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Nacky Patcher & the Curse of the Dry-Land Boats Hardcover – June 21, 2007

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1170L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel; First Impression edition (June 21, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399246045
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399246043
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,804,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

For many generations, the poverty-stricken inhabitants of Yole have been under the thumb of the cruel Baloo family. When Nacky Patcher and his young friend Teedie discover the pieces of a sailing ship floating in the town lake, they rally the townspeople. Soon the luckless folk who have been oppressed by the Baloos are working toward a dream of rebuilding the ship and hauling it from their inland lake to the sea. By fulfilling the local legend of the "dry-land boats," they hope to restore their good fortune. The plot unfolds slowly, giving Kluger plenty of time to describe settings and colorful characters, and he takes full advantage of that. The inclusion of lengthy backstories and the deliberate pace of the telling may discourage readers at the book's beginning, but once the boatbuilding begins, the novel gains momentum. An attractive shaded pencil drawing appears at the beginning of each section, and a small drawing enhances each chapter heading. Phelan, Carolyn


A fully imagined fantasy with a twist of magic. -- Publishers Weekly

A vivid and compelling story...eager readers with an appreciation for imaginative language and storytelling will be rewarded. -- VOYA

The novel pulses with a passion for the way things work...there's not a boring sentence. -- The Washington Post

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
As a children's librarian who reviews a book or two on the side, I've seen my fair share of new titles. And the one thing I almost instantly try to ascertain about any title that falls into my lap is audience. Who is the author writing for? Do they have a sense of their age group? Will massive amounts of children be interested in the book or will this be considered a "special" title for only a certain kind of child reader? Is it too YA? I consider all these questions, weigh them carefully, then plunk my tuchis down on the couch and proceed to type up a handy dandy little review like the one you see here. Nothing could be simpler. Nothing, that is, until I run across a book like "Nacky Patcher and the Curse of the Dry-Land Boats". Heavens to Betsy, what are we to make of this? Certainly it's a book that worms its way into the inner recesses of your frontal lobe and then reminds you of little plot details at the most inappropriate of moments. And I can tell you that I finished this book about a month ago, yet when I picked it up to review it bounced back into my brain as if I'd just that INSTANT set it down after the 374th page. The pickle is that I can't quite figure out who it was written for. It's almost too specialized for even the "special" child reader I alluded to earlier, and yet it's not a teen book at all. Almost a book for adults written in a child-friendly format, but with enough significant details that it could also be a tale to read each night before beddy-bye. Quite frankly, I don't know what to do with it. By all means, if you want a great read, wonderful characters, details that remain with you long after you've finished, and a lovely story, "Nacky Patcher" may be right up your alley. But for kids? I tell you truly that I have no idea at all. None.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
but I enjoyed it very much. I got my copy on a Wednesday afternoon and finished it around dawn on Friday morning. The characters are not tidy and polished but I cared about them a great deal. The villain was truly villainous, but the hero was remarkably flawed. The ending was nothing that I had expected, but it was right. I suggest giving the book a try, you may not find deep meaning, but it's a good tale well-told and has a flavor of the Appalachians though I gather it is more Irish in origin.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Royal Welsh on September 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
We've read a chapter or two a night of some wonderful book or other out loud to our son for many years now.

We've only missed perhaps a handful of nights in the ten years since we began this just-before-bedtime ritual (we started these family read-alouds when our son was not quite one and he's now just past eleven), and in the intervening years we've read hundreds, if not thousands, of truly memorable books -- both fiction and non-fiction.

Every once in a while, though, we'll come across a particular stellar, absolutely stand-out read. "Nacky Patcher and the Curse of the Dry-Land Boats" is our family's own most recently-read favorite of these.

It's a *fabulous* book.

We were completely captivated by this extraordinary tale and stretched it out as long as we possibly could, increasingly reducing ourselves to reading only partial chapters, so loathe were we all to come to its end.

Like a young person's "Everyman" or like Doblin's Franz Biberkopf, Nacky Patcher is an unlikely hero, as is his wayward young protege, Teedie Flynn.

But thanks to Jeffrey Kluger's deft hand, his unerring ear for curiously-perfect dialogue, and his Pico della Mirandola-like belief in the essential goodness of man (and woman) kind, Nacky Patcher and Teedie Flynn take us places we didn't even realize we wanted to go, and introduce us everywhere along the way to an unlikely and richly-imagined cast of characters -- nearly all of whom we quickly grew to love (and some to loathe) and every one of whom shall stay with us always.

This is a densely-textured, mellifluously-hued, and spectacularly-interwoven tapestry of a tale. We highly recommend it for one and all -- and read it aloud if you can!
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