Powder Monkey

Powder Monkey

Hardcover(Large Print)

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Forced into a life at sea by the Royal Navy Press Gangs, 12-year-old Tommy Kitt finds himself in a floating sea of misery. Poor living conditions and beatings occur daily. Despite his small size, Tommy must summon the courage and physical ability to prevail in a situation he cannot escape.
Suggested age range for readers: 8-12

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781616333843
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Publication date: 05/20/2013
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 24
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.25(d)

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Powder Monkey 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
sleepygirl More than 1 year ago
I received a free ecopy of this book for an honest review. Powder Monkey is a very short historical fiction book for children. It says it is for children 8 to 12 but, because of the content, I wouldn't recommend it for children under 10. This story is about a time when the Royal Navy Press Gangs took boys from their homes and put them to work on ships. They were treated poorly and many died. It's a horrible story based on fact and I think it would be a good idea for parents to read it with their children the first time so that they can discuss it. For each page of text there is a colorful illustration which children will enjoy. This is a good book for children to learn about a terrible time in history and how it affected both children and their families.
booknerdDS More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed "Powder Monkey" by Donna M. McDine. I had never heard of the "powder monkey" before and used this book as an incentive to do some research about what they actually did. Just like the story, young children were often taken from their parents homes and sent to see to perform these terrifying and very dangerous jobs. We see the terrifying conditions through the experience of Tommy Kitt who is also taken from his home and sent to see to become a powder monkey. Tommy's experience is very scary but portrays a very convincing journey about the life of these young people. I enjoyed this story but I did find it to be a little dark. The age recommendation is 8-12 any younger would not be appropriate. The illustrations were very well done and helped reinforce the story. Overall, I enjoyed and recommend this book.
Penelope_Anne_Cole More than 1 year ago
Powder Monkey by Donna McDine, illustrated by K.C. Snider, is strong historical fiction. It tells a story of a harsh period in British naval history that is not for the faint of heart. Two brothers are taken by the Royal Navy Press Gang and impressed into service aboard a warship. These boys, aged twelve and fourteen, are destined to run powder to the cannons during battles at sea. Tommy, the younger brother, is witness to the brutality of the press gang against his parents, who try to save their boys. He sees other boys, his neighbors, also taken into service. These farm boys have to learn to survive as servants of the crown, at the beck and call of the sailors they serve. These “powder monkeys” experience violence, and must perform the vilest duties aboard ship. K.C. Snider’s artwork captures the agony and horror suffered by those boys at that time in history. The haunting images she creates take us back to that awful period. We see the smoke, the filth, and the danger in these boys’ lives. It’s a wonder any of them lived through such an awful experience. Tommy’s will to survive overcomes his terrible circumstances, his pain, and his losses. He learns what he needs to do and does it. Although he never sees his parents again, he does become an able bodied seaman, and that’s as close to a happy ending as we get in this story. There is a lot to discuss here with students, especially those who might want to complain about their situation now. All they need to do is look at what happened to those boys back then. History lessons can be hard to hear – and harder to learn -- but these stories must be told.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite Powder Monkey by Donna M. McDine tells the story of 12-year-old Tommy Kitt. He is captured and forced to be a seaman by the Royal Navy Press Gang, which has also taken his older brother James and other young boys in his village. Life at sea is rough, yet Tommy determines to survive even though he may never return to his parents again. When it comes to books for children, the illustrations are just as important as the story itself. Worthy praise goes to illustrator K.C. Snider for the beautiful and nostalgic style of illustrations. The title itself is another attention grabber. I am always interested in history, and the life of young sailor boys in the Royal Navy in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries fascinates me. Tommy Kitt and the other boys’ hard lives at sea are described with such realism and accuracy of what these boys had to endure working for the Royal Navy during this harsh era. The action scenes are vividly portrayed, and the pacing of the story is superb. My only complaint is that the story is a bit short.  Nevertheless, Donna M. McDine's ability as an excellent storyteller is undeniable. Also, it is a story that presents historical facts in an interesting and compelling way. My nephew and I would love to know what fate has in store for Tommy the ‘powder monkey’. All in all, an excellent read that appeals both to young and adult readers.