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Son of Fortune

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  46 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Aiden Lynch is a survivor—only 16 years old, he's seen himself through near-starvation on the Kansas prairie, a brutal journey on the Oregon trail, and backbreaking work in a lumber camp. Now he's reached the glittering city of San Francisco, and though his future is uncertain, promise lies ahead. Luck seems to favor him as he manages to stay one step ahead of trouble, eve ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published November 12th 2013 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published November 1st 2013)
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The very compelling story begun in The Devil's Paintbox is continued with Aiden escaping possible murder charges by signing on to a Swedish fishing vessel on its way to San Francisco. McKernan plunges us almost immediately into a riveting seal-hunting scene complete with shark and an amazing rescue by our hero. Aiden's grateful shipmates ensure that he has a place to stay when they arrive in San Francisco, and, thankful for this home base, he wanders the city looking for work that just isn't ava ...more
Merrilyn Tucker
Jul 05, 2014 Merrilyn Tucker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an adventure! Victoria McKernan follows up The Devil's Paintbox with this book, The Son of Fortune. I have not read Devil's Paintbox, but plan to now that I have finished Son of Fortune. Why? One good reason is that I have never encountered a young character who has had so much befall him in his short 16 years. I do not doubt that such people existed in the formation of our country and I want to read more of his exploits. Aiden Lynch has migrated from drought-plagued Kansas to San Fransisco ...more
Sue Heraper
“Son of Fortune” is a beautifully written historical novel about a young man tested by ethical and moral dilemmas. Beginning immediately after the events in “The Devil’s Paintbox”, Aiden makes his way to Seattle after leaving the lumber camp where he accidentally killed a man in a fight. He befriends a young Swedish sailor named Fish who he saves from a shark attack. In San Francisco he also befriends Christopher, the son of a wealthy businessman. After Aiden wins a trading ship in a fateful pok ...more
Elizabeth Schneider
As the sequel to The Devil's Paintbox, we find Aiden in the mid-1980s in San Francisco meeting some interesting characters such as Fish, the Scandinavian fisherman, and Christopher, the rich, spoiled kid who likes to live life dangerously gambling on the Barbary Coast and drowning in drink. When Aiden wins a 'cursed' ship in a card game, the real adventure begins. Aiden and Christopher go into the guano shipping business, with Fish as the captain of the ship. McKernan's gruesome description of t ...more
3.5 stars
Aiden is only 16, but he's lived through a lot! Now he finds himself in San Francisco around the time of the gold rush. He happens to fall in with a rich man's son, plus he gets lucky during a game of cards and wins a ship. However, the ship is licensed to carry guano - and when Aiden discovers what really goes on in the business, he is incensed.

Great look at this time in history; I'm just not sure which of my students I could get to read it...
Jan 08, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sequel to The Devil's Paintbox...should have remembered she doesn't pull her punches and writes realistically. People die and stuff doesn't work out the way you want it to (no fairy tale endings) but Aiden is an awesome character and I rooted for him through it all. Not a bad ending but I could see her writing more of Aiden's story.
Heidi Worley
Jul 16, 2013 Heidi Worley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story of Aidan continues with more twists and turns as he finds himself with a whole new lifestyle he never dreamed possible. His morals are never really challenged, but he certainly has to work through some difficult questions about principles, priorities, and coming of age.
Samantha Madison
I loved this book! I read it while on a cruise! Wonderful adventure story!
While I liked learning about a part of history I'd never read about before I found many parts of this book to be too slow.
Jan 05, 2014 Mindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember liking The Devil's Paintbox, so I put the sequel in my to read pile right away. It was enjoyable. I appreciated the discussion of ethics and race. For fans of historical fiction.
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Victoria McKernan started traveling at the age of eighteen and spent many years working her way around the world, hitchhiking and sailing. She graduated in 1982 from George Washington University with a BA in theatre. Since learning to scuba-dive on Australia's Great Barrier Reef, she has worked as a scuba instructor, underwater model, and divemaster on several ships. She lives in Washington DC wit ...more
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