The Unfortunate Son [NOOK Book]

Overview

Kidnapping, family secrets, and adventure on the high seas--perfect for middle grade fans of historical fiction!

What does it mean to be lucky? Luc doesn't really know. He was born with just one ear, his father constantly berates him, and his younger brother is already bigger and stronger than he is. But when he is chosen to become an apprentice to a local fisherman, his life takes a turn for the better. Luc is a natural at sea, and before ...
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The Unfortunate Son

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Overview

Kidnapping, family secrets, and adventure on the high seas--perfect for middle grade fans of historical fiction!

What does it mean to be lucky? Luc doesn't really know. He was born with just one ear, his father constantly berates him, and his younger brother is already bigger and stronger than he is. But when he is chosen to become an apprentice to a local fisherman, his life takes a turn for the better. Luc is a natural at sea, and before long he and a teenaged girl who lives with the fisherman form a strong bond. That bond is tested when Luc is taken captive by a band of merciless pirates, and sold into slavery.

Moving from 1485 to 1500, from France to Africa, from humble beginnings to a noble future, this historical fiction adventure will leave readers pondering the true meaning of good fortune.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5–9—Readers are effortlessly transported back to 15th-century France in this beautiful tale of misfortune turned salvation. Born with only one ear, Luc was never the favored son. His father despises him and doesn't care when Luc apprentices himself to Pons, an elderly fisherman. The fishing village is richly detailed, romanticized yet realistic. Luc's fortune seems to change while he lives under the care of Pons, his sister Mattie, and 14-year-old Beatrice, daughter of a disgraced knight. The fully drawn characters banter back and forth, creating a warm surrogate family. The dialogue sparkles; the rapport between Luc and Beatrice is outstanding. When Pons and Luc are attacked by Saracen pirates, Luc's misfortune seems to return. Enslaved and purchased for a pittance because of his missing ear, his highly educated master realizes Luc's intelligence and begins to teach his new slave-an excellent illustration of education bridging barriers. Luc's world expands dramatically but he still longs for freedom. In France, Beatrice refuses to give up hope regarding his fate, even though her family has been cleared. She returns to nobility, taking Pons and Mattie with her. She believes rumors that Luc is not a simple country lad. But who is he? Freed upon his master's death, Luc returns to France to find his family, and Beatrice must choose between him and a nobleman. This fine historical novel is set in a place and time that is not commonly explored.—Lisa Crandall, Capital Area District Library, Holt, MI
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Leeds' stellar central cast, with their great hearts and plausible flaws, is bound to charm the audience."
Indiebound
Summer 2012 Kids' Indie Next Pick
Booklist
"Leeds' story, by turns epic, intimate, tangled, and romantic, takes a cast of indelibly colorful characters across continents steeped in a sense of place and paints a visceral picture of duty, perseverance, and their just reward."
Kirkus Reviews
The nature of luck, fortune and fate is dissected and reexamined over the course of this outstanding novel. Born with only one ear, Luc considers his lot in life distinctly unlucky. His father hates him, seemingly without reason, so when the chance arises to apprentice with a local fisherman, the boy leaps at it. Living with the fisherman's family he grows close to their ward, the beautiful Beatrice, and things seem to be looking up… until he's kidnapped by pirates and sold to a Tunisian in North Africa. While Luc receives an education from his learned master, Beatrice looks into Luc's past and discovers that he is the discarded son of a particularly vicious count. Though the plot falls into familiar territory--a hero discovers his true parentage--Leeds sets the book up as more of a historical conspiracy tale. Indeed, Beatrice's attempts to unravel the truth reveal the dead count's vast cover-up, unknown to even Luc's brother. Leeds writes delicately, fleshing out each character as a fully realized human being. Set in 15th-century France and Tunisia, the book is also meticulously researched, throwing readers into a past that feels fresh and new. Engaging from the very first page, this is one work of historical fiction that will have even readers who prefer fantasy clamoring for a sequel. (Historical fiction. 9-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101572375
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/14/2012
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 1
  • Sales rank: 1,317,803
  • Age range: 11 - 14 Years
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


Constance Leeds (1950 - 2012) was also the author of The Silver Cup, winner of the IRA's 2008 Children's and Young Adult Book Award in the Intermediate Fiction category. She lived in Boston, Massachusetts.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2013

    Amazing peace of ler Astosnishing peace of letreacher

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