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Nacky Patcher & the Curse of the Dry-Land Boatsby Jeffrey Kluger
Synopses & Reviews
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 seeÂ—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 have‛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 reader‛ hearts and imaginations.
"'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)' Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)"
"If that title doesn't lure readers in, the first few lines should: 'Nothing Nacky Patcher and Teedie Flinn discovered in the Yole lake caused them to suspect they were losing their wits. That was good, since what they found in the blackberry water early that night just as the owl light was fading and true dark was arriving would surely have caused most folks to believe they'd come unsprung.' Most... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) of this original, challenging novel's key elements are right there: a mystery (centering on the vast teakwood ship, broken into thousands of pieces, that is afloat in the little, round lake in the middle of the town of Yole); a mythic, vaguely Anglo-Saxon setting; a poetic style, at once incisive and stately; and a host of memorable names. The bonuses, soon evident, are a crackling plot (Yole's motley residents must battle the tightfisted town master to rebuild the ship and shatter an old curse) and a dry, lurking wit. And there's another quality to Nacky Patcher that's as rare as diamonds (although J.K. Rowling exhibits it, too): respect for this in-between age group's intelligence and curiosity. The novel pulses with a passion for the way things work, especially nautical things, that would do David Macaulay and Patrick O'Brian proud. Kluger obviously believes there are 10- and 12-year-olds out there who are wired the same way and isn't afraid to hit them with plugs and trunnels, keelsons and garboards, steamboxes and the intricacies of sails and riggings. Miraculously, there's not a boring sentence in the book. It could have kids all over America building boats in their backyards. Elizabeth Ward can be reached at warde(at symbol)washpost.com." Reviewed by lan Coopermanlan Coopermanlan Coopermanlan CoopermanJonathan YardleyJon MeachamSimon Sebag MontefioreStephen AmidonGary KristEliza McGrawEliza McGrawEliza McGrawEliza McGrawSarah L. CourteauRobert PinskyElizabeth Ward, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
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In the blackberry waters of Yole Lake, Nacky Patcher and Teedie Flinn find 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.
About the Author
Jeffrey Kluger lives in New York City.
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