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The Black Pearl

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Overview

From the depths of a cave in the Vermilion Sea, Ramon Salazar has wrested a black pearl so lustrous and captivating that his father, an expert pearl dealer, is certain Ramon has found the legendary Pearl of Heaven. Such a treasure is sure to bring great joy to the villagers of their tiny coastal town, and even greater renown to the Salazar name. No diver, not even the swaggering Gaspar Ruiz, has ever found a pearl like this!

But is there a price to pay for a prize so great? When...

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The Black Pearl

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Overview

From the depths of a cave in the Vermilion Sea, Ramon Salazar has wrested a black pearl so lustrous and captivating that his father, an expert pearl dealer, is certain Ramon has found the legendary Pearl of Heaven. Such a treasure is sure to bring great joy to the villagers of their tiny coastal town, and even greater renown to the Salazar name. No diver, not even the swaggering Gaspar Ruiz, has ever found a pearl like this!

But is there a price to pay for a prize so great? When a terrible tragedy strikes the village, old Luzon’s warning about El Diablo returns to haunt Ramon. If El Diablo actually exists, it will take all Ramon’s courage to face the winged creature waiting for him offshore.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A 16-year-old boy does battle with an enormous devilfish that guards a rare, black pearl. PW said this 1968 Newbery Honor Book reverberates with "proud admiration of the courage of the human spirit." Ages 10-up. (Mar.)
Children's Literature
Set in the small town of La Paz in the Baja of California, this interesting tale, told by sixteen-year-old Ramon, mixes local culture and superstition about a mysterious black pearl, and a sea urchin called Manta Diablo. Told in a style reminiscent of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Manta Diablo is a sea monster that supposedly lives in a nearby lagoon and like most fairy tales, is used liberally by mothers and fathers to scare their children into being good. Local fisherman and pearl divers also fear the wrath of Manta Diablo and continue to pass on the story that no one should enter Manta Diablo's domain. When divers or fisherman fail to return from the sea, Manta Diablo is blamed. So the legend goes that no one should anger him in any way. Ramon's father is a local pearl dealer. Ramon often works in his shop listening to the local lore about the existence of a large black pearl in the cove where Manta Diablo lives. He longs to be a pearl diver but his father forbids it because it is too dangerous. He warns Ramon that only bad luck will come to those who possess the black pearl. Ramon decides to disobey his father and search for the forbidden black pearl. With the help of a local fisherman, he journeys to the forbidden lagoon and recovers the black pearl. Its existence in La Paz is cause for both joy and fear. Many do not believe it is the actual pearl, and pearl dealers hesitate to possess it. It is decided that the pearl will be given to the local church to be held in good keeping by the Virgin Mary, but the pearl continues to exert its influence. Young readers will enjoy this immersion into a culture so vividly described, and following Ramon on the adventure of the black pearl. The story isperfect for reading aloud to provide time for discussion on cultural understanding. 1996 (orig. 1967), Dell Books, Ages 10 to 14.
—Meredith Kiger, Ph.D.
From the Publisher
"A gripping story that will hold practically any age enthralled." Horn Book

"A gripping story that will hold practically any age enthralled." Horn Book Guide

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547334004
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/12/2010
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 94,624
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Scott O’Dell (1898–1989), one of the most respected authors of historical fiction, received the Newbery Medal, three Newbery Honor Medals, and the Hans Christian Andersen Author Medal, the highest international recognition for a body of work by an author of books for young readers. Some of his many books include The Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Road to Damietta, Sing Down the Moon, and The Black Pearl.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 82 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(39)

4 Star

(21)

3 Star

(12)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 83 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2009

    Fith grade book report

    The Black Pearl
    Scott O'dell
    Mifflin Company
    Realistic fiction

    Some might say pearling is easy, but really it's hard work. For Ramon Salazar and his family, pearling is everything. In the book The Black Pearl by Scott O'Dell Ramon Salazar his family and everyone els in La Paz believe in a monster called the Manta Diablo. During a pearling trip the people on board say they saw the monster. Ramon's father, Blas Salazar owns a pearling diving business. Finally Blas takes his son on a pearling trip. After Ramon wants to dive. He goes to a special spot and finds something of great worth. This is a great book to read, and suggest you read it.

    In this book there are mainly two characters. Ramon Salazar is the most important character in the story. He finds something his father Blas Salazar had been looking for his whole life. Ramon is a very curious kid, and wants to learn everything he can about pearling. Blas is a great pearler . He is the one who teaches Ramon about pearling. Blas owes a searching and selling company for pearls. Another character is Father Gallardo. Gallardo is the one who arranges a party for what Ramon finds.

    The Black Pearl is definitely one of the best books I've ever read. This page turner will keep you reading from cover to cover. I think everyone should read this classic, especially people who love exciting and life changing stories. This book will change the way you look at other books. You will just as I did the heart warming story of Ramon Salazar. I love the way it seems like your actually meeting the characters. The Black Pearl is also a book that is easy to understand. That is another reason I like the book. Thank you for reading my book report.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2006

    Blown Away by a Faded Memory

    This book bought so meny things to me, that while reading i thought it was all forign. It helped opened my mind to abstract thoughts and what ones purpose is .... its been a long time since a picked up the book and the memories of a wonderful polt have been fade over a few years. I didn't enjoy reading till i picked up this book, and was blowned away by the adventure. However I have not read anything else by this author.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2013

    This is a classic

    I am absolutely ashamed of society. I have a copy of this book and thought it would be crap because I don't like foriegn things however I eventually got around to it and loved it! I saved this book from a school library that was going to discard it and they told me a story of how it got there, one day a teacher was going to the library and saw one of her favorite books in the discard pile. She decided to take it and fix it up for a classroom read for the fourth graders in her class. Well no one ever read the black pearl so after a while she had it put back in the library and seven years later the book was close to the end of its days once again, that's when I saw it. I wanted to do something good for the place so I donated a few of my books and they gave me the black pearl in return. Now, I wasn't too exited but I said thankyou and politely left with a book I wasn't going to read. I read every book I get so I had to read it three years later and loved it, not right away but eventually I came to love ramon and all of the other characters as well.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 10, 2011

    Pretty good

    I am a 4 grader,it had good vocab,could've been better if it was longer

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Book

    I read it when i was younger (12 i think) and i loved it, thinking about rereading it to brush up on what i forgot maybe.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2003

    attention getter

    This is a great book. Not only did it grasp my attention but it kept it through out the whole book. And to tell you the truth not many books that I have read do that. It is very good in details and never fails to make you want to tell your friends about it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2002

    WOW

    this book is the greatest of all !!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2002

    great book

    Good book

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2002

    Manta Diablo

    The book is awswome! Im reading it now and its one of my favorite's the suspense is so nerve racing and you just cant stop reading the book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2014

    Nice.

    Read it and you will understand my opinion perfectly.
    That's a promise.

    -Opinion: Should get a total of 9999999999999999999999999 99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999+ stars.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2013

    Happy feet

    What is with everyone hating it because they had to read it for school

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2012

    Recently, I read the book, The Black Pearl by Scott O¿Dell. It

    Recently, I read the book, The Black Pearl by Scott O’Dell. It is mainly about a boy named Ramon who is learning, with the help of an older friend, how to find and retrieve pearls in the harbor. If he learns how to do this he will be able to work alongside his father in their business. Later, he ends up finding the pearl of heaven, which is known to be one of the greatest pearls. He was warned if he found this pearl that the Mante Diablo would come after him to get the pearl back. The Mante Diablo is said to be bigger than the largest ship in the harbor and have seven rows of teeth.
    I was disappointed and bored by this book though. I honestly think I didn’t enjoy the book because I wasn’t really interested in any of this book. I couldn’t really seem to connect with many points in the book. I can say that the further I read into the book the more I understood and took interest in it. I did connect with some things that helped me understand. I connected with how Ramon felt when his dad would yell at him because I have experienced that and I know the feelings Ramon had when he had to try something new and learn to work.
    To read this book I would say you had to be really into it or very concentrated. To me the book was very confusing. It had many different names and places that I was not familiar with. I say that this book is intended for older people unless you had a lot of interest in this subject. You would have to be an advanced reader to read this book because the language is harder.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    Hunter

    Read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"""

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2010

    boring

    never read this.book this is the worst one ive ever read

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2010

    A difference of opinion

    In my desire to expose my children to more classic novels, I chose this book to read aloud. And that is where the difference in opinion comes in. I remember the title from my youth, but didn't entirely recall the story. As I was reading the book to my children, I realized why. Even as an adult, I wasn't terribly interested in the story. However, my 10-year-old son was eager to hear the next chapter every night. What happened to Ramon? Gaspar? Is El Diablo real or a figment of a collective imagination? Though the improbable story about a coveted black pearl was a little too much for me, it fired the imagination of my young one. And is enough for me.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2008

    A good read

    Black Pearl was a very good book with terrific action chapters. This book I found to be a little hard to follow, though I read it when I was quite young! I do recommend this book to readers who are around the age 10-14. (10 being you enjoy reading very much and 14 you don't really read as much for you will understand it a lot more.)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2007

    A reviewer

    I found the black pearl to be an interesting and exciting book because its about a kid named Ramon and how he finds a big black pearl and what he does with it i think that instead of giving it to the church Ramon should have sold it to the pearl buyers so they would have alot of money to buy things that they needed i also think that if the pearl was bringing Ramon bad luck then he should have thrown it back into the ocean and if that was not what was causing his misfortune then i think that he should have gone back to the lagoon to find some more big pearls so he can make alot of money i think that the incident with the manta diablo was pretty cool because Ramon really did not care but as he told the Sevillano that it was next to the boat he got really scared, but later on in the book the sevillano concers his fear of the manta diablo by harpooning it and going into the water to kill it and Ramon wants to help but the sevillano tells him that his knife won't hurt the manta diablo so Ramon stays on the boat and sees the sevillano kill the manta diablo and the sevillano goes onto the boat while the manta diablo is falling in the water he is dragged down with it

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2007

    A reviewer

    I absolutely love The Black Pearl as it is a fabulous book to read with my students! Adolescent boys really get into the plot of The Black Pearl! What I enjoy the most is the deep issues of life that it addresses through symbolism. It's all about growing up and 16-year-old Ramon has to choose what kind of man he wants to become: will he try to be a 'tough guy' like his rival, the Sevillano, or does he want to be like his father - a successful businessman? Through incredible action and adventure, this story shows that to grow up you have to face your pride and yours fears and overcome them.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2006

    Review for class

    The Black Pearl is about a boy named Ramon and his adventure in finding this famous pearl. I think that this book could be used as a tool in introducing children into other cultures. O'Dell, Scott. The Black Pearl. New York: Yearling Books, 1967.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2005

    This is a eighth grade students opinion for the Black Pearl.

    My book is called the Black Pearl. This book is mainly about a young boy going on a voyage with his father and his own crew. The boy is just telling us in the book what is happening in each day on his own adventure. the boys name is Salavar and also the father. The setting is mostly on a lagoon in the middle of the sea inside a unknown island. The only reason the son wanted to come on the voyage is because one he wanted to see if the rumor of a monster was in he sea. also to show his father that he was a man not just a little boy anymore. I would recommened somebody to read this book only if they are willing to give a great mental picture.Also to read this book you need to put yourself into the book to understand what you're reading in the book. If you want to read this book you have to really read and understand it not just read it because you have nothing else to do. Or you will not understand want the book means and why the author wrote the book.My opinion for the book would be a good one. But it was too unorginzed like when you get into a part you like it just goes to another. If the scale was one to five I would give it a 4.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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