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The Great Quest

2.77  ·  Rating Details ·  39 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
"A romance of 1826, wherein are recorded the experiences of Josiah Woods of Topham, and of those others with whom he sailed for Cuba and the Gulf of Guinea."
Hardcover, 359 pages
Published 1921 by Little Brown & Company
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Jan 10, 2012 Josiah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely love the romance of high adventure on the open seas in literature. The possibilities for intrigue, suspense and shocking revelation aboard a confined sea vessel are virtually endless, and when a skillful author puts his or her hand to writing a story of life on the seas in the era of piracy and personal conquest, there is no limit to how good it can be. I was particularly excited about reading my first Charles Boardman Hawes book, as he has been favorably compared to the legendary ...more
Jan 05, 2013 Peter rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: nobody
Shelves: newberys
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Another book from the inaugural year of the Newbery awards that tells me that racism in that time was extremely complicated, though many were convinced they weren't racist. The complicated legality of slavery at the time of the setting made this book more tense than I would have liked, but it did have some adventure in the last half. It is a pleasure to see how far literature for children has come in the last 90 years, though not so pleasurable to work my way through these books. The Dark Frigat ...more
Angie Lisle
I've read all of the Medal and Honor books for the 1922 Newbery Award and this is the book that I think should have won that year because of its use as a teaching tool (I wasn't overly impressed with any of the books for 1922). Of course, that means this book will appeal more to parents and teachers than the children, ha.

On the surface, this book appears to be a pirate adventure story for children but, plunge deeper, and the horrors of the African slave-trade make themselves known. This book wa
Monica Fastenau
Apr 23, 2015 Monica Fastenau rated it liked it
Read more on my blog:

On one hand, the story is great. It’s entertaining, dramatic, almost Treasure Island-esque. Joe, the main character, is a young man who finds himself swept up in an adventure with some unsavory characters and a couple of good friends on his side. They go through battles, shipwrecks, illness, and many other trials, all in search of treasure that may or may not materialize.

On the other hand… This book is pretty old, and, I have to say—i
Feb 12, 2014 Mckinley rated it did not like it
Shelves: newbery, ya, adventure, slavery, sea
Young men may long for adventure. And they may experience more than they bargain for. This book classically describes such a case. There are many books for young adults that do this well. Unfortunately, I think this book is not one for current reading. It is dated and contains attitudes about racism that we no longer tolerate. It's one thing to show those attitudes in their historical perspective and quite another to mindlessly include them as a matter of course. Aside - there are basically no f ...more
Thomas Bell
Aug 13, 2011 Thomas Bell rated it liked it
Shelves: newbery-honors
Not as good as The Dark Frigate by the same author. I kept feeling like there was supposed to be suspense and excitement - like it was meant to be there but never came. Yes, there were battles and guns and stuff, but it wasn't really exciting. My favorite character was actually the African witch doctor who kept calling out at them. The 'Love Story' was also quite lame and not developed enough for the kind of ending the book had. Still, it was an interesting read, so a good 3 stars it is.
Jan 20, 2013 Donna rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Very good adventure story. I enjoyed it a lot more than Treasure Island, Kidnapped, or any of the other classic adventure stories even though the language is a of the old style of literature and somewhat cumbersome. It seemed that the action, conflicts, dangers, and hardships were non stop. I highly recommend.
Christina Potter Bieloh
May 18, 2016 Christina Potter Bieloh rated it really liked it
This 1922 Newberry Honor book is great adventure from beginning to end. Unfortunately adventure from beginning to end is not my favorite type of book to read, but I liked the characters and the story. It's a great book to read (at least I think so) to get a feel for what it might have been like to travel to Africa and encounter Africans during the time of the slave trade.
May 04, 2014 Laeroport rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newbery
This was a Newbery Honor Book the very first year, in 1922. It was slow to start and the narrator was painfully slow to figure things out, but I'm glad I finished.
I preferred the author's other Newbery winner, The Dark Frigate, which won a few years later.
Sep 12, 2015 Mark rated it liked it
Interestingly find. Well written even if vocabulary and attitude toward race are not p.c. by today's standards. Good adventure and good criticism of the slave trade, written at the turn of the 19-20th century.
Feb 28, 2015 Susan rated it it was ok
I picked up the Great Quest because it was a Newbery Honor book from 1922. It took a long time to get into it, and the plot was a little thin, but once the adventure got started it did keep me reading to the end.
Definitely not P.C. for the 21st century though!
Jason Brinkerhoff
May 13, 2014 Jason Brinkerhoff rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I got close enough to finishing this to know I didn't need to actually finish it. I could not get past the racism. At some point I tried to convince myself it was anthropologically interesting, a window into a different time.
Oct 17, 2013 Diane rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Sadie Barner
This old book was a 1922 Newbery Honor. It was interesting, but seemed to drag a bit. I enjoyed the ending.
Jade Lauron
Difficult style for a modern reader to parse, and hours after I'd finished it, I barely recalled the details. Not very memorable.
Rose Marie
Rose Marie rated it liked it
Mar 10, 2012
The Smiths
The Smiths rated it really liked it
Dec 13, 2015
John rated it really liked it
Jun 22, 2012
Bill rated it liked it
Dec 13, 2013
Jessica rated it it was ok
Feb 20, 2013
Kath Butterworth
Kath Butterworth rated it liked it
Jun 19, 2016
Cherie rated it it was ok
Dec 09, 2011
Christi Sewell
Christi Sewell rated it really liked it
Sep 14, 2014
Hal Johnson
Hal Johnson rated it liked it
Mar 29, 2010
Emily rated it it was ok
May 11, 2012
A rated it it was ok
Mar 24, 2016
Steven rated it really liked it
Jul 24, 2015
Jul 15, 2012 Damaris marked it as to-read
Newbery Honor Book 1922
David rated it liked it
Mar 06, 2015
Kim rated it liked it
Apr 03, 2009
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Charles Boardman Hawes was an American author. He was posthumously awarded the 1924 Newbery Medal for The Dark Frigate (1923). Additionally, The Great Quest (1921) was a 1922 Newbery Honor book.
More about Charles Boardman Hawes...

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