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The Skipper's Child

4.58  ·  Rating details ·  26 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Arie Kornet hates school holidays on his family's barge, the Rival, which is home to Arie, his two sisters, his father, and his deaf mother. But because his father is a commercial skipper, all they do is travel from one place to another on the Dutch and other European canals and waterways - the binnenvaart. Arie is intensely frustrated with it all. It seems there is nothin ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published November 30th 2011 by Sunpenny Publishing (first published November 1st 2011)
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Tonia Parronchi
Dec 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have been following Valerie Poore's blog for a while because I too am mad about boats (she lives on a barge in Holland) and decided to get one of her books. I chose The Skipper's Child after reading a short excerpt and immediately loving it. I am so glad I did. Even though it is described as a children's book, it is actually far more.
Certainly your children will love the adventures that the three Dutch children have. They live on a barge, traveling the canals in the cold, snowy winter and get
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful story about a boy (Arie) and his family and their life on a barge, set in the time of tension between the U.S. and Russia. It depicts not only the hardship of their live, but also political tension in Europe, with a plot to assassinate a French diplomat. Dimitry, a young Russian boy, is caught up in the espionage. His courage and plight bring strength and unity to Arie and his family as they unite to help Dimity to safety.

The setting of the story is wonderfully described, and
Patti Wilson
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exciting and suspenceful

The story starts out aboard a cargo boat hauling wool from The Netherlands to France during icy weather pre Christmas. We meet a young boy who is bored living on this boat with his family. But, soon his world and that of his family takes a sharp turn into dangerous territories. I enjoyed this book very much. Val Poore is better known for her well written memoirs as a barge owner. Here she has added a new winner to her writing skills.
Melinda Matthews
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a beautifully written tale. LOVED IT! I didn't want to put it down. It gave me great insight into a life I could never live and took me on a journey I will never forget. I love the way the author kept the story moving, just like a barge on a waterway, while introducing us intricately to those aboard. Classic, rich storytelling and a coming of age adventure that is rich. Can't imagine anyone not enjoying this book. Definitely 5-star's from me. It's a great read.
Julie Powell
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
A well-written tale for a younger readership about a twelve-year-old boy on the canals, where his father is skipper. He's bored, however, that is about to change.

Taking place in 1962, this story has charm and beautifully depicts canal life. It also has drama and adventure of a surprising sort.

A great snapshot and family read.

Worth a look.
E.M. McIntyre
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This story was an absolute delight. I normally wouldn't have thought to pick up a book that involved barges, but I was intrigued by the description. The author does an outstanding job of creating an atmosphere to suck you in; the characters are beautifully developed and I thoroughly enjoyed the storyline. This is well worth the purchase for a read full of adventure and intrigue.
Reg Shell
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Valerie Poore's The Skipper's Child gives the reader of all ages a fascinating adventure on a houseboat, complete with intrigue and danger. This is a family story and a great read. As it is well written it in an excellent choice of book for children, while the story has sufficient pace to interest adults. Five-star work.

Geoffrey West
Oct 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is an absolute gem, set in the 1960s, when John Kennedy was the president of the USA and the cold war was beginning to get hot. But it isn’t a book about politics or spies, it’s about a young boy and his family who live and work on a barge in Holland, travelling around the canals of Europe. In the leading protagonist’s words: ‘Arie thought it was funny that normal people watch the world go past, but boat people go past the world instead.’

Told from the boy Arie’s perspective, it’s an exciti
Billy Buttons
Sep 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was recently entered and was a SILVER MEDALIST in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. This is what our young readers thought:


Author: Valerie Poore

Title: The Skipper’s Child

COVER: 8/10
In general, the children loved the cover. They thought thr way the image of the three children was in colour was a clever way of focusing the eye on the characters. However, a few of the readers thought the image was a little ‘boring’ and thought an image showing the three kids in the middle of a daring
Lynn Dixon
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I did not want this book to end! When I reached the end, I felt like, “Aw.” This suspenseful tale, The Skipper’s Child, will touch the heartstrings. The Kornet family finds a stowaway on their houseboat as they travel to sell their wares during the Christmas holidays. The son, Arie, befriends the young man and hides him before sharing the truth about his presence with his father and the rest of the family
The young man, Dmitri, has fallen in with a dangerous group and is being hunted by the aut
Terry Tyler
4.5 stars

The Skipper's Child is a story for older children and adults of all ages ~ in other words, anyone from ten to eighty years old! It takes place on the canals of Belgium in the winter of 1962 when twelve year old Arie and his family become involved with a young Russian fugitive, Dmitri.

I've read three of Val Poore's non-fiction books, about her time living in South Africa and her own life on board barge, but I'd never read any fiction by her before. I'm glad I did; this is a delightful bo
Anne-Marie Klein
Jul 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Skipper's Child by Valerie Poore is a book that I read in instalments while it was still a work in progress, and I remember looking forward to each new chapter with great anticipation. She has managed to convey the time and place for this novel so accurately that you can feeling yourself following the main characters and the action down the river as events unfold, and the suspense and drama are maintained right to the end. I think this is a book that will be equally enjoyed by children (ages ...more
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story! It reminded me so much of the wonderful Swallows and Amazons books that I read as a child but had the refreshing twist of being set in a new and unfamiliar world of cold-war the Netherlands and Belgium.
Arie, a charming and sometimes wistful boy, is home on his family's barge for the holidays. He thinks it will be just another drab journey but things take a turn for the adventurous when a strange young man stows away in Arie's quarters.
While the journey itself moves at the pac
Johanna Craven
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm in the process of researching houseboats to buy and when I saw this book I knew I had to read it! This is such a lovely work of historical fiction . Life aboard the barge was described with great authenticity, as were Arie and his family. The arrival of Dmitri added great drama to the story and made this a book that will appeal to readers from childhood upwards. Love the cover design too.
Jo Beckford
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Julie Powell
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Jan 10, 2016
Valerie Poore
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
michael donavon
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Tom Winkle
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Ju Ephraime
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Although not a child, I love, The Skipper’s Child, and I know children will love the story too. The characters are so adventuresome, although, the way the author writes it, Arie and his sisters’ way of life is itself an adventure: On a barge, traveling the Dutch canals filled with beautiful snowy landscapes. The adventure intensifies, when they became involved with a young Russian boy, whose life was in danger, and his survival depends on their ability to hide him away from those who seek to har ...more
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