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The Black Pearl by Scott O'Dell
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The Black Pearl (original 1967; edition 2010)

by Scott O'Dell (Author)

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1,670307,593 (3.56)36
In claiming as his own the magnificent black pearl he finds, a sixteen-year-old youth enrages the sea devil who legend says is its owner.
Member:OJSB
Title:The Black Pearl
Authors:Scott O'Dell (Author)
Info:HMH Books for Young Readers (2010), Edition: Reprint, 144 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:
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The Black Pearl by Scott O'Dell (1967)

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» See also 36 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
00008928
  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
My 5th grad class chose for me to read this book aloud using an anonymous vote. After I finished reading it today, they rated it and provided comments.

"3.3" was actually the average of their votes.
Some comments:

1*: "I didn't understand most of it.", "I think the characters were silly."
2*: "It was boring.", "I wasn't so intrigued by the story."
3*: "It was ok, but I was confused."
4*: " There was so much detail!", "The story was very original, like none I've heard before. the struggles of the boy, you could feel them when read."
5*: "I enjoyed how it wasn't just 'cliche'..oh everyone lived happily ever after. It was semi-realistic as well." ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Aug 1, 2020 |
Ramon Salazar works for his father, a pearl fisherman and dealer, but is always working in the shop instead of out fishing for pearls with the men. He longs to be a pearl diver. He heads off on his own one day to fish in a secluded lagoon and finds the ultimate pearl, smoky black, perfectly round, and enormous. The Pearl of Heaven however, seems to come only at a dear price for he who finds it.
Reminiscent of John Steinbeck. ( )
  fingerpost | Nov 9, 2019 |
From the depths of a cave in the Vermilion Sea, Ramon Salazar has wrested a black pearl so lustrous and captivating that his father, an expert pearl dealer, is certain Ramon has found the legendary Pearl of Heaven. Such a treasure is sure to bring great joy to the villagers of their tiny coastal town, and even greater renown to the Salazar name. No diver, not even the swaggering Gaspar Ruiz, has ever found a pearl like this!

But is there a price to pay for a prize so great? When a terrible tragedy strikes the village, old Luzon’s warning about El Diablo returns to haunt Ramon. If El Diablo actually exists, it will take all Ramon’s courage to face the winged creature waiting for him offshore. (Amazon) Kari recommended in author presentation
  HeidiSki | Jul 12, 2019 |
This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: The Black Pearl
Series: ----------
Author: Scott O'Dell
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Genre: MG Historical Fiction
Pages: 96
Format: Paperback Edition

Synopsis:


A young man, Ramon Salazar, recently turned 16 is made a partner in his father's pearl business. He learns to grade and buy and sell the pearls the small fleet his father owns brings in each trip. However, what he really wants is to go diving with the fleet. His father allows him to come out with the fleet but only as a handler, not a diver.

The best pearl diver in the fleet is jealous of the opportunities that Ramon has and constantly needles him about not being a diver. This “Sevillano” claims to come from Spain and spins stories of all the exploits he has done. Eventually, it gets to Ramon and when the fleet makes a week long trip, he heads out to an Indian diver and begs him to teach him. Ramon learns how to be a diver and is shown a cave where Manta Diablo supposedly lives. The Indian tells him to not dive in the cave, as Manta Diablo will come after anyone who takes something from him.

Ramon can't resist the lure and gets a huge clam which gives up a huge perfect “black” pearl. The Indian warns him that he is now cursed by Manta Diablo. Ramon heads home and gives the pearl to his father to show that he is a great diver, and to get back at the Sevillano for all his jibes. The father haggles with the local merchants and in a fit of pique at their stinginess, gives the pearl to the local Roman Catholic Church.

The next week the fleet is destroyed by a huge storm and only the Sevillano survives. This convinces Ramon that the pearl is indeed cursed and he steals it back from the church to take back to Manta Diablo's cave. The Sevillano catches him and forces him to go to Mexico City where they can sell it for a huge fortune.

On their way, they are overtaken by a huge manta ray. After several incidents, the Sevillano harpoons the manta and eventually jumps on it to knife it to death. A rope wraps around him and he and the manta plunge into the depths never to be seen again. Ramon rows back to his village, returns the pearl to the church and realizes that he has grown up.

My Thoughts:

I had read and bought this back in elementary school at a book fair I believe. I enjoyed it a lot as a kid so I was kind of hesitant to dive into again and potentially ruin it. Kind of like how I got fed up with Lucky Starr by the end of the series. Some childrens books just aren't meant for adults. However, since it was only 96 pages I figured I could pitch on in and rip through it at lunch times. Which is what I did.

What a great book!

This is the kind of adventure story that can capture the imagination of a young boy. O'Dell knows how to write for a youthful audience without churning out simplistic slop. Ramon deals with some huge issues and O'Dell gently guides the reader along that journey and makes a youngster think about what might change in their life and how would they respond? I love, Love, LOVE the fact that at no point is Ramon an angst-ridden whiny baby. O'Dell doesn't buy into the lie that young people have to be coddled and that anything “tough” will destroy them. He shows that THROUGH adversity is how a man is forged. Phrack, it is refreshing to see that in a middle grade book.

Keeping in mind the target audience, I loved this story. O'Dell writes a character that inspires the reader instead of pandering to them. It is no wonder that O'Dell won so many awards and honorable mentions back in his heyday.

First 5star review of the year. While probably not a real contender for best book of the year, I think that a 96 page story about a 16 year old young man that can inspire a 40 year old like this deserves some attention. Ramon's quiet fortitude and steady action is what is needed in more books today.

★★★★★ ( )
1 vote BookstoogeLT | Feb 1, 2019 |
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Epigraph
In that day, the Lord shall punish the piercing serpent... and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.
Isaiah
Dedication
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Everyone who lives in our town of La Paz, or along the far coasts or among the high mountains of Baja California, has heard of the Manta Diablo.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In claiming as his own the magnificent black pearl he finds, a sixteen-year-old youth enrages the sea devil who legend says is its owner.

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In claiming as his own the magnificent black pearl he finds, a sixteen-year-old youth enrages the sea devil who legend says is its owner.

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