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Author: Jan Adkins

Illustrator: Jan Adkins

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Publisher: WoodenBoat Publications,

Material: hard cover

Summary: The weather report suggested that it would be a rough day on Buzzard’s Bay; too dangerous for small boats. Skip Warr went down to the floating dock to check the moorings of the small craft. He took the Yard Boat and headed to the Narrows Caf This is a sea-faring adventure story.

Type of Reading: family reading, independent reading

Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 12; read yourself: 10 and up

Age of Child: Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™

Young Reader Reaction: Workboats is an exciting tale about a sea rescue. It is generously illustrated on each page with scenes of boats in action. Mostly a book for a boy's reading list-it also has commander Linda Brown skipper of the Vigilante. This is an inspiring book for teens who want to pursue a career of service and adventure. Most of us landlubbers will love to look into the lives of the men and women who make their living fishing along the Atlantic coast or tugging larger boats or patrolling in the US Coast Guard boats or involved in air-sea rescue. Thank you for such a fine book.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a story of a search and rescue mission during a treacherous storm on Buzzard’s Bay. As he has done in other books, Jan Adkins provides the reader, not only with an enjoyable adventure, but also with a primer on all things nautical. This time the focus is on “Workboats”, what they are, what they do, and when, where, and how they do it.

Pros: Mr. Adkins' love of boats and the sea is contagious. Even if you never meet or eat one, you’ll never forget a “quahog”. The author’s pen and ink illustrations are the cherry on the sundae!

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. It is an enjoyable and informative adventure story. The author’s love of boats and the sea is contagious. Even if you never meet or eat one, you’ll never forget a quahog. This is a worthwhile purchase if you have a 12— to 14-year-old interested in boats, fishing, the ocean, transportation, or who always wants to know “how things work."


Educational Themes: The story demonstrates how friends, government agencies, and businesses pull together during a search and rescue mission. The courage, dedication, and selflessness of those who serve in such situations provide endless opportunities for discussions about community, responsibility, service, and caring.

Literary Categories: fiction - picture book, boats, history

Date(s) Reviewed: March 2007; February 2008

Other Reviews:


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