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The Pull of the Ocean

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3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  636 Ratings  ·  142 Reviews
On a stormy night, little Yann Doutreleau wakes up his six older brothers, all twins. He lets them know that they must flee their home—or risk being killed by their violent father. Without question, the siblings follow Yann into the wet darkness. And so begins their remarkable odyssey toward the ocean—as well as an unforgettable story of brotherhood.

The social worker inves
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Paperback, 208 pages
Published May 12th 2009 by Laurel Leaf (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Markus
Apr 26, 2015 Markus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a beautiful unexpected read this was! The story was written in a very unique way, every chapter was told from a different perspective and included everyone who this strange group of boys encountered on their way. It was a very unsettling and abrupt book, I can't even deal with the ending. I don't even feel sure about my rating, the ending was something I couldn't even think to expect. The brothers who this book follows are wonderful and so was the concept of this story. I still cannot get o ...more
Sheila
Oct 19, 2012 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adults who like fairy tales with a twist
Yes, I'm an adult who reads children's books like Mourlevat's The Pull of the Ocean.

I can't help it.

As a kid, I've only read Disney classics sent directly by my aunties from the States, the Ladybird books available at the biggest bookstore chain (The Princess and the Pea was my favorite), The Sweet Valley Twins series loaned to me by a school friend, and a mysterious hardbound book of obscure fairy tales that might have been stolen from a library.

I know Hans Christian Andersen's Thumbelina, b
...more
Logan Matthiesen
Sep 18, 2009 Logan Matthiesen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Pull of the Ocean
Written by: Jean-Claude Mourlevat
Published by: Delacorte Press
Copyright Year: 2006
190 Pages
$13.95
ISBN:0-385-73348-8
Reading Level: ages 11-13
This book gets a rating of: 4.5 stars out of 5


Never judge a book by its cover”

The Pull of the Ocean tells a story about not judging a book by its cover but with humans. In this book there is a midget and he is mute. People think small of him, but he is actually a genius. He and his seven brothers run away from home because they hear th
...more
Brenda Wells
Dec 12, 2012 Brenda Wells rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. I loved this. It was a very quick read, perfect for a travel day (less than 200 pages). But I'm not confident enough that OTHER people will love it like I do. In fact, as much as I loved it, I'm not sure there's anyone I'd recommend it to.

I think part of the draw for me was that even though there was no hint of magic at all, there was somehow a feeling that Yann could be. That he might sprout wings like in some magical realism short story.

I know people read reviews to figure out if it's
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Jiwon Han
The pull of the ocean is about the twins who want to be live.
One day, 3twins decided to go to the ocean from their parents, because John heard that their parents trying to kill them. They got the train and that smart guys stole tickets to ride. However, they were hungry,and poor. Even one was wearing women shoes. They had a bad smell too. At the train, one women saw everything, even John stealing tickets, but she didn't tell to people. They could arrive near by ocean. They went to a house, and t
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Keri Daskam
Aug 31, 2011 Keri Daskam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: year-9
I found this book at the $0.25 table at the library. It was more a short story for grownups, though I think it would be engaging for all ages. It was 190 pages, but easily finished in a day. The book is an award-winner of the French Prix Sorcieres and there's no mistaking that French literary touch.

The story mirrors the tale of Tom Thumb, seven brothers running away from home, eventually encountering an ogre. Full of lyric storytelling from many different points of view, this book moves well al
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David
Jan 20, 2011 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-lit
I have not read a juvenile book that has impressed me like this one has in so long. The themes are incredibly adult, but put into the structure and perspective of a child. I would venture to say that this book is like Lois Lowry's The Willoughbys, except written by Stephen King. The characters have depth and credibility...even the most cruel. An incredible spin on Tom Thumb, but set into a contemporary analysis of society and how we treat our "lowest."
Kevin valdez Garcia
I think that this book is really good!!!!!
It talks about a kid named John and he has 6 brother (all tweens) and he and his brothers run away from their home but I didn't like that John had abandone his brother when they got caught and just run away by himself, an what about his brothers and his parents
Margaret
Oct 10, 2015 Margaret rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
this book was everything i wanted. a fairy-tale retelling, the ocean, kids in charge, astonishingly open endings....
Hanane
Apr 12, 2016 Hanane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A ce moment là, j'ai su qu'on s'en sortirait. Malgré le froid, malgré la nuit, malgré la peur, malgré tout et tout, on s'en sortirait.
Daisy Paquet
Aug 25, 2016 Daisy Paquet added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Daisy by: librarian
This was short, sweet, and mysterious.
Samantha
Nov 07, 2014 Samantha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jean-Claude Mourlevat
L’Enfant Océan
Avec une préface de l’Auteur
Stuttgart : Edition Reclam
Fremdsprachentexte
167 pages
Prix : 5.20 €
ISBN: 978-3-15-009117-3

Introduction
L’enfant Océan m’apparaissait le titre parfait pour ma lecture de vacances, compte tenu du fait que je n’avais rien à lire, que ce titre avec deux mots presque antithétiques me captivait et que l’idée de me retrouver lisant au bord de la mer, même si c’était la Méditerranée, m’intriguait. Bien, je n’avais pas aucune intention de cho
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Philippe
Nov 05, 2012 Philippe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: frfd-e
Critique du livre „L’enfant Océan“ de Jean-Claude Mourlevat

Contenu

Le petit livre Reclam de Jean-Claude Mourlevat raconte l’histoire ou il vaut mieux dire l’aventure naïve des sept frères Doutreleau qui quittent en pleine nuit la maison paternelle en direction de l’Océan Atlantique. Poussés à cause d’un démarche brutal par les parents que Yann, le plus petit des sept frères, a écouté aux portes, les enfants se mettent en route la même nuit. À coup de plusieurs personnes innocentes comme le chauff
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L12_sarah
The Pull of the Ocean is not your typical children's book. Its somber story seems reminiscent of Lemony Snickett's A Series of Unfortunate Events , but ultimately lacks the same charm. The plot is rather bleak. The Doutreleau family has seven boys: twins Remy and Fabien, twins Pierre and Paul, twins Max and Victor, and the singular, Yann, who is both a dwarf and mute. The Doutreleau family is poor, and it is suggested that Mr. Doutreleau is abusive and his wife, Mrs. Doutreleau, cold and hars ...more
Jill Wolosonovich
A. The Pull of the Ocean
• The author immediately pulled me into the story with the first chapter. A social worker returning a child to his home where it is insinuated that he is abused by his parents. At the same time, I’m given the impression that he was killed by his parents--“I’m one of the last people who saw Yann…” and “…But there was no next day.”
• With each chapter, the author builds on the horrific conditions of Yann’s life—mother saying, “He hasn’t looked well in ten years. He does tha
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Sarah Sindorf
Resenha do blog Sincerando.com, escrita por Sarah Sindorf

Yann tem seis irmãos mais velhos, três pares gêmeos, e é extremamente perspicaz e inteligente. Entretanto, ele é pequeno demais. Em uma noite chuvosa, os sete fogem de casa, e saem em busca do mar. A viagem e seu motivo tomam uma proporção maior do que imaginavam e pode mudar tudo o que conhecem.

"Nesta reinterpretação moderna do clássico O Pequeno Polegar, de Charles Perrault, Jean-Claude Mourlevat, finalista do Prêmio Hans Christian An
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Logan Matthiesen
Sep 25, 2009 Logan Matthiesen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Pull of the Ocean
Written by: Jean-Claude Mourlevat
Published by: Delacorte Press
Copyright Year: 2006
190 Pages
$13.95
ISBN:0-385-73348-8
Reading Level: ages 11-13
This book gets a rating of: 4.5 stars out of 5


Never judge a book by its cover”

The Pull of the Ocean tells a story about not judging a book by its cover but with humans. In this book there is a midget and he is mute. People think small of him, but he is actually a genius. He and his seven brothers run away from home because they hear th
...more
Leanna
Sep 03, 2007 Leanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading Jean-Claude Mourlevat’s The Pull of the Ocean, and I am struggling with what to write about it.

Yann, the main character, is described in the book as a ten-year-old “dwarf” or “midget.” He has six older brothers—three sets of twins—and does not speak, yet he is the ringleader of the group. On Yann’s say, the seven boys run away from home, but it isn’t until the very end that we actually hear from Yann and his reasons for leaving are revealed.

The young adult book—a translat
...more
nicole
Sep 23, 2008 nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adults, people interested in fairy tale's retold
Recommended to nicole by: Deb
What a funny recommendation, Deb. Probably the most depressing "children's book" I've ever read. Or is it young adult? I don't know, but only give this to middle readers you attend to scare the begeezus out of. It's definitely interesting to discuss as a fairy tale (combines elements of Tom Thumb, Hansel & Gretel, and probably others), but I found it terrifying in the sort of way that "A Child Called It" scares me, rather than scary/fascinating in the way that Hansel and Gretel made me feel ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Carrie Spellman for TeensReadToo.com

Yann is the seventh son, and the only one born alone. His six older brothers are three sets of twins. Yann has never really grown and he doesn't speak. Oddly, he communicates to his brothers much more accurately than they do to each other. When he wakes them up one night, explaining wordlessly that their father plans to harm them, they follow him without question.

Their journey is to the ocean, a place where they all anticipate feeling safe. With n
...more
Maria
Jun 26, 2010 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The very first line in The Pull of the Ocean by Jean-Claude Mourlevat immediately grabs the reader’s attention; “I’m one of the last people who saw Yann Doutreleau alive.” From this point on, the story slowly unfolds with each narrative account from Yann’s brothers, his parents and each witness whom they encounter on their grueling journey. Each narrative moves the story forward a piece at a time in a logical manner as it leads up to the climax and the conclusion of the story; which, has an unex ...more
Stacy268
Aug 09, 2008 Stacy268 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Ibbotson
Recommended to Stacy268 by: found on the library shelf
Shelves: tween, middle-grade
This is why I love visiting the public library. This little gem of a book leaped off the shelves into my heart.

Yann Doutreleau is dragged home by Nathalie a social worker with the best intentions. He doesn't speak, at least not with words, so most people do not understand his wants and needs. His older brothers (three sets of twins) tell the social worker that Yann's father threw his book bag down the well.

Upon arrival at the rundown homestead and meeting Yann's mother, Nathalie realizes that sh
...more
Kaylee
May 09, 2013 Kaylee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite books from my middle school reading list. I had picked it up at my middle school library because I was intrigued the title, then the novel itself.

Have you ever read Tom’s Thumb? Well I have not but if you have you will quickly recognize the modern retelling of the fable.

There are seven children in the Doutreleau family, three sets of twins, Remy and Fabien, Pierre and Paul, Victor and Max, as well as the youngest boy, Yann. Their ages are fourteen, thirteen, eleven and
...more
Kimberly
Jun 21, 2010 Kimberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: everybody-books, ya
This book was written in French and translated into English. He is 10 years old and the size of a toddler, but considered by all his brothers to be very wise. He tells his brothers they must leave home because their parents are planning to “harm them.” They believe him and he leads them on a journey to the sea. The Pull of the Ocean is told from the viewpoints of Yann’s brothers and many others who encounter the 7 on their way to the sea. We do not hear from Yann until the end of the story. The ...more
Mary Orchard
Jan 14, 2015 Mary Orchard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 25-ya-books
This book is about a family of brothers that includes three sets of twins, and an unusually small 10-year-old boy (Yann is his name). The parents of these children are abusive, and so Yann decides to lead his brothers away from the violent environment and towards the ocean. Each chapter is the perspective of those who see the unusual travelers making their journey towards the ocean. Many of the people who observe the boys are kind and helpful. Yann, although the smallest and youngest of his brot ...more
Christina
Aug 08, 2007 Christina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is so good. It's hard to find a copy in stores, which is a huge shame. The cover is appealing, and the trim size makes it the perfect little book to bring along on your commute. It's a children's book, but I think the writing and the story would appeal to the adult that enjoys a good story and minimalist writing. The story describes 7 brothers, 3 sets of twins and 1 single brother who is small, that run away from their parents because they believe that they are going to be killed. Each ...more
May-Ling
Jan 27, 2011 May-Ling rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
full disclosure - this is technically a book for teenagers, and my partner spent plenty of time making fun of me for reading it. perhaps that's not so difficult, since it's a tiny book with wide margins. but - it was in a library display and has the most captivating quote on the back, so i snatched it up. translated from french, the book immediately draws you in, with each chapter advancing the plot, although narrated by a different character.

the premise is that this poor family of 3 sets of bo
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Joe Denzak
Aug 26, 2016 Joe Denzak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Pull of the Ocean" written by Jean-Claude Mourlevat is about a not so nice family whose parents dont get along with their kids, and each other. They have seven kids, each of them as twins. However the last one, Yann, is a miniature boy who doesn't talk but people understand him, through his eyes. Yann and his brothers run away from their parents after Yann hears something they said in the night. Yann leads the journey to the ocean.

In my opinion, this book was ok. It was a quick read, perfect f
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Victoria
I enjoyed reading this book because of the format and story-line. Normally, I don't read books like this but I actually enjoyed this one. It was very interesting to see the different points of view all throughout the book telling the story bit by bit.

While reading, I found myself getting slightly confused though. At some parts I wasn't sure who was who anymore. Being that there were so many characters (7) it was difficult to go through and remember who was who, and who was twins with another. Th
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Sophia
Sep 21, 2008 Sophia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I dont know what got me so extatic about this story. Was it its baffling characters? Or maybe the scent of new paths in literature that this book offered me the first time I saw it? The one thing I know is that this book has one of the most grippin and heartbreaking stories I've ever heard, and the author of it deserves alot more than a golden medal.
Jean-Claude Mourlevat gives a meticolous view of all the settings in the story, like when all the Doutreleau Brothers jump in inside the truck of a
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Jean-Claude Mourlevat once wrote and directed burlesque shows for adults and children, which were performed for more than ten years in France and abroad. The author of several children’s books, he lives in a house overhanging the River Loire, near Saint-Etienne, France.
More about Jean-Claude Mourlevat...

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