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The Young Man and the Sea

Review

The Young Man and the Sea

I've never lived by the sea or been a fisherman, but Rodman Philbrick makes me feel the ocean spray in my face with his vivid descriptions of Skiff Beaman's adventures in Spinney Cove. The story of Skiff's memorable summer is told in the straightforward, humorous voice of Skiff himself.

Skiff Beaman is angry at the world, and he has good reason. After his mother dies, his father won't get off the couch or stop feeling sorry for himself. Skiff thinks that his dad will come to life when he tells him that their fishing boat, the Mary Rose, sank. But nothing short of a miracle will get his dad off the couch and out of the house.

With the help of the local fishermen, including old Mr. Woodwell, Skiff learns how he can raise the Mary Rose all by himself. The boat is badly damaged and repairs will be quite expensive. Skiff comes up with a plan to make money, but obstacles soon get in his way, his biggest one being Tyler Croft, the town bully. Tyler has it out for Skiff just because he's a swamper and therefore sabotages Skiff's moneymaking plans. But then Skiff gets a really "big" idea. If he isn't careful, though, this idea could cost him his life.

Skiff's determination is contagious, and I found myself rooting for him all the way, right up until the end of the story. If you want to find out if he can beat the odds and keep a promise he made to his mother, then you must read THE YOUNG MAN AND THE SEA.

Reviewed by Renee Kirchner on February 1, 2004

The Young Man and the Sea
by Rodman Philbrick

  • Publication Date: February 1, 2004
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Sky Press
  • ISBN-10: 0439368294
  • ISBN-13: 9780439368292