A Full Hand by Yezerski, Thomas F. Yezerski |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
A Full Hand

A Full Hand

by Yezerski, Thomas F. Yezerski
     
 

A boy's initiation into old-time canal transport

Asa doesn't know what to expect when his mother tells him it's time he made his first full hand. After all, he's only nine years old. But his father needs some help. He carries coal on his boat along the canal all the way across New Jersey, and he needs Asa to drive the two mules who pull the boat.

Overview

A boy's initiation into old-time canal transport

Asa doesn't know what to expect when his mother tells him it's time he made his first full hand. After all, he's only nine years old. But his father needs some help. He carries coal on his boat along the canal all the way across New Jersey, and he needs Asa to drive the two mules who pull the boat. While leading the mules along their route, Asa learns about loading at the coal chutes and the mechanisms of locks, aqueducts, and inclined planes. Finally, when a violent storm threatens the mission, Asa finds out what it really means to make a full hand.

Set against a backdrop of luminous illustrations, fascinating information about old-time canal freighting is seamlessly woven into this warm and exciting father-and-son story.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Inspired by abandoned stretches of Pennsylvania's Morris Canal, a 19th-century waterway used primarily to transport coal to New York and New Jersey, A Full Hand by Thomas F. Yezerski follows young Asa as he leads his father's boat down the canal for the first time, and simultaneously introduces readers to a forgotten way of life. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-This realistic picture book describes the mule-drawn Morris Canal boats that transported coal through the American northeast over 100 years ago. Captains would steer the boat through the waters while animals, traveling on land alongside and just ahead of them, would tow. This method of transport, while effective and painstakingly engineered, was relatively short-lived; with the advent of trains, the Morris Canals were abandoned. In this story, nine-year-old Asa is enlisted to help his father by taking the place of his hired mule handler. Yezerski's characterization is adequate but it's fairly obvious that Asa and his father exist primarily to relate the story of the canals. The perfunctory dialogue contributes little to the narrative. "Captain, how about you take along a pumpkin pie for your new driver?" says one friendly lock tender/baker. And so it goes, with the two cheerily making forward progress, until a storm blows in, damaging the boat and spooking the mules that run off. Even this doesn't seem to rattle the imperturbable Captain who is "-sure the mules found a farm nearby-." Why he's so secure in his assumption that the animals-upon which his livelihood depends-are safe is unclear. The book relies primarily on its rustic watercolor-and-pen illustrations to communicate feeling and expression. They also provide information on how the boats, locks, and aqueducts worked. Thin characterization and dialogue aside, the book does a good job of explaining this obsolete and little-known method of transport.-Catherine Threadgill, Charleston County Public Library, SC Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374425029
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
09/01/1902
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Thomas F. Yezerski is the author and illustrator of many books for children, including Together in Pinecone Patch and Queen of the World. He lives in Rutherford, New Jersey

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