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Black Duck

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  2,720 ratings  ·  357 reviews
When Ruben and Jed find the dead body on the Rhode Island shore, they are certain it has something to do with smuggling liquor. It is the 1920’s, Prohibition is in full swing, and almost everyone in the shore community is involved. Suddenly, the boys find themselves involved as well: Didn’t the dead man have something on him, and didn’t they take it? It isn’t long before R ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 18th 2006 by Philomel
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,720 ratings  ·  357 reviews

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May 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Easy read. Childish view of rum running during Prohibition. It moves along as the young people's thoughts and escapades make for a personality filled story (although told by an oldster an entire lifetime later). And the writing itself has a solid locale feel and doesn't suffer from the jumpiness in transitions that these "through young eyes" plots normally have. But it wasn't compelling and lacked layers of depth that these cabals usually suggest which would make it a higher star form of histori ...more
Dec 31, 2009 rated it liked it
The story, about "rumrunners" off the coast of Rhode Island, moved along fairly well. I thought it lagged in a few spots, but still it is a good, fast read. The target age group surprised me a bit. I'm not really comfortable with the "good guys" being the law breakers and the "bad guy" being someone who wanted to follow the law with the 6th grade-ish group. However, the characters are well done and the book does provide some thought provoking ideas about the age of prohibition. ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Abby Johnson
Feb 10, 2008 rated it liked it
When Ruben and his best friend Jeddy find a dead body on the beach in 1929, their lives change forever. A weird reaction from the local law enforcement causes Ruben to give the body some thought and he eventually discovers that the dead man was an infamous rum runner. During this time of Prohibition, rum runners bought booze from Canada or the West Indies and smuggled it into the country. Because the ships had to anchor in international waters, rum runners would load up small boats with the liqu ...more
Chase Miller
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mr. Holt
Oct 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
After a slow and boring start, "The Black Duck" transformed itself into a novel of worth. The book told the story of rum running in a small New England coastal town in 1929 during the Prohibition era. The Black Duck was an elusive rum running boat that would bring the illegal alcohol from freighters to the shore to be transported to other spots around the countryside and sold for a pretty penny. The main character, Ruben Hart, tells his adventure and involvement in the rum running business to a ...more
Jul 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: boys, Tom Sawyer wannabees,
Recommended to Andy by: Texas Lone Star list
David wants to become a journalist, not part of his family's landscaping business. All he needs is one great story to prove that he has what it takes to be a good writer, and maybe then he'll be hired as a news reporter.

He finds an old man who was alive during the days of the Prohibition. From this point, the novel becomes the old man's story, and David's story becomes a thinly applied series of intermissions.

This is a great novel. I really enjoyed it. A neat historical fiction book to pick up f
Feb 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
***kids book This historical fiction novel was a great read. It was presented as a story an old man was telling a young man in present day. It presented a mystery of sorts, while imparting the history of the U.S. during prohibition. It challenged the reader to think about how people were pulled in to participate in "rum running" even though they were against it and the mob that ran things--including the main characters dad, his best friend and the best friends dad--- the sheriff. It was during t ...more
Feb 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Prohibition
Recommended to Art by: Susan Bush
Black Duck story of slaughter of rumrunners by Reneagade Coast Guard Captian.
Life during Prohibition remainds me of what people are having to deal with today about certain issues.
Does one provide for one's family and everything is black and white or does one look for the gray in life during troubling events.
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wow, this book was great. The characters were memorable and the storyline builds up till the end that will keep you turning the pages for more. It’s the first prohibition era book I’ve read and will not be the last. Overall I recommend this to anyone interested in historical fiction and mystery tied into one. You will not be disappointed.
Kevin Tejada
May 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
It was a great book that i whanted to read after the 50th page i got interested and actually finished it.and i recommended to people that like a good book.and it was mostly about two kids that go truw an experience of there life
May 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: YA, Adult
Action-packed tale of the rum runners during Prohibition. Loved it. The author paced the story very well, letting it unfold in its own time. One of my favorites of 2006.
B.A. Wilson
Sep 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: mg, mystery
This is a good mystery. It is a bit slow at times in the middle, but the ending is full of action and excitement. Press through the slow parts, and I believe you will enjoy this book overall.
Shravan sreenivasan
I love the way it keeps you suspense the whole way
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great Book. Extremely exciting. The time changes and how the story was written really helped to tell the story in one character perspective with a great understanding.
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An entertaining glimpse into Prohibition; I couldn’t put it down!
Jul 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a historical fiction for the YA audience.
It was a good way to introduce the prohibition era thru some teen boys having an adventure/mystery surrounding the liquor smugglers.

The mystery was interesting & it moves at a good pace.
Quick, short read or listen (I did it on audio).

FYI: there is some violence and I did find it a bit bittersweet as Jeddy & Ruben’s friendship was dissolving.
Sam Clark
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
When Ruben and his best friend Jeddy find a dead body on the beach in 1929, their lives change forever. A weird reaction from the local law enforcement causes Ruben to give the body some thought and he eventually discovers that the dead man was an infamous rum runner. During this time of Prohibition, rum runners bought booze from Canada or the West Indies and smuggled it into the country. Because the ships had to anchor in international waters, rum runners would load up small boats with the liqu ...more
Ms. B
Jun 01, 2019 rated it liked it
The end of the roaring 20s; the age of bootlegging. Was it all fun and games, hijinks and deringing? When David decides to interview Reuben an older gentleman who was a teen during the bootlegging years for his school's newspaper, he learns there was nothing fun nor adventurous about it. (view spoiler) ...more
Richie Partington
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
18 June 2006 BLACK DUCK by Janet Taylor Lisle, Philomel Sleuth, May 2006, ISBN: 0-399-23963-4

"Money it's a crime
Share it fairly but don't take a slice of my pie
Money so they say
Is the root of all evil today"
--Pink Floyd

"It's odd how a shocking sight can shake your mind so you don't at first register the whole, just the small, almost comical details. Like the hand complete with fancy gold wristwatch, wedding band and neatly clipped fingernails we saw bobbing on the water's surface as we came to
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Genre: Junior – historical fiction

Summary – A thrilling tale told of rumrunners during the Prohibition in Rhode Island by an old man, Mr. Hart, to a teenage, aspiring author, David Peterson. Based on the author’s hometown, it revolves around a set of newspaper articles which are not exactly full of the truth. As young David makes time to visit and listen to Mr. Hart, he impatiently waits for him to reveal the suspenseful truth about two boys, named Jeddy and Ruben, who discover a corpse floating
Nyah Rust
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Personal Response: I thought the book needed some more description and longer parts of the book, it was disappointing to me I thought that the boys would do a lot more than finding a dead body and Ruben doing only a little rum running.

Plot summary: This book was about Prohibition and how it affected a small town and its people. The book was about two friends who find a dead body washed up on shore all fancy and shot up, they check his pockets and don't find anything besides a tobacco pouch and
Feb 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is the story of Reuben Hart and his friend Jeddy MacKenzie from a small town in Rhode Island (I'm guessing at the spellings because I listened to the audiobook). They get caught up in the drama of the rum running trade during Prohibition.

I really really really enjoyed this book. It's a story within a story, opening when a kid from nowadays wants to get a job with the local paper, and to prove himself, he goes to get a story from the one surviving man in town that might have been part of th
Orlin Fuentes
Book Report for: Orlin Fuentes
Grade: 7, Date: 5/27/11

Black Duck
The author of Black Duck is Janet Taylor Lisle.
This is a non-fiction book.
It was published by Sleuth Puffin in 2006 and has 252 pages.
The setting is: a small town.
The main character is Rubben Hart and other characters are Jeddy McKenzie, Marina McKenzie, Tom Morrison, Billy Bradly.
Here is what happened early in the story: Ruben and Jeddy find a dead body on the shore of a beach. They look
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing

The book I read was Black Duck by Janet Taylor Lise. Years afterward, Ruben Hart tells the story about how he, his family, and his best friend get caught up into a secret rum-running business. Ruben’s story has twists and turns. One turn took a turn for the worse. Ruben meets the captain and crew of the Black Duck. The Black Duck is a fearsome rum-running boat that always dodges the coast guard even if they are ambushed, it always seemed to get away.
In 1929 Newport, Rhode Island, Ruben and Je
Karl Gregar
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
The story Black Duck, by Janet Taylor Lisle, is a historical fiction book. It is based off of a true story. Black Duck takes place in 1929, when prohibition is at its height. Prohibition was a nationwide ban of the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages from 1920 to 1933. Despite being illegal, alcohol of all forms still had a large demand. To get past federal law, fast boats known as rum-runners would carry alcohol from large freight ships moored in internation ...more
Sheyla Nunez
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
*Spoiler Alert*
Black Duck by Janet Taylor Lisle is an adventure fiction. The book told a story of what had to do with the Prohibition laws that took place during the 1920's. The Black Duck was very informational if you didn't know much of what happened during the Prohibition and the effects that it had on many people you would certainly have a great idea of what happened during this unlawful time.
The story basically starts with our main character (Ruben) and a friend finding the body of a dead
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Thomas Joseph
Jan 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Anyone interested in some alcohol? Well of course you are, because we are here in the 1920's at the peak of Prohibition right alongside the smugglers who denied to be tethered by such a law.

A young boy and his friend live along the coast in New England and one day stumble across a body while combing the beach. Their find leads them down a mysterious path that completely obliterates the general security that everything they thought they knew falsely instilled in them. Pitted against their familie
Maureen E
by Janet Taylor Lisle

Opening line: “A rumrunner had lived in town, one of the notorious outlaws who smuggled liquor during the days of Prohibition, that was the rumor.”

David wants to be come a reporter and so he decides to look into the story. Over time he forms a connection with Ruben Hart, who tells him what happened to the Black Duck, a famous rumrunning boat, all those years ago.

This was a book that I probably should have liked a bit more than I did. It takes an interesting time in a America
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Janet Taylor Lisle was born in Englewood, New Jersey, and grew up in Farmington, Connecticut, spending summers on the Rhode Island coast.The eldest child and only daughter of an advertising executive and an architect, she attended local schools and at fifteen entered The Ethel Walker School, a girl’s boarding school in Simsbury, Connecticut.

After graduation from Smith College, she joined VISTA (Vo

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