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How Tom Beat Captain Najork and His Hired…
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How Tom Beat Captain Najork and His Hired Sportsmen (edition 2002)

by Russell Hoban

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1325128,669 (4.26)9
Member:othersam
Title:How Tom Beat Captain Najork and His Hired Sportsmen
Authors:Russell Hoban
Info:Red Fox (2002), Paperback
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How Tom Beat Captain Najork and His Hired Sportsmen by Russell Hoban

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» See also 9 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
I laughed out loud, of course. Oh the rhymes, oh the names, oh the faces on the crew. Quentin Blake is a perfect choice, even if one does have to remind oneself that this book is not by Roald Dahl. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Prolific American children's author Russell Hoban, justly celebrated for his classic Frances stories, and English illustrator Quentin Blake, probably best known for his work on Roald Dahl's books, collaborated on a number of picture-books, amongst them this amusing tale of high-jinks and high drama, as a young boy with a penchant for fooling around confronts a professional sportsman and his four assistants, hired to teach him a lesson. Unfortunately for Captain Najork and his hired sportsmen, Tom is an expert at the kind of activities, from womble to sneedball, they think to use to chasten him. On the other hand, Tom's Aunt Fidget Wonkham-Strong makes an excellent consolation prize, for the chagrined captain...

With a cast of quirky characters, equipped with suitably amusing names, and a string of unlikely but humorous incidents, How Tom Beat Captain Najork and His Hired Sportsmen is the kind of zany, madcap adventure that young readers who enjoy authors like Joan Aiken and Lemony Snicket will gobble up! The artwork, done in Blake's signature style - full of energy, and replete with amusing details - is perfectly suited to the tale, accentuating the sly hilarity of the text. All in all, this vintage treat is a picture-book winner, and more than enough to convince me to track down the sequel, A Near Thing for Captain Najork! ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 20, 2013 |
All of us have had an Aunt Fidget Wonkham-Strong in our lives—the kind of aunt who, when we were little, made us eat “cabbage-potato-sog” and “learn off pages 65 to 75 of the Nautical Almanac” so we wouldn’t “fool around so much.” Fooling around looked suspiciously like playing to the Aunt Fidget Wonkham-Strongs in our lives; and if there was one thing such aunts couldn’t abide, it was playing. If we didn’t behave, our Aunt Fidget Wonkham-Strongs sent for Captain Najork and his hired sportsmen “who taught fooling around boys [and girls] the lesson they so badly need[ed]” . . . the dangers of fooling around. Some of us have never recovered from the trauma of an Aunt Fidget Wonkham-Strong. And some of us still have one hanging around, spoiling our parties, raining on our parades, and dispensing advice we don’t want. In our adult years, these aunts go by the name of Great Aunt Martha. They are our crosses to bear because we did not learn, indeed never have learned, to stop fooling around. As P.G. Wodehouse once said, “Aunts aren’t gentlemen.” You need to be Tom to triumph.

Read the rest of the review at the Dark Tea Times. ( )
8 vote urania1 | Jan 6, 2011 |
Because Tom's aunt disapproves of his constant fooling around she calls in Captain Najork to teach him a lesson. Tom, however, has a splendid idea.
  antimuzak | Feb 4, 2009 |
For older children, and adults. Hoban half-way between the Frances books and Riddley Walker (or maybe the Mouse and His Child). Aunt Fidget Wonkham-Strong, in her iron hat, makes Tom memorize pages of the nautical almanac, but he has other ideas of how to have fun. Great book. ( )
  kcollett | Feb 11, 2006 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Russell Hobanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Blake, QuentinIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In order to teach Tom a lesson for always playing, his aunt calls in Captain Najork to teach him a lesson, who with a team of four hired sportsmen challenges Tom to rounds of womble, muck, and sneedball.

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