Black Duck

Black Duck

3.71 (2,410 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

It is spring 1929, and Prohibition is in full swing. So when Ruben and Jeddy find a dead body washed up on the shore of their small coastal Rhode Island town, they are sure it has something to do with smuggling liquor. Soon the boys, along with Jeddy's strongwilled sister, Marina, are drawn in, suspected by rival bootlegging gangs of taking something crucial off the dead man. Then Ruben meets the daring captain of the Black Duck, the most elusive smuggling craft of them all, and it isn't long before he's caught in a war between two of the most dangerous prohibition gangs. "Riveting mystery and nonstop adventure." --School Library Journal
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 252 pages
  • 127 x 172.72 x 17.78mm | 158.76g
  • Puffin Books
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0142409022
  • 9780142409022
  • 753,740

Review quote

Lots of adventure and mystery. (VOYA) Riveting mystery and nonstop adventure. (School Library Journal) The setting's cinematic detail brings the exhilarating action close, and readers will easily see themselves in young Ruben. (Booklist)
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About Janet Taylor Lisle

Janet Taylor Lisle was born in Englewood, New Jersey and grew up in Farmington, Connecticut, spending summers on the coast of Rhode Island. The eldest and only daughter in a family of five children, she was educated at local schools and at fifteen entered The Ethel Walker School, a girl's boarding school in Simsbury, Ct.After graduation from Smith College in 1969 with a degree in English Literature, she enlisted and was trained for work in VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). She lived and worked for the next two years in Atlanta, Georgia, organizing food-buying cooperatives in the city's public housing projects and teaching in an early-child care center. Catalyzed by this experience, she enrolled in journalism courses at Georgia State University with the idea of writing about the poverty she had seen. This was the beginning of a reporting career that extended over the next ten years.

With the birth of her daughter in 1977, Lisle turned to writing projects that could be accomplished at home. In 1984, The Dancing Cats of Applesap, her first novel for children, was published. Subsequently, she has published ten other novels.

Afternoon of the Elves, a 1990 Newbery Honor Book, has been translated into six languages. It was produced as a play by the Seattle Children's Theater in 1993, and continues to be performed in children's theaters throughout the U.S. In this book, as in others she has written, the author plumbs a borderland between reality and fantasy where imagination holds sway and the ordinary surfaces of life crack open to reveal hidden worlds.

Elves, fairies and exotic creatures make appearances in her novels but whether they are real within the story, or merely imaginative projections of her characters, is often left unresolved.

"I think of magic as that which is still waiting to be discovered," the author has said. "I put it in my books to remind readers (myself included) to keep a sharp eye out. The unknown is everywhere, all around us and lurking even in our own minds."

She lives on the Rhode Island coast with her husband, Richard Lisle, and their daughter Elizabeth, a college student.

copyright (c) 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.
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Rating details

2,410 ratings
3.71 out of 5 stars
5 26% (615)
4 35% (847)
3 27% (661)
2 9% (213)
1 3% (74)

Our customer reviews

David\'s dream is to become a reporter. His father wants him to help run the family landscaping business. David\'s dream leads him to a man, Ruban, with possible connections to the Black Duck, the famous rum-running boat during the prohibition in Rhode Island. David tells Ruban that he\'s a senior in high school and might get published in the local newspaper. In reality, David is just starting his freshman year. Ruban reluctantly tells David some facts about the town during the time period, starting with the day that he and his best friend, Jeddy, found a dead body on the beach. When they went to alert the authorities, the body disappeared and the boys were warned not to talk about it. Over the course of several visits, Ruban tells more of the story to David. Ruban\'s initial curiosity led him down a different path than Jeddy, as he wanted to know more about the body, more about the rum-runners, and even wanted to lend a hand. Soon he and Jeddy were at odds over the rum business. What started as an innocent curiosity led Ruban into danger that neither boy could have imagined. The BLACK DUCK blends worlds with the interruptions between David\'s questions and Ruban\'s story. While Jeddy and Ruban had an amazing story, Ruban feels that the whole story isn\'t his to tell and that Jeddy owns a piece of it. However, with Jeddy dying, Ruban clears his mind of guilt and finishes the tale. The BLACK DUCK is a unique historical fiction novel that will engage readers.show more
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