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The Black Pearl

3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  4,703 Ratings  ·  279 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
Paperback, 144 pages
Published April 12th 2010 by HMH Books for Young Readers (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
Aug 27, 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
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
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 24, 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
Jul 29, 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
Joseph Law
Jul 17, 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
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
Jun 14, 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 -
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
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
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
Sep 28, 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
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.
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!
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.
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.
Nov 16, 2016 Valerie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-and-ya
Ramon is the scrawny 16-year old son of the richest pearl dealer in their small Mexican town. He wants to become a pearl diver so he can claim his manhood by finding the Pearl of Heaven, but his father delegates Ramon to bookkeeping. Instead, Ramon disobeys his father and goes diving in a forbidden cave guarded by Manta Diablo, the monstrous manta ray said to have the ability to shape shift and cover the lagoon in blinding red fog. He finds what he is looking for--a perfect black pearl bigger th ...more
Littlefoot Peco
I picked this little gem up for 50 cents at my local library, and it was well worth that. The Black Pearl is tightly written, reminiscent of Ernest Hemingway's almost journalistic style of writing. O'Dell accomplishes a lot with a little. Like Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Black Pearl captures another culture extremely well, and it would seem that the author did a tremendous amount of research before writing this book. The suspense was riveting and the climax outstanding.

However, the ending w
Fabian Duran
Nov 02, 2016 Fabian Duran rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book it has a great plot. Who wouldn't want to read about a boy looking for a mythical pearl guarded by a monster. I liked the story and I recommend this book if you like action, adventure, and fictional stories.
Jan 07, 2017 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed the book and now have researched Manta rays and need to see them at the Georgia Aquarium.
Walker T
Jan 05, 2017 Walker T rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
People should read The Black Pearl by Scott O’Dell. It is a book for all ages. Right from the beginning it has you hooked with the best example of foreshadowing I have ever seen. In the first paragraph, the narrator says that he is one of the only two people who have ever seen this monster like manta, and the only one alive.
The author pays a lot of attention to developing the setting and the narrator’s personality. To develop setting, the author describes every detail from the color of the mi
Wayne S.
Oct 07, 2012 Wayne S. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is around the turn of the twentieth century, and sixteen-year-old Ramon Salazar lives in the town of La Paz on the Baja California coast of Mexico, with his father Blas, the owner of a lucrative pearl fishing business, mother, and two sisters. Blas Salazar had promised his son that when he turned sixteen he would make Ramon a partner in his business, allow him to sail with the fleet, and teach him how to dive for pearls. However, following his birthday Ramon gets to go only once, staying on t ...more
Feb 28, 2017 Izzy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very captivating and descriptive.
Kimber Lybbert
Typical fare for a Newberry book. Short, easy read for young 'uns.
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.
Nov 06, 2008 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
The Black Pearl by Scott O'Dell takes you on a journey with a boy name Ramon. Ramon is not a average 16 years he likes learning about pearls in his hometown of La Paz and wants to become apart of his dad fleet of divers. When ramon hears about the black pearl or the pearl of heaven he wants to find the pearl, but there's only one problem the manta diablo.
The theme of the book The Black Pearl is fearful. The theme of fearful was depict throughout the entire story for example when Ramon first sta
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Fantasy 1 3 Oct 20, 2015 02:50PM  
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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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