Tag Archives: 2012

The Unfortunate Son

The Unfortunate Son

The Unfortunate Son

Luc works hard, even though he’s just a boy. His father is constantly complaining about him and finding more and more work for him to do. He never has enough to eat. When a local fisherman wants to take him on as an apprentice the offer includes living with the fisherman and his sister in the village. Luc can’t believe it when his father lets him go.

Luc works hard on Pons’ fishing boat too but the work is a lot different. Mostly it’s different  because Pons doesn’t yell at him, or complain, or hit him. Pons teaches Luc about the weather, sailing, fishing techniques and the sea.

What’s more, Pons and his sister have also taken in Beatrice, a girl who is the first real friend Luc has ever had. The four of them make a family. Luc feels like his luck has suddenly turned…until the day Pons’ boat is overtaken by pirates and Luc is taken captive and sold into slavery.

When the man who buys Luc gets him home, he directs his servent to give Luc a bath and give him clean clothes. Luc’s wounds are washed and bandaged. He is fed. But then metal bands are places around his ankles.

“These show you are mine. They will protect you.” Luc blinked and stared at the man. He was confused by the gentleness and care. He looked down at the metal bands. Though he understood nothing of the man’s language, he understood that the rings showed he was a slave, that they demonstrated that, despite the kindness, Luc was now the property of this stranger. (page 113)

With a voice that cracked, he [Luc] asked, “Am I never to go home again?” The old man paused. “This is your home now, Luc. Do not speak again of the life you had. It is gone.” (page 114)

Even though he lives now in a nice house and is well fed and going to school, he is still a slave. All Luc wants to do is go home to Pons, Mattie & Beatrice. All Pons, Mattie & Beatrice want is to find him. This is the story of one boy, his changing fortunes and the people who love him. You might be surprised by some of the people who turn out to care. Author: Constance Leeds

Here are some more books about boys like Luc who find themselves under the power of others; stories about how these boys fight back to regain their freedom:

A Conspiracy of Kings Deadweatehr and Sunrise
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Staff Pick: The Lions of Little Rock

Staff Pick: The Lions of Little Rock

The Lions of Little Rock

Krisitin Levine’s sensitive and engaging novel The Lions of Little Rock takes place during the struggle to integrate public schools in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1958. The narrator is 12 year old Marlee , who seldom speaks to anyone except family members. Math whiz Marlee prefers numbers to words, “ In math, you always get the same answer, no matter how you do the problem. But with words, blue can be a thousand different shades!” That changes when she becomes friends with Liz, a new girl at school. Their friendship is disrupted when Liz suddenly disappears from school after it is discovered that she is black and not welcome at the still segregated school. The story that follows is not only about Marlee finding her voice in many ways, but also about the courage it took for individuals in the Little Rock community to find their voices, come together, and stand up for what is right. The author successfully combines themes of friendship, family, and profound issues in our society with a light enough touch that makes the book a pleasure to read, and encourages the reader to reflect on all the issues the story presents.

Recommended by: Amy Friedman, The Learning Curve@Central Library

More Staff Picks

More books about school integration in Little Rock:

The Little Rock Nine Stand Up for Their Rights Little Rock Girl 1957Little Rock Nine
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Staff Pick: Circle of Cranes

Staff Pick: Circle of Cranes

Circle of Cranes

Taken from her small, impoverished Chinese village and forced to sew in a New York City sweatshop, thirteen-year-old Suyin is visited by the cranes with which she has a strange connection and learns she is the daughter of the Crane Queen, who needs her help.
Circle of Cranes by Annette Lebox

“A traditional Asian tale of “The Crane Wife” set in modern times, “Circle of Cranes” chronicles the captivating tale of Suyin, a young teenager who is sent to work as a seamstress in New York in the hopes she will garner riches for her impoverished Chinese village.  Quickly disillusioned when she instead finds herself working for pennies in a sweatshop, Suyon receives unexpected help from a flock of cranes that hold the key in discovering her heritage and her destiny.  With vivid prose and a moving plot, Lebox crafts a compelling read that brilliantly weaves the past with the present and creates a world that still finds hope and magic even in the bleakest of times.”

Recommended by Emily Chandler, Lawrence Library

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The Chronicles of Egg: Deadweather and Sunrise

The Chronicles of Egg: Deadweather and Sunrise

Deadweather & Sunrise

Egg’s Cinderella-like (the servant part, not the princess part) life is changed overnight when his family disappears and he is taken in by the wealthy Mr. Pembroke.  Egg thinks life in the Pembroke mansion is pretty sweet. Does he miss his family? Kinda. He doesn’t miss being the family servant at all. Doesn’t miss doing extra chores. Doesn’t miss getting spit on.

But when he discovers that Mr. Pembroke is up to something involving a map of his family’s plantation, Egg starts to suspect that there’s something fishy about the reason Mr. Pembroke suddenly wants to adopt him. And besides, he doesn’t want Millicent Pembroke to be his SISTER. He wants her to be his WIFE.

With the help of Guts, a one-handed cabin boy and Millicent, Egg sets sail on a small boat to return to Deadweather, the pirate-infested island that is home to the plantation and a small army of pirate field hands.

Mr. Pembroke thinks there is a treasure there. Egg’s father thought there was a treasure there. If there is a treasure there, Egg is going to find it and his band of misfit pirate friends have his back. A funny, smashbuckling, treasure hunting adventure in the spirit of Pirates of the Caribbean. Looking forward to book 2. Author: Geoff Rodkey

 

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Giants Beware!

Giants Beware!

Giants Beware!Claudette is a sword swinging action girl determined to save her town from an evil giant that lives outside the town walls – a giant that has been terrorizing the townfolk by raiding for its favorite food…baby feet! All the adults want to think the wall is good enough protection. Claudette thinks the best defense is a good offense. She recruits her friend Marie, who aspires to be a princess, her little brother Gaston, who aspires to be a chef, and her pug Valiant, to sneak out of town and kick some giant booty.

Being brave means that even if you are scared, you can still look fear in the eyes and tell it…I’m going to kick your ever-lovin’butt! (page 92)

Claudette’s rag tag band of giant warriors faces certain death at the hands of the apple hag, the river king and the baby feet eating giant himself…and discover that they are braver, tougher, smarter, more loyal and the best friends EVER! A perfect graphic novel adventure for you if you like Amelia Rules! or The Secret Science Alliance.

More action kids ready to kick bad guys’ ever-lovin’ butts!:
Amelia Rules Superheroes The Secret Science Alliance Kiki Strike Inside the Shadow City The World of Quest
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