Cover image for My father's boat
My father's boat
Garland, Sherry.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic, [1998]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 x 26 cm
A Vietnamese-American boy spends a day with his father on his shrimp boat, listening as he describes how his own father fishes on the South China Sea.
Reading Level:
AD 910 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.0 0.5 114960.

Reading Counts RC K-2 5.9 2 Quiz: 16560 Guided reading level: O.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A young boy spends a day with his father on his shrimp boat, listening as his father describes how his own father fished on the South China Sea.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this poignant tale, a Vietnamese American boy heads out into the Gulf of Mexico on his father's shrimp boat. He learns how to store shrimp in ice chests and to shake "angry" crabs from the nets. But more important, he hears his father tell stories of his own father, a shrimp fisherman on the South China Sea, and of the war that separated them: "He could not leave the land he loved, and I could not stay." Garland (The Lotus Seed) welds telling details of the sea, sky and fishing life into a powerful narrative engine that draws the reader into the deeper waters of unspoken sentiments. Her skillful, simply worded descriptions ("Over the water men's voices float, deep and hoarse, as if they haven't drunk their morning coffee yet") are ably matched by Rand's (Baby in a Basket) sometimes impressionistic seascapes and realistic portraits. One particularly moving double-page spread shows the boy and his father facing the grandfather, worlds apart yet brought together by thought and memory. A haunting evocation of the aches and solaces of being a father and of being a son. Ages 5-8. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4ÄA young boy and his father arrive at the dock before dawn to board their shrimp boat and head out to sea. During the day, the man reflects on his boyhood in Vietnam where his father is a fisherman. He promises the child that he will someday take him to meet his grandfather and the three of them will fish together in the South China Sea. The strong bond between father and son is gently revealed as they share their thoughts and hard work. The text flows effortlessly. The spectacular double-page watercolor and acrylic spreads are filled with the colors and moods of the ocean, from the fog-bound pier to the dazzling sunrise on the open water, to the daylight-filled scenes on the boat. Each page is a rich and varied feast for the eyes from vast horizons to close-up moments. Dolphins, jellyfish, gulls, and pelicans dance across the pages. As the boy describes his day, his cultural heritage is brought to life through words and pictures. Like Garland's The Lotus Seed (Harcourt, 1993), this is a thoughtful and loving family story.ÄCarol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.