Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Young Man and the Sea, by Rodman Philbrick, 2004

Not since Skiff Beaman's mom dad has his dad, Big Skiff, gotten off the couch or off the bottle, and so it's up to 12-year old Skiff to run the house and rescue their sunken fishing boat, the Mary Rose. But fixing her waterlogged engine will cost at least five grand, and the Beamans, who live in the last house along the river with an outhouse, ("swampers" as rich kid Tyler Croft calls his folks), can't afford it. Lobstering doesn't earn money fast enough, so when a sportfisher harpoons a giant tuna that commands $6k from a sushi tuna buyer, Skiff hatches a plan. A strong, authentic voice carries a heroic yet believable plot all the way to its surprising close. Strongly recommended.

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