take great pride in their work and heritage. Their struggle is made harder by the rich merchants, who treat them poorly and pay them a meager price for their fish. The year 1873 begins bleakly for Tom with the death of his grandfather; the blinding of his father in a hunting accident; and his personal defeat at the hands of Edmund Treadwell, the scornful merchant's son, in a fight. (The book focuses on men; the women are barely visible, unfortunately.) But Tom's hard work, courage, and spirit ultimately bring triumph, not just for himself and his family, but for his whole community. Brimming with details about the Newfoundland coast and local dialect, this is a challenging but exciting read, full of adventure and coming-of-age themes. Despite the cliches inherent in the plot, readers can't help cheering the hero on as he gains a faithful companion in his new dog, Murphy; hunts caribou and sees a wolverine in action; confronts the dreaded kraken, a giant squid; defeats Edmund at last; and wins the heart of Rosie, whom he has admired all along. A richly rewarding story that illuminates 19th-century life in a lesser-known region.?Cyrisse Jaffee, formerly at Newton Public Schools, MA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 6^-10. Reed has included elements that make a good story--a boy and his loyal dog, family adversity, a giant sea monster, and even a touch of romance. Set on the coast of Newfoundland in the late 1800s, The Kraken introduces readers to a relatively unknown culture yet manages to relate it to common themes that readers will identify with: the struggle to survive both against the rich who have no empathy with the less fortunate and against a harsh environment. When his father is blinded by a gun explosion, 12-year-old Tom Piccot must assume family responsibilities, a job made nearly impossible because of the debt imposed by a rich, unscrupulous local merchant and the disappearance of the cod that sustain the family and provide its income. Tom's determination through constant, seemingly overwhelming adversity makes this a fascinating tale that allows even subtle environmental lessons to be communicated. The dialect at first will be difficult, but the story is so all-consuming and well-written that readers soon will overcome that hurdle. Consider this for a middle-school read-aloud. Frances Bradburn
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Book Description Boyds Mills Press, 1995. Library Binding. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P111563972166
Book Description Boyds Mills Press, 1995. Library Binding. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX1563972166