Black Duck by Janet Taylor Lisle

May 6, 2010
By , Mitchell, SD
I’m usually not very interested in historical fiction books, however after finishing the book Black Duck by Janet Taylor Lisle, my opinions have changed. The Black Duck was one of the best books I have ever read, and I expect that I will be reading many more historical fiction books in the future.


The book Black Duck is about a young boy named Ruben and his good friend Jeddy. They are just two young and carefree kids until one day they find a dead body washed up on a beach. They search the body and find a tobacco pouch. They take the pouch not knowing the trials that lay ahead. After Jeddy and Ruben’s relationship starts falling apart, Ruben discovers half a 50 dollar bill rolled up inside the tobacco pouch. He later finds out a bunch of rumrunners have been searching for some sort of ticket that completes a big shipping of alcohol. People suspect that Ruben has the ticket and is hiding it, but Ruben refuses to admit it. He continues to keep his head down in hopes that all will be forgotten. Little did he know, that things were about to get much more intense.


Black Duck is a very well written book. Janet Taylor Lisle keeps things interesting by throwing in little twists throughout the book. Towards the end, everything seems to tie together, and all the foreshadowing makes sense. Not knowing what is going to happen next, keeps you hooked.

Throughout the book, you get really attached to all the different characters, and that makes the book all the more interesting. You really feel for the characters and want things to work out for them. I enjoyed getting to know all the different characters.

In my opinion, the theme of this book is “hanging on to friendship.” Ruben and Jeddy’s friendship is lost, and you can tell Ruben regrets it. If you stick with your friend through the hard times, things will work out in the end.

Janet Taylor Lisle writing will keep you begging for more. Her writing keeps you glued to the book until you can manage to pull yourself away. Even when the book is over you still want to keep reading. The Black Duck is the ultimate historical fiction book with adventures, humor, and even a little bit of romance. I highly recommend this book.





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