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In 1878 appeared Dick Sands, the epic of the slave trade. This picture of the wilds of Africa, its adventures and its dangers, the savage hunting both of beasts and men, has always been a favorite among Verne's readers. It contains no marvels, no inventions, but merely, amid stirring scenes and actions seeks to convey two truthful impressions. One is the traveler's teachin In 1878 appeared Dick Sands, the epic of the slave trade. This picture of the wilds of Africa, its adventures and its dangers, the savage hunting both of beasts and men, has always been a favorite among Verne's readers. It contains no marvels, no inventions, but merely, amid stirring scenes and actions seeks to convey two truthful impressions. One is the traveler's teaching the geographical information, the picture of Africa as explorers, botanists, and zoologists have found it. The other is the moral lesson of the awful curse of slavery, its brutalizing, horrible influence upon all who come in touch with it, and the absolutely devastating effect it has had upon Africa itself.


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In 1878 appeared Dick Sands, the epic of the slave trade. This picture of the wilds of Africa, its adventures and its dangers, the savage hunting both of beasts and men, has always been a favorite among Verne's readers. It contains no marvels, no inventions, but merely, amid stirring scenes and actions seeks to convey two truthful impressions. One is the traveler's teachin In 1878 appeared Dick Sands, the epic of the slave trade. This picture of the wilds of Africa, its adventures and its dangers, the savage hunting both of beasts and men, has always been a favorite among Verne's readers. It contains no marvels, no inventions, but merely, amid stirring scenes and actions seeks to convey two truthful impressions. One is the traveler's teaching the geographical information, the picture of Africa as explorers, botanists, and zoologists have found it. The other is the moral lesson of the awful curse of slavery, its brutalizing, horrible influence upon all who come in touch with it, and the absolutely devastating effect it has had upon Africa itself.

30 review for Dick Sands the Boy Captain

  1. 4 out of 5

    Pramod Nair

    ‘Dick Sands, the Boy Captain’, from Jules Verne – the seventeenth book in the ‘Voyages Extraordinaires’ series - is an epic tale of maritime adventure. Originally written in French as ‘Un capitaine de quinze ans’ this 1878 classic blends a thrilling story of bravery, adventure, deception and revenge with stirring narrations of the perils of the Oceans, accounts of the fascinating geography and natural life of Equatorial Africa and the horrors of slave trade which will keep the reader glued to th ‘Dick Sands, the Boy Captain’, from Jules Verne – the seventeenth book in the ‘Voyages Extraordinaires’ series - is an epic tale of maritime adventure. Originally written in French as ‘Un capitaine de quinze ans’ this 1878 classic blends a thrilling story of bravery, adventure, deception and revenge with stirring narrations of the perils of the Oceans, accounts of the fascinating geography and natural life of Equatorial Africa and the horrors of slave trade which will keep the reader glued to the book. Set against the backdrop of the African wilderness this is the captivating coming of age story of a 15-year-old boy who is suddenly entrusted with momentous responsibilities by fate. (view spoiler)[‘Dick Sands’, is a 15-year-old sailor on-board a whaling schooner named ‘Pilgrim’, headed to San Francisco after a bad whaling season. During this return journey apart from the whaling crew and the sailors the ship also has the family of the owner of the whaling company with them as passengers. During the return voyage they rescues some survivors - five people and a dog - from the wreck of another ship. After this rescue they encounter a whale and decides to hunt it. The hunt goes bad for ‘Pilgrim’ as it results in the accidental death of its captain and the rest of the crew. ‘Dick Sands’ is the only person on the ship with sailing abilities and he is left with the huge responsibility of taking the ship and the rest of the passengers back to civilization. He bravely takes up this responsibility but there is someone evil lurking among the passengers of ‘Pilgrim’ with cunning schemes and plans of cruel betrayal, which ultimately directs the ship to Africa instead of San Francisco. What follows is a great adventure where Dick Sands courageously takes his passengers through the perils of dangerous seas, unknown landmasses, jungles teeming with hazards and attempts of betrayal and risk of slavery. (hide spoiler)] The level of detailing that Verne goes into while describing the sights and sounds that surround the plot is staggering. The geographic details, animal life - especially the insect life – and the plant life of Africa are all meticulously illustrated. As can be observed from a passage given below, the detailed way in which he describes the story makes the reader virtually experience the backdrops of each scene within the canvas of his mind in vivid clarity. The weather was very hot; ever since daybreak heavy clouds had been gathering upon the horizon, and it seemed hardly likely that the day would pass without a storm. Fortunately the woods were sufficiently light to ensure a certain amount of freshness to the surface of the soil. Here and there were large patches of tall, rank grass enclosed by clumps of forest trees. In some places, fossilized trunks, lying on the ground, betokened the existence of one of the coal districts that are common upon the continent of Africa. Along the glades the carpet of verdure was relieved by crimson stems and a variety of flowers; ginger-blossoms, blue and yellow, pale lobelias, and red orchids fertilized by the numerous insects that incessantly hovered about them. The trees did not grow in impenetrable masses of one species, but exhibited themselves in infinite variety. There was also a species of palm producing an oil locally much valued; there were cotton-plants growing in bushes eight or ten feet high, the cotton attached in long shreds to the ligneous stalks; and there were copals from which, pierced by the proboscis of certain insects, exudes an odorous resin that flows on to the ground and is collected by the natives. Then there were citrons and wild pomegranates and a score of other arborescent plants, all testifying to the fertility of this plateau of Central Africa. In many places, too, the air was fragrant with the odour of vanilla, though it was not possible to discover the shrub from which the perfume emanated. ‘Dick Sands, the Boy Captain’ may be one of the lesser-known works from Jules Verne but it is a recommended read for all fans of adventure stories. This may not be a fast paced narrative still it is a classic adventure story, which will fascinate readers of all age groups. It narrates an intense story along with gruesome accounts of the horrors of the Atlantic slave trade and the impact it had on the African mainland in great details.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Luís

    Dick Sand, with fifteen years, finds himself, by an incredible combination of circumstances, master aboard a boat, the Pilgrim. Responsible for bringing the ship and its passengers to safe harbour, Dick Sand deceiving by the ship's cook and ended up on the African coast. Beyond the picturesque adventure, Jules Verne poses here the problem of slavery, which he condemns, and he offers us a plea for freedom in addition to an extraordinary journey. Dick Sand, with fifteen years, finds himself, by an incredible combination of circumstances, master aboard a boat, the Pilgrim. Responsible for bringing the ship and its passengers to safe harbour, Dick Sand deceiving by the ship's cook and ended up on the African coast. Beyond the picturesque adventure, Jules Verne poses here the problem of slavery, which he condemns, and he offers us a plea for freedom in addition to an extraordinary journey.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Henry Avila

    Dick Sands,a fifteen year old American orphan, is on board the whaling ship "Pilgrim", headed for San Francisco.This apprentice sailor, is learning how to be master of a ship some day.That opportunity will arrive sooner than expected!Captain Hull had to put most of the rebellious crew on shore, in a New Zealand port. The ship is carrying Dick Sands, the skipper,five sailors,the owner's wife, Mrs. Weldon ,her young son Jack,a nurse and cousin Benedict(a bug collector). Also the mysterious and unf Dick Sands,a fifteen year old American orphan, is on board the whaling ship "Pilgrim", headed for San Francisco.This apprentice sailor, is learning how to be master of a ship some day.That opportunity will arrive sooner than expected!Captain Hull had to put most of the rebellious crew on shore, in a New Zealand port. The ship is carrying Dick Sands, the skipper,five sailors,the owner's wife, Mrs. Weldon ,her young son Jack,a nurse and cousin Benedict(a bug collector). Also the mysterious and unfriendly Portuguese cook, Negoro, who keeps to himself. The captain and his sailors,later find five unconscious black men, inside the sinking ship "Waldeck".(Hit by a steamer, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean)After hearing a barking dog,Dingo.When Captain Hull is killed, while trying to harpoon a finback whale, with all the seamen,there is no other person but Dick ,to take charge!The Waldeck's survivors, become the whaler's new crew.He sets his course to South America;but the cook through trickery, sabotages the binnacle, the ship's compass.And they land in Africa instead ! ( the Pilgrim is shipwrecked) Just a little off their destination.Meeting a man named Harris,a slave trader, in league with Negoro ,who convinces them that this is Bolivia,( before that nation lost its coast land, in a war)on the border of Chile. He gallantly offers to take them to his brother's hacienda!But they will be sold into slavery ; and marched to the interior.The caravan numbers more than 800.Their only hope is to escape , down a river in a canoe,through cannibal territory and get to a town on the Atlantic.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Javier Robayo

    This was the first novel I ever read and I have yet to forget it. It was so inspiring because the writing was so pure, so honest, and the adventure so vividly portrayed.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tomi Alger

    Dick Sand becomes the captain of a whaling ship after the captain and crew are killed in a whaling hunt. At fifteen, he doesn't know much, but he does his best, though does not realize that the cook has sabotaged the ship. He thinks they (he and the passengers) are heading to South America, but actually land in Africa. There is much about plants, animals, insects, the continents, and slavery. How everything works out in the end reminded me of The Count of Monte Cristo. An interesting read. Dick Sand becomes the captain of a whaling ship after the captain and crew are killed in a whaling hunt. At fifteen, he doesn't know much, but he does his best, though does not realize that the cook has sabotaged the ship. He thinks they (he and the passengers) are heading to South America, but actually land in Africa. There is much about plants, animals, insects, the continents, and slavery. How everything works out in the end reminded me of The Count of Monte Cristo. An interesting read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Marquise

    The third Verne I read after "Around the World in 80 days" and "Michael Strogoff," and it was enjoyable enough for my age at that time, though much less than the other books by him I got my hands on. The third Verne I read after "Around the World in 80 days" and "Michael Strogoff," and it was enjoyable enough for my age at that time, though much less than the other books by him I got my hands on.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Marts (Thinker)

    This book tells the tale of a fifteen year old boy serving as a sailor on the schooner "Pilgrim". The crew are whale hunters but they have a bad hunting season and take thier leave, as they are about to leave New Zealand the hunting firm owner's wife, Mrs Weldon, her son Jack and her cousin, Benedict, join them to return to San Francisco. Along the way they come upon a shipwreck and save the five surviving passengers Tom, Acteon, Austin, Bat, Nan and a dog, Dingo. The crew see a whale decide to This book tells the tale of a fifteen year old boy serving as a sailor on the schooner "Pilgrim". The crew are whale hunters but they have a bad hunting season and take thier leave, as they are about to leave New Zealand the hunting firm owner's wife, Mrs Weldon, her son Jack and her cousin, Benedict, join them to return to San Francisco. Along the way they come upon a shipwreck and save the five surviving passengers Tom, Acteon, Austin, Bat, Nan and a dog, Dingo. The crew see a whale decide to hunt it. Captain Hull leaves Dick in charge of the ship. But the does not go well the crew is killed and Dick now has a really big task. Well the mysterious ships cook Negoro, decides to cause trouble breaking a compass and the speed measuring device and making all end up in Africa.... Well remember that slavery is still a big issue there.... Hey its an exciting adventure, you should read it!!!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Forsythia

    I really liked it expectedly as it's one of the classics and I cannot wait to read every book written by Jules! I really liked it expectedly as it's one of the classics and I cannot wait to read every book written by Jules!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sotiris Karaiskos

    A sea adventure that continues on land, much like in In Search of the Castaways; or the Children of Captain Grant. But there are two differences. The first is that there is a very clear message in this book against slavery that may have been officially abolished at that time but still existed in some parts of Africa. However, he does this in a way that today seems strange as on the one hand he talks about the sufferings of black Africans but on the other, he does not avoid the usual racist stere A sea adventure that continues on land, much like in In Search of the Castaways; or the Children of Captain Grant. But there are two differences. The first is that there is a very clear message in this book against slavery that may have been officially abolished at that time but still existed in some parts of Africa. However, he does this in a way that today seems strange as on the one hand he talks about the sufferings of black Africans but on the other, he does not avoid the usual racist stereotypes of the time but I am sure he had good intentions. The second difference is the courageous protagonist of this story who is called at such a young age to take on the responsibility of leading some people to safety. A hero with doubts and insecurities, far from the usual strong heroes the author. In other words, a book that does not seem to have anything unusual in relation to the author's other books, but whoever looks deeper will find special things. Μία Θαλασσινή περιπέτεια που συνεχίζεται στην στεριά, περίπου όπως στο Τα τέκνα του πλοιάρχου Γκραν. Υπάρχουν, όμως, δύο διαφορές. Η πρώτη είναι ότι υπάρχει ένα σαφέστατο μήνυμα σε αυτό το βιβλίο ενάντια στη δουλεία που μπορεί επισήμως εκείνη την εποχή να είχε καταργηθεί αλλά ακόμα σε κάποιες περιοχές της Αφρικής εξακολουθούσε να υπάρχει. Βέβαια αυτό το κάνει με έναν τρόπο που σήμερα φαίνεται περίεργος καθώς από τη μία μιλάει για τα βάσανα των μαύρων αφρικανών αλλά από την άλλη δεν αποφεύγει τα συνηθισμένα ρατσιστικά στερεότυπα της εποχής αλλά εγώ έχω τη βεβαιότητα ότι είχε καλές προθέσεις. Η δεύτερη διαφορά είναι ο θαρραλέος πρωταγωνιστής αυτής της ιστορίας πού καλείται σε τόσο νεαρή ηλικία να αναλάβει την ευθύνη να οδηγήσει κάποιους ανθρώπους στην ασφάλεια. Ένας ήρωας με αμφιβολίες και ανασφάλειες, μακριά από τους συνηθισμένους ισχυρούς ήρωες το συγγραφέα. Με άλλα λόγια ένα βιβλίο που μοιάζει να μην έχει κάτι ασυνήθιστο σε σχέση με τα άλλα βιβλία του συγγραφέα αλλά όποιος κοιτάξει βαθύτερα θα βρει ξεχωριστά πράγματα.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Agnes

    I've read a few of Jules Verne's books as a child. They are, or at least were, pretty much a given for any French child to read. While I quite enjoyed most of those I read, the opinions of the time are very notable in Verne's books, and the discriminatory views regarding certain groups, Africans in particular, are nowhere more prominent than in this book, at least among those books of his I read. While the story has an interesting premise, the negative portrayal of any African tribe encountered I've read a few of Jules Verne's books as a child. They are, or at least were, pretty much a given for any French child to read. While I quite enjoyed most of those I read, the opinions of the time are very notable in Verne's books, and the discriminatory views regarding certain groups, Africans in particular, are nowhere more prominent than in this book, at least among those books of his I read. While the story has an interesting premise, the negative portrayal of any African tribe encountered by our protagonists completely destroyed the enjoyment I could have derived from reading it. That aspect was much worse in this book than in "Les enfants du capitaine Grant", and I had to stop reading it halfway through because I could not stand it anymore. I do understand that the author was only reflecting the common views of his contemporaries (and thus the views he was taught to have since childhood) about different cultures and that he didn't know better, but that is one book I will never pick up again, though I might try and read other books by him at some point.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Viktor Malieichyk

    Today we rarely appreciate how small become our world with affordable travel and all knowledge about every country available in our pocket. Even when I was a kid the only source of knowledge about the world were books. Including Jules Verne books, which tells about the world through adventures of its characters. And it's probably one of the best ways to teach something. Some things that Jules Verne describes just not true, not sure if it was intentional or just common believes of his time. But t Today we rarely appreciate how small become our world with affordable travel and all knowledge about every country available in our pocket. Even when I was a kid the only source of knowledge about the world were books. Including Jules Verne books, which tells about the world through adventures of its characters. And it's probably one of the best ways to teach something. Some things that Jules Verne describes just not true, not sure if it was intentional or just common believes of his time. But this mistakes plays against books in their losing battle against the modern world. I would have loved this book when I was 15. But now it's just ok.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    The book is about a young man, Dick Sands (as the title suggests) who unexpectedly becomes a ship captain at 15 and about his adventures. It was definitely an intense read -- very wordy but the overall storyline was pretty good. Some great characters, however I feel like some characters could have had more development. Likewise with the story -- the author definitely elaborated parts which I didn't enjoy yet the happy parts which I wanted more of, there was a lot of skimming going on. I would reco The book is about a young man, Dick Sands (as the title suggests) who unexpectedly becomes a ship captain at 15 and about his adventures. It was definitely an intense read -- very wordy but the overall storyline was pretty good. Some great characters, however I feel like some characters could have had more development. Likewise with the story -- the author definitely elaborated parts which I didn't enjoy yet the happy parts which I wanted more of, there was a lot of skimming going on. I would recommend this book for people who are lovers of Jules Verne or older fiction - but definitely go in thinking about the time the book was written in otherwise you may be highly disappointed.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Raigo Loide

    This book`s audience is teenagers, so I cannot be too harsh. The story is active and heroic; far too heroic to be plausible. The characters are really simple and either utterly bad or ridiculously good. Verne is clearly a cultural racist in this book, but also an active opponent of the slavery. His biological notes take sometimes disproportionately big part of the story. Not among the best books Verne wrote, but I wouldn`t call it terrible either. This book`s audience is teenagers, so I cannot be too harsh. The story is active and heroic; far too heroic to be plausible. The characters are really simple and either utterly bad or ridiculously good. Verne is clearly a cultural racist in this book, but also an active opponent of the slavery. His biological notes take sometimes disproportionately big part of the story. Not among the best books Verne wrote, but I wouldn`t call it terrible either.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    Who am I to judge Jules Verne, one of the most beloved writers in the world. I had run out of books so I got this one out of my shelves and read it and I must say I had a great time. I read many of Vernes books when I was a teenager and I really loved them all. I definitely recommend this novel to children, teenagers or adults.

  15. 5 out of 5

    T.

    i really enjoyed this book. It is packed with information about sailing a whaling ship, the African slave trade and other dimensions of the mid 1800s, wrapped up in a slighty implausible tale that traverses several continents.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Veragygagavera

    Good book for travelling..Long trips with Dick Sand will make it quite shorter for you! Each hero falls into your heart at once! Yeah, rereading it was a great idea!!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mari Aleja

    I don't remember so much but the memory that stuck in my mind is good, and at that moment i was fascinated about the stuff learned. <3 I don't remember so much but the memory that stuck in my mind is good, and at that moment i was fascinated about the stuff learned. <3

  18. 5 out of 5

    Julien M.

    A little hard to find the captain realistic enough to enjoy the rest of the book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Aspiring Writter

    This is for me a nearly perfect adventure book. It has likeable characters,subtle heartfelt moments and some surprisingly dark moments. Like Dick killing Portuguese who sell the

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dmytro Kravets

    The book that made me geographer. The guy didn’t knew that sun rises on the east. Didn’t ever wanted to be as stupid.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Paul Wolf

    my first book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    n i k k i

    perhaps for an older age than mine, but i liked it, it was interesting and really sucked me into the plot.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Leo Nguyễn

    Not very interesting. It's ok. Not very interesting. It's ok.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Yury Adamov

    One of the best adventures book for reading in the young age.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dream Apollysus

    6/10 Fine.

  26. 4 out of 5

    John

    http://archive.org/stream/dicksand120... How had the ferule come to break. It was inexplicable enough. It was possible, however, that it was oxydized, and that the pitching and rolling had broken it from the woodwork. Now, indeed, the sea had been rougher during the night. However it was, the compass was broken in such a manner that it could not be repaired. "Broken!" cried Dick Sand. "And the log is lost!" Dick Sand was much thwarted. Henceforth he was reduced to trust solely to the compass in the http://archive.org/stream/dicksand120... How had the ferule come to break. It was inexplicable enough. It was possible, however, that it was oxydized, and that the pitching and rolling had broken it from the woodwork. Now, indeed, the sea had been rougher during the night. However it was, the compass was broken in such a manner that it could not be repaired. "Broken!" cried Dick Sand. "And the log is lost!" Dick Sand was much thwarted. Henceforth he was reduced to trust solely to the compass in the binnacle. Very evidently no one was responsible for the breaking of the second compass, but it might have sad consequences. The novice then took every precaution to keep the other compass beyond the reach of every accident. fact that the removal of the bit of iron had made the magnet change its pointing. An act of spontaneous combustion had just taken place. The king had taken fire like a petroleum bonbon. This fire developed little heat, but it devoured none the less. At this spectacle the natives' dance was suddenly stopped. See what the little orphan, rescued on the beach at Sandy Hook, had obtained by his work and conduct. He was, in spite of his youth, surrounded by the esteem, one might say the respect, of all who knew him; but his simplicity and modesty were so natural to him, that he was not aware of it. He did not even suspect—although no one could attribute to him what are called brilliant exploits—that the firmness, courage, and fidelity displayed in so many trials had made of him a sort of hero.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    A welcome reminder of the times past. Read it just recently in my twenties. I think I would have appreciated it more if I had read it at younger age. I find this book very hard to believe and book it self feels indecisive about what it wants to convey. Maybe that's the style of writing that was predominant or popular at the time when it came out. There are prolonged sections of just objective facts that drain the tension and make the reading less rewarding. The story just gets going and then you A welcome reminder of the times past. Read it just recently in my twenties. I think I would have appreciated it more if I had read it at younger age. I find this book very hard to believe and book it self feels indecisive about what it wants to convey. Maybe that's the style of writing that was predominant or popular at the time when it came out. There are prolonged sections of just objective facts that drain the tension and make the reading less rewarding. The story just gets going and then you get 3 pages of information about entomology. Or a section with geographical information of travels of people unrelated to the plot of the story. I understand that it's the authors way to memorialize brave adventurers of 19th century and all respect is due, yet, it's not the story that I wanted to read. In some cases the story becomes bleak and enters realm of death and how it's an everyday occurrence in 19th century world, which I highly appreciated. Yet, there is no emotional burden or reminder about people who have died earlier as story moves forth. I don't believe that survivors would just, as said in book, "return to normal" in a couple of days. Overall: Interesting novel that comes across several serious subjects. Has naval terminology and a bunch of historical and biological facts. As you progress the story starts to feel disingenuous. Has mentions of slavery as economical phenomenon and labor source.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alejandro Caicedo

    1. Post the following as a review no later than November 11th a. What you liked most about the book b. What you liked least about the book (you may state that there was nothing about the book you did not like) c. A quotation from the book that you find memorable or important, properly cited. d. A level three question that springs from the book. a. A Captain of fifteen is an exiting book about the adventures of Dick Sand , a novice mariner who is put in charge of the "Pilgrim", a whale hunter shi 1. Post the following as a review no later than November 11th a. What you liked most about the book b. What you liked least about the book (you may state that there was nothing about the book you did not like) c. A quotation from the book that you find memorable or important, properly cited. d. A level three question that springs from the book. a. A Captain of fifteen is an exiting book about the adventures of Dick Sand , a novice mariner who is put in charge of the "Pilgrim", a whale hunter ship. What I liked the most was the places description that Jules Verne does during the book and also the way he narrates the adventures and dangerous situations. b.Sometimes, like in the part they go to Africa to find the indian's prisoners, the narration turns so slow because he gives too much details, and also I don't like the end because Dingo (Dick Sand's dog) dies at the end. c."Three months had passed away ­three long months of separation, As a sailor your only concern is your family even if you are thousands of miles away from them" (Dick Sand a captain of fifteen,Jules Verne, 17). d. Imagine you are part of a ship with a lot of sailors. Would you say that friendship is above usefulness ???

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rigers

    This was the very first book that I read outside of school textbooks so it was a long long time ago and I was about 7 or 8 yrs old. I started it many times and refused go past 100 pages, but my mother was forcing me to read and wouldn't let me do anything else so at some point I passed the 100th page or so and couldn't put it down anymore. It is essentially the book that got me into reading. It is a captivating story with lots and lots of real information about insects, animals, weather, the oce This was the very first book that I read outside of school textbooks so it was a long long time ago and I was about 7 or 8 yrs old. I started it many times and refused go past 100 pages, but my mother was forcing me to read and wouldn't let me do anything else so at some point I passed the 100th page or so and couldn't put it down anymore. It is essentially the book that got me into reading. It is a captivating story with lots and lots of real information about insects, animals, weather, the ocean and obviously sailing. At the time I felt like school work but I loved reading it even though it would drag to much at times and I couldn't wait to for it to get back to the story. The portrayal of slavery and what people are willing to do for money might not be fully grasped by an 8 year old but it's all there. Verne tells us what it's like to be free, to fight for your dreams and what it means to be human through an amazing story. We all want to be explorers and this books tells us what it's like. All the actions and decisions are based on rational thought telling us what it really takes to be a captain, to survive and that to get what you want you have to fight for it with everything because a lot of times your life depends on it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mr.B

    A young sailor is thrust into the role of ship's captain when an unfortunate whaling accident carries off the stripped-down crew of his ship. Using five African-Americans who had been rescued earlier from a shipwreck as crew, young Dick Sands begins making his way toward the coast of South America. Onboard are three other passengers--the wife, five-year-old son, and useless cousin of the ship's owner--and the first villain I've run into in any of Verne's adventure novels, a Portuguese cook who s A young sailor is thrust into the role of ship's captain when an unfortunate whaling accident carries off the stripped-down crew of his ship. Using five African-Americans who had been rescued earlier from a shipwreck as crew, young Dick Sands begins making his way toward the coast of South America. Onboard are three other passengers--the wife, five-year-old son, and useless cousin of the ship's owner--and the first villain I've run into in any of Verne's adventure novels, a Portuguese cook who subverts the young captain in every imaginable way, taking everyone wildly off-course. The second half of the book is devoted to the adventures encountered when Dick Sand and his charges wind up in Africa, enmeshed in a slave-trading operation. It is an action-filled novel with some amazing circumstances, but Verne jumped the narrative thread a little too frequently in this one. A lot of the story is predictable, but, again, many of the details included are an education in themselves.

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