Monday, September 6, 2010

Black Duck Novel Review

My name is Danielle Reynolds. I am in 6th grade Advanced English at Brookland Middle School. I was asked to read a novel over the summer and I chose "Black Duck" by Janet Taylor Lisle. I picked this book instead of the other books because when I read the back cover it seemed more interesting than the others and I liked the title of the book.

Overall, I did not like this novel as much as other books I have read because I wanted to read them and I had to read this book. "Black Duck" started off interesting in the first seven or eight chapters but then the story was slow and boring and the plot switched from the friends Jeddy and Ruben and over to the story more about the boat. Ruben tells the story as the narrator and is now an old man telling the story to a young boy named David in middle school who wants to be a reporter.

The story starts with the friends Jeddy and Ruben finding a dead body washed up on shore at Coulter beach in the year 1929. Running liquor on boats to shore was common then and they wondered if the famous rum runner, Black Duck was involved with the dead body. They saw a fancy watch on the dead man and Ruben found a pipe case. Ruben checked the body and put the pipe case in his coat pocket and forgot he had it until later. He did not tell Jeddy about his find. They called the police and the body disappeared by the time the police went to the beach. The police kept asking about a wallet or anything else they might have found but Jeddy and Ruben never told about the expensive watch or the pipe case. Later they found out that Tom Morrison, the old man who was a loner living in a shack on the beach, had also seen the body and had taken the fancy watch for himself.  Strange men came and talked to the old man and even killed his old dog. It was very sad.

The boys  Jeddy and Ruben seemed like great friends in the beginning of the book and in the end of the book they split up and stopped talking to each other because of the dead body and because Jeddy believed in doing what was right and Ruben wanted to be a part of the excitement. I think it is also because they keep secrets from each other and spend less time with each other once they each starting to do jobs.

Ruben Hart lived with his mother and father. He was very adventurous and he kept very many secrets to himself. He was very outging and more of a leader than Jeddy because of how he acted and what he did in the story. Ruben worked with his father for a man who owned the general store. Ruben also helped unload rum from a boat on shore once almost getting caught. Ruben sometimes skipped school and did things that were bad. His dad had to let him help with the rum running because of his boss, Riley, at the store or he might lose his job.

Jeddy McKenzie is the other main character in the story. He lives with his sister, Marina, and his dad. His mother died when he was little boy. Jeddy's dad was the chief of police for the town. Jeddy is quieter than Ruben and is happy to follow instructions given to him by adults. Jeddy does not work with rum running and instead works on a chicken farm.

Overall, I thought ''Black Duck'' was an ok book but maybe more for boys. I would rate this book on a scale from 1-10, a 4. If I could choose again, I would read a different book.