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The Black Pearl
Scott O'Dell
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The Black Pearl

3.45  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,430 Ratings  ·  263 Reviews
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 swag ...more
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published April 12th 2010 by Perfection Learning (first published January 1st 1967)
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Jul 12, 2009 karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mark-harmon
this is the kind of book you dont even need a bookmark for, because it isnt going to take you more than one sitting to finish. i read it because i need to read 3 newbery or honor books i havent read before for class (why am i so honest??) and i love island of the blue dolphins more than most books, but have never read anything else by scott o'dell. i dont know how kiddies respond to it, but for me it was too brief to really grab me. the descriptions are still great, and its a fine story, but as ...more
Mar 17, 2009 Dani rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was probably a better book than I remember, but all I know is that when I got in trouble in 6th grade, my mom grounded me from reading "It" by Stephen King, and made me read this instead... So naturally, I'm bitter...
Jun 09, 2007 Femy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
i had to re-write a book report for this book in the 8th grade cuz the teacher new i didn't really read it after i first handed in the report. ha. turned out it wasn't that bad
Sep 16, 2011 Karenc5 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
WARNIGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG! i might give to much info about this book was
really boring for me , a part of mexico called La Paz where a young boy name Ramon lives.
His father works under the water, his not a submarine, but he finds pearls under the sea.
beautiful pearls which he sells to the people. Ramon whishes that one day he would be just like his father . Ramon's dad could tell if a pearl was good enough to be sell by raising it up to the sun and weighting it. but first he needed to learn how to op
Dec 04, 2012 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eng356-13-25
When Ramon finds the perfect black pearl, he has no idea what he is about to get into. The black pearl supposedly belongs to the Manta Diablo, a giant manta ray who is apparently the legendary king of the seas. Ramon does not believe that such a creature even exists when he finds the pearl, but when crazy things begin to happen, Ramon begins to believe that maybe the manta diablo does exist after all...

This was a Newberry Honor book, but I personally do not see why it was awarded as such. The wr
C.S. Houghton
Aug 27, 2013 C.S. Houghton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Black Pearl is a well-written coming of age story, even a bit of a page turner. The book grabbed my attention quickly and then held it by steadily tightening the stakes. Yet somehow I finished the book with a shrug. As with O'Dell's Sing Down the Moon, there's no pathos to the prose. You're incredibly close to the protagonist, but you're never really in his head. I did my best to fill in the blanks, especially after tragedy struck (as it always does in his books). Just think of this as an em ...more
Nov 26, 2013 PATRICK rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is short, yes, but it's the perfect length for this. If it had been longer, this book would have been boring and may feel like forced. If it had been shorter, it would seem incomplete.
This is my second Scott O'Dell and you could see the similarities of the settings of this book and Island of the Blue Dolphins and probably his other novels, which I'd read if I got the chance. It's a two and a half hour read and it's cute. The thing I would change about it is the font or the book format
Joseph Law
Jul 21, 2014 Joseph Law rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-13-25
This is a coming of age story set in Mexico's Baja peninsula. It is a story of the sea, treasure, love, faith, work, family ties, and above all greed.
Ramon Salazar, is 16, the son of Blas Salazar, a pearl diver and trader. Ramon has just reached the age of manhood in his culture and his father has accepted him as a partner in his business.
But he has dreams of his own, and with the help of a much older Indian, he learns to dive himself and discovers a magnificent, large black pearl. But he also i
Jun 17, 2012 Divya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This YA book is a coming-of-age tale of Ramon Salazar, the sixteen-year old son of a pearl dealer in Baja, California-Mexico.
Ramon discovers the 'Pearl of Heaven' - a huge, magnificent, black pearl - and the town is in awe and celebration. Except for two men.
The first is Soto Luzon, an old fisherman who believes that the pearl belongs to the Manta Diablo, the lord and monster of the seas - who will wreck havoc till the pearl is returned.
And the second is the unscrupulous Gaspar Ruiz -
Aug 15, 2012 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Black Pearl, by author Scott O'Dell, is a young readers novel about a young man living in a small fishing village near the Gulf of California who becomes obsessed with finding the world's greatest pearl.

Ramon Salazar works for his father at the family's pearl dealing business. He dreams of someday inheriting the business but knows he must first prove himself to his father in order to do so. On one of his father's diving trips a fellow diver, nicknamed the 'Sevillano', begins to run smack at
Sep 16, 2010 carolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always been a fan of Scott O'Dell. His stories are fit for both the young and old and written in a way that both can enjoy. "The Black Pearl" is about a young boy Ramon who becomes partners with his father. They would voyage out to sea and dive for pearls, in hopes of one day finding the heavenly pearl of all others, but many were fearful of bringing forth the monster Manta Diablo, for the stories they have heard were those of mishappenings, curses and death. Ramon dived into the mouth of ...more
Apr 17, 2015 Jennie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first picked up this book, I thought it would be quite boring and uneventful. Thankfully, it proved me wrong. This book does a great job of showing how some cultures have very strong beliefs in mythical creatures or objects. Throughout the story, I felt intrigued by the plot, yet my desire for experiencing adventure was never satisfied. That's the only reason why I chose to give it 3 stars: it failed to keep me interested. It's a great book if you just want something to read on the side, ...more
Cambria Speed
Oct 29, 2014 Cambria Speed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought the "Black Pearl"was pretty good in some parts,but sad in others.Like it was sad when the "fleet"died in a storm.But also cool when Ròmon found the Pearl of Heaven and when he learned how to go pearling.The characters in this story are Ròmon,his father Mr.Salzar,his mother Mrs.Salzar,Father Galldor and the Sellviano.In the beginning of this story,Ròmons mother is gone and he is just with his dad when he asks "when can I go pearling"?And his father says "when you are sixteen,Son".And th ...more
Jun 21, 2009 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
When forced to read this book in 5th grade class with Ms. Seagull (I really have no recollection of how to really spell her name...), I HATED it. I wanted to throw it across the room everytime we had to take it out of our pile of books and read aloud. When forced to read it again in 8th grade, my teacher didn't believe me that I'd already read it, and I had to prove it. I've since read it a third time, and did actually understand why it's considered an honorable book; however, the original damag ...more
May 16, 2016 Flor rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am sorry I rated this so low but the book was like really trashy. I did not like it. I was getting cancer reading it. If somebody recommended this book to you DO NOT read it. It was so boring.
Zyan Prestridge
May 22, 2014 Zyan Prestridge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I read the book The Black Pearl by Scott O’Dell. This was a great book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I thought this book was very clear and had many morales and values that the author wanted to get through to the reader. The author also did a very good job of describing the scenery and the characters.
In this book a common moral that the author expresses on several different occasions that bringing wealth into your life can be a very bad idea. In the book when Ramon obtains the great pearl
I enjoyed the characters, the twists and the writing. That said, this is the third Scott o'Dell book that I've read. I feel like his books lack something for all the good that's in them. It's as if they lack heart. I don't finish the book inspired and thinking about it for a long time afterward.
Ramon Salazar is the son of a prosperous pearl merchant. However, he dreams of doing more, of finding the famed Pearl of Heaven to prove himself as capable of great things. However, finding the pearl does not bring about the success Ramon hoped for, and he realizes that the legends about the deadly Manta Diablo just might be true. As Ramon struggles to decide whether or not to return the great pearl to the Manta, disaster strikes. Can Ramon return the pearl and avoid more destruction, or will th ...more
Oct 18, 2015 Steven rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Steven by: Ms.steinberg
I thought the book was OK but is was not super good, to me at least.
In the beginning of the book i thought that Ramon was going to kill the manta
diablo but guess not. I didn't think that Ramon's father was going to die.
When he did die I thought he was going to come back, then his father would
tell everyone that the sevillano is bad. But that never happened so it was
not as exiting as i thought it would be. That is why I gave it three stars
Ramon is a sixteen year old whose father gathers and sells pearls in Mexico. It is extremely dangerous to gather pearls because of sharks, manta rays, storms and other dangers. Ramon's father finally lets Ramon learn to dive for pearls and he and his Native American friend dive for pearls in a lagoon that is said to be the home of Manta Diablo, a huge manta ray that the people fear. Ramon dive into his lair and finds a huge black pearl. This black pearl is given to the church and his father shi ...more
Aug 01, 2008 Faith rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Colleen Houck
This was one of the first adventure books I ever read and I think a lot of the underwater elements lent inspiration for Tiger's Voyage.
May 16, 2012 Aidan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historic, fiction
It was kinda boring at first.The only reason I kept reading was because I was being paid to but I'm glad I kept reading!
Nov 21, 2015 Renee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-13-25
Sixteen-year-old Ramon is thrilled to find the grandest pearl the world has ever seen. He bravely traveled into the den of the most feared monster of the sea, Manta Diablo. But, the misfortune he released by finding the pearl begins to lead to tragedy, and he is the only one who can put a stop to it.

This novel tells a great tale about consequences. The choices of Roman and other characters all lead to consequences, most of those ended badly. In this story, Roman learns a tough lesson about makin
Kerry Johnson
Oct 02, 2014 Kerry Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this with my eight and ten-year old sons over a period of a week. Both enjoyed the story of Ramon Salazar and his quest for the Pearl of Heaven. The story was a bit slow at times, but mostly kept their attention (and mine).

The end is exciting and kind of sad (the boys wanted to know what happened to the Manta Diablo, though the story never explained), and we learned a lot about pearling.

Overall, The Black Pearl was a refreshingly short, sure take on coming to manhood when forced by circ
Sung Kim
Aug 09, 2016 Sung Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book that I read during the summer reminded me of how selfishness can create a catastrophe. The black pearl was valuable for pearlers, but discovering it would create a great crisis as it belonged to a monster living under the sea. I thought that it was a pity for Sevillano to steal it despite the warning. Although the black pearl was worth a great deal of money, he had no reason to die to have it. I considered that this would give a realization to the society how damaging the environment ...more
Jan 26, 2016 Brooke rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting coming-of-age story about Mexican boy whose father owns a pearling fleet and teaches him to run the business. He finds the Black Pearl of heaven, but worries that the Manta Diablo is angry he took it and to blame for tragedy in the town. It would be very interesting for most boys about 8+ and isn't too long, but the ending is a bit of a puzzle to me. Not sure how I am to feel about the Manta Diablo and the troubles they faced. . . perhaps that the real "devil" lies in the greed of ma ...more
Nov 19, 2009 Roger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult-lit
I know that I read this book like, last year, but it was a GREAT book. The book encapusulates so many themes and lessons, it's nearly impossible for me to delve into the detail this book deserves, so I'll try to cover as many as I can.

1) First off, the thing you need to understand is that this book takes place in another country. The people are very superstitious and a village legend, Manta Diablo, lives in the waters nearby the village. As a matter of fact, it inhabits a cave underwater and gua
Laura Verret
I once read a story about a black pearl. It was a Boxcar Children mystery and the magnificence of black pearls plus the aura of exotic adventure intrigued me entirely. So, when I found The Black Pearl by Scott O’Dell, I was excited. No really. Jumping-up-and-down level excited.

The Story.

For all of his years Ramon Salazar has wished to accompany his father on the great pearl harvests. But always his father said he was too young, that when he was sixteen and no longer a scrawny child he could go.
King Haddock
Ramón Salazar is sixteen and learning from his father how to conduct their business selling pearls. However, Ramón dreams of diving into the waters himself to obtain the largest pearl ever seen by mankind. He seizes the opportunity to do so in a lagoon and discovers the Pearl of Heaven, a great black pearl that is owned by the Manta Diablo. The Manta Diablo seeks to take back his possession and wreak havoc on Ramón's family. Ramón finds himself in a dangerous position in which he must decide wha ...more
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Fantasy 1 1 Oct 20, 2015 02:50PM  
Themes 1 12 Feb 07, 2010 07:26AM  
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Scott O'Dell (May 23, 1898 – October 16, 1989) was an American children's author who wrote 26 novels for youngsters, along with three adult novels and four nonfiction books. He was most famously the author of the children's novel Island of the Blue Dolphins (1960), which won the 1961 Newbery Medal as well as a number of other awards. Other award winning books by O'Dell include The King's Fifth (19 ...more
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