The Washington Post
Nacky Patcher & the Curse of the Dry-Land Boatsby Jeffrey Kluger
What Nacky Patcher and Teedie Flinn discover in the owl light and blackberry water of Yole Lake causes them to suspect they are losing their wits. Polished wood as far as the eye can see—an entire ship comes unbuttoned! Yet they see something else, too, something far more important: a way out from the curse that has burdened the poor folks of Yole for generations. But first, they will need the villagers to do something they haven’t done in a long time: work as a team.
Jeffrey Kluger, co-author of the blockbuster book-turned-film Apollo 13, delivers one of the finest, quirkiest, and most emotionally satisfying reads of the year. As they rise to the challenge of something greater than themselves, this cast of characters will capture readers’ hearts and imaginations.
The Washington Post
Kluger's first novel for young readers is a fully imagined fantasy with a twist of magic. The village of Yole, once a bustling seaport, is now an arid village, following the "Great Drying" when locals drained the sea, (wrongly) suspecting that fertile land lay beneath it. Now, a greedy landowner rules over a handful of hardscrabble villagers, though Nacky Patcher, an unsuccessful thief, believes that the ballad of the Dry-Land Boats (which he's heard since he was in the cradle) holds the key to the village's redemption. When Nacky and his young sidekick, orphan Teedie Flinn, come upon the wreckage of a ship in the dried-up sea, Nacky believes it is one of these legendary boats. To reverse the curse that has befallen Yole ("This here is a ghost boat turned real.... There's a way to break the charm what's holdin' this town, and we just spotted it"), Nacky insists the villagers help him reconstruct the ship-all "forty thousand and one" pieces of it. The tension mounts as Nacky and his crew work against impossible odds and deadlines to finish the ship. There are memorable characters aplenty and Nacky's swashbuckling adventure should be of special interest to those interested in shipbuilding and the seafaring life. Readers will want to follow the story with a careful eye so as not to miss any clues of the dry-land boats prophecy. Ages 10-up. (June)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
A dark charm has held the village of Yole for generations, keeping the folks poor and oppressed by Mally Balloo, the master who owns the town and delights in home-pitchings that evict the villagers. When readers first meet Nacky, he is a thief, a cheat, and a swindler, headed yet again to the penitents' tower. His punishment takes him aboard a ship that wrecks, leaving him with a wooden leg and a pet pig. He returns to Yole and, along with the orphan and alleged fire setter Teedie Flinn, sees an amazing sight in the lake: the wreckage of a teakwood clipper ship. The coast is a half-day's journey away. Could this be one of the dry-land boats in the children's songs-songs that predict the breaking of the dark charm? Nacky is sure that reconstructing the exactly 40,000 pieces of wood into a ship and hauling it to the sea will break the curse. But, for this to happen, all the townspeople must work together and agree to follow the lead of two ne'er-do-wells, Nacky and Teedie, and that seems highly unlikely. The theme of redemption winds through the story. The setting has a medieval feel, with hints of Ireland. This is a very long, complicated novel with lots of characters, subplots, and details. There is much invented vocabulary as well as technical terms and information related to shipbuilding. This quirky tale will appeal mainly to readers who like a challenge.
Connie Tyrrell BurnsCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
- Penguin Young Readers Group
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Penguin Group
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 2 MB
- Age Range:
- 10 Years
Meet the Author
Jeffrey Kluger lives in New York City.
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