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The Pull of the Ocean

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  532 ratings  ·  126 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
Paperback, 208 pages
Published May 12th 2009 by Laurel Leaf (first published 1999)
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(showing 1-30 of 795)
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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
Mar 19, 2015 Sheila rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
Logan Matthiesen
The Pull of the Ocean
Written by: Jean-Claude Mourlevat
Published by: Delacorte Press
Copyright Year: 2006
190 Pages
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
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
Keri Daskam
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
Jean-Claude Mourlevat
L’Enfant Océan
Avec une préface de l’Auteur
Stuttgart : Edition Reclam
167 pages
Prix : 5.20
ISBN: 978-3-15-009117-3

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 choi
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
The Pull of the Ocean is a book that even I enjoyed, as I am not the biggest reader. The main character, Yann, is fleeing from home with his seven older brothers, as they escape their father who is trying to kill them. Yann is mute, but still has a fantastic sense of knowledge without being very controlling. Overall, the journeys throughout the book kept me page turning because of its interesting form of writing. Every chapter was told from a different point of view, either on of the brothers, o ...more
Mary Orchard
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
Logan Matthiesen
The Pull of the Ocean
Written by: Jean-Claude Mourlevat
Published by: Delacorte Press
Copyright Year: 2006
190 Pages
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
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
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
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
Brenda Wells
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
Critique du livre „L’enfant Océan“ de Jean-Claude Mourlevat


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
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
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Carrie Spellman for

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
Kaylee Hammond
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
Sep 26, 2008 nicole rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
Aug 09, 2008 Stacy268 rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Ibbotson
Recommended to Stacy268 by: found on the library shelf
Shelves: middle-grade, tween
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
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
So totally charming! I was pulled into this story and the unique way it is told. The harshness of the parents against the devotion of the brothers to one another and the random acts of kindness against the cruelty they experienced on their journey. A story well written and it was fun to read a book that was originally printed in French.
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
Most of the things I like about this book have nothing to do with the actual writing. I read it because it is cute. It is small. The picture on the front is adorable. Even the typeface is spiffy.

The story is based on the Hans Christian Anderson character of Tom Thumb, retold for the teenage set. It is told in a bunch of short interviews with many different characters, which really kept my attention and made for a tense and mysterious mood. However, the same points in the story kept being repeat
This is an intriguing book, both for its unusual story and the unusual way in which it is told. Each chapter is an eyewitness testimony that either furthers the plot or enriches the reader's knowledge of the characters. It is an updated "Tom Thumb" story, translated from French. The characters, even the secondary characters who just serve to move the plot along, are richly drawn. The unfolding narrative made me uneasy, as I grew anxious about the fate of the runaway boys--especially the youngest ...more
This book was pretty good. I enjoyed it. Some parts was a little confusing to me. I thought some parts were a bit odd. I liked how the story showed different points of view for each character. I've never read a book that has done something like that so I thought it was unique.
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
G (galen)
found this one while walking up and down the rows in the library. Picked it up, put it back. Went back and picked it up again, then put it back. After the third time, I just held on to it and checked it out. I think it was the cover illustration that kept drawing me in. That, and the fact that it was originally written in French.

So I checked it out and brought it home.
And loved it.

A perilous journey with seven brothers fleeing their father. You just get little glimpses here and there of what is
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what i dont get 2 12 Sep 03, 2011 12:09AM  
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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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