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The Castaways

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  92 ratings  ·  25 reviews
The first graphic novel by the best-selling team of “Bluesman.” An emotionally powerful tale, drawn from the fabric of America itself, that follows the adventures of young Tucker Freeman as he is compelled to hop a train to escape from the crippling poverty of his rural existence. Armed with only fifteen cents and the memory of his occasional hobo father’s counsel, Tucker ...more
Paperback, 64 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by NBM Publishing (first published January 9th 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 127)
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Tucker is a young man who leaves his home and travels the rails during the great depression. His father is a transient "hobo" and Tucker feels he is a burden to his mother who can't support all her children and he wants to model his father's life. A man named Elijah befriends him and protects him in his journeys but also is uncomfortable in teaching a young man to model his life after his own. How to get the young man to go back home and reunite with his family? A moving book about how the poor ...more
Travis McClain
I returned Blackest Night to the library and browsed around, and this caught my eye. I flaked out in a very comfortable chair for about 40 minutes or so and read it on the spot. The back of the book text suggests it owes its literary roots to Twain among others and it's easy to see why. In a lot of ways, The Castaways is a redressed telling of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Pablo G. Callejo's artwork is responsible for a lot of what works best in The Castaways, from establishing its environment
I enjoyed this book. It seemed historically accurate, and the action & dialogue were used effectively to move the story along. Those who got something from CASTAWAYS should definitely check out James Vance & Dan Burr's KINGS IN DISGUISE, which covers very similar terrain, though in a more epic treatment.
Sarah Beaudoin
Castaways is a glimpse into two days in a life of a young boy during the Depression who leaves his family and strikes out to make his own way in the world. During those two days, Tucker encounters a friendly hobo, Elijah, who teaches him not only about the rules of a hobo lifestyle, but also about human nature.

I love the art that accompanied this novel. It is very gritty and real and I think is the perfect companion to the story. I'm torn on the story itself. The story was so sparse that at time
Doug White
"The Castaways" offers a quick, yet engaging tale of a boy who runs away from home for several days to seek his fortune in the early 1900s. Though seemingly aimed at a younger audience (I'd say between the ages of 9 and 13), the highly detailed artwork, universal themes, and engaging story will attract readers of all ages. The book also functions as a great introduction to the world of graphic novels. Its quick, but detailed story are only possible because of the level of artwork that Rob Vollma ...more
Tim Canny
The artwork was interesting as it had both a woodcut look as well as a folky look. I never felt much for the characters as they didn't seem to be well developed enough. Mostly two dimensional (no pun intended). Another problem was the color of the paper it was printed on. It was a greyish blue that made for a poorly contrasting background for the type. Still, the book gets extra points for being about hobos and rolling stock.
Booklist Top 10 Graphic Novels for Youth - 2008

They didn't call it the Depression because it was happy times. Families could be torn apart because of not being able to support either the younger or older children. Migrant workers rode the rails, and so did people with less than honerable means. Were they the castaways of society? When do you leave home? The art is like etchings, so beautiful about a tragic subject.

For a moment in time, I was the little runaway Depression-era boy. This comic definatly has real flavor and hits all the right notes, despite ending just a hair too soon. I hope to read more by the same team of Vollmar and Callejo. Any young readers teacher looking for an text that covers the Depression era would do well to look here for an engaging tale.
Castaways is a beautiful folk tale based on a story the author heard from his grandmother. A depression era story about a boys introduction to life on the road, traveling the rails, hobos, racism, pain, and morals. I was impressed.
the adventures of young Tucker Freeman as he is compelled to hop a train to escape from the crippling poverty of his rural existence. Armed with only fifteen cents and the memory of his occasional hobo father's counsel, Tuck must find his place in this broken America of the Great Depression ..."--
I never seem to get into graphic fiction, because they don't give me enough time to get to know the characters. I liked the history of jumping trains in this one, but other than that I thought it was really predictable. The pictures were cool though, done in a blueish-gray, black, and white.
Charles Martin
If you're a fan of John Steinbeck or substantive graphic novels, then this is worth your time. Vollmar's storytelling style is more deliberate than what is often found in illustrated stories, but castaways has a very strong sense of humanity and economy that makes it an easy and rewarding read.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emilia P
I could see where this was going the whole time, and it was kind of cheesy, but the black/grey/blue/heavily lined illustration style is exciting as always.

As my roommate said "this book is basically all cliches."
Sort of true. Still pretty.
sweet pea
terribly pleasing illustrations. while the plot isn't radically new, it does a okay job of portraying the time and the laws of the hobo jungle. although, without the design and illustrations, the book would come across as trite.
A fascinating look at hobo life in the early twentieth century from the perspective of an innocent thirteen-year-old pushed into the life. Detailed art with a few distracting issues and a strong story.
Lovely graphic novel about a boy-turned hobo in Depression-era US. The illustrations are reminiscent of a toned-down R.Crumb. A moving story about friendship, family, and some of life's hard lessons.
I dunno...I just expected a whole lot more out of this Depression-era graphic novel. It's definitely good for younger readers, but it felt a bit shallow to me.
Great piece which gives you a sense of the time period. The fact that the images enhanced the writing is what makes this story a winner.
Good story and phenomenal art by the same ultra-talented guys who brought the world the Bluesman series. Lovely.
The dialect is slightly irritating, but the illustrations in this graphic novel are gorgeous and expressive.
Damera Blincoe
Paul thought that this book was basically about a boy running away from home. Didn't really like it.
Diedre Poellnitz
I enjoyed this book about a boy finding his way "Home"
Pretty good graphic novel.
Sidekicks Wanted
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Jul 11, 2015
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