Janet Taylor Lisle
Black Duck

“ The rumrunner craft approached the dock again. The wheelman was a young man, dark and dashing as a pirate. He revved the powerful engines, idled them, and with an expert hand, allowed the boat to drift into position. As it swung around into the dazzle of headlights, I caught sight for the first time of the ship’s name, painted along the starboard bow. Black Duck.”

Like everyone in town, Ruben Hart has heard about the Black Duck. It’s 1929. Prohibition is in full swing. The outlaw rum-running boat is half phantom, known up and down the Rhode Island coast for her daring exploits, yet rarely glimpsed by ordinary folk. Her skipper is too smart and her crew too skilled. Then Ruben catches the speedster landing an illegal load of liquor late one night on an abandoned dock. Soon after, a dead body in an evening suit washes up on the beach. Ruben and his friend Jeddy are drawn into a dark world of subterfuge. It’s a place where conventional rules of right and wrong no longer apply, as loyalty turns into betrayal, and betrayal becomes a way of upholding the law.
More about the book
Booksellers Baker and Taylor interviewed Janet Lisle about her novel Black Duck. Her answers, emailed from her home on the Rhode Island coast, shed light on how she came to write the story, and some of the means she used to bring the past to life.
Awards and Honors
Junior Library Guild selection, 2006
ALA Best Book for Young Adults, 2007
Rhode Island Book of the Year, 2007 (Alliance for the Study and Teaching of Adolescent Literature, Rhode Island College)
Julia Ward Howe Young Readers Finalist, 2007
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Big Picture selection
Scholastic Book Club selection
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Black Duck
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Black Duck
What's Fiction? What's Real?
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Janet Taylor Lisle
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