Nancy Keane's

Booktalks -- Quick and Simple


Main Page

Author List

Title List

New This Month

Interest Level

Subject List



Booktalking Tips

Book Review Sources

Reading lists


Nancy Keane's Children's Website

Bodett, Tom
New York : A. Knopf, 2000
IL 5-8  RL 5.9
ISBN 0375806873

(Pretend playing a pocket video game or use a real one for a prop)
I really like playing video games, don't you?  I'm the best at Tech Patrol, especially since I got this pocket game.  I used to have to wait until I could take the skiff over to Port Vixen, fourteen miles away to play the games at the video arcade at the Dockside Traders.  Last summer my sister and I made enough money selling clams at the Fourth of July  picnic that I was able to buy the pocket version with my share of the earnings.  Since we live on a remote piece of land, across from Steamer Cover, so far from the Alaskan mainland we don't have electricity, so we don't have television.  We use a marine radio and a short-wave radio to stay in touch with the rest of the world.  Nights get pretty long even with my sister September around for company.  She likes to read and listen to the radio, which I think is pretty boring.  After I got this game, I spent hours playing it.  I was going through $3 worth of batteries every night!  Then I discovered I could hot-wire my game into our radios.  From then on I spent many a long summer's night blasting the bad guys.  But I would never do it when my dad was around.  He'd kill me if I did anything that could wreck the radios/

One evening when Dad made his weekly call, something he did every time he had to go off-shore on a fishing trip, he told us that  he'd be another two weeks out crabbing.  Since he didn't think we should be on our own for that much longer, he said we were to go to Port Vixen to stay with Aunt Nelda and Uncle Spitz.  We talked him into letting us stay on our own.  We're not babies!  I'm twelve and September is thirteen.  That's old enough to look after ourselves and take care of chores around our place.  Besides, we've got the marine radio in case we need to call for help.  Thai's when Dad gave us the really bad news.  He said we could only stay home if I stopped hot-wiring my video game to the radios.  How did he find out I was doing that?  It was hard -- two weeks with no Tech Patrol!  I agreed.  Two weeks without a video game was better than two weeks being worked to death on Aunt Nelda's farm.

I couldn't keep my promise.  That night, after my sister fell asleep, I rigged up my game to the radios just like I always did, but I was working in the dark, just by feeling for the right wires with my fingers and  ... I blew out the video game and the radios too!  Now we're here alone with no way of contacting the harbormaster at Port Vixen and Dad will be trying to call us again in a week.  I've go to get the radios fixed before Dad finds out.

Ivan and September have figured it all out, how they can get the chores done and the radios repaired before their father returns but they didn't figure on the williwaw, the name given to the fierce northeaster that devastates everything in its path.  Just like the storm that took the life of their mother.  For nonstop action and adventure, read WILLIWAW! by Tom Bodett.  (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Committee)

SUBJECTS:      Storms -- Alaska -- Fiction.
                        Boats and boating -- Alaska -- Fiction.
                        Brothers and sisters -- Alaska -- Fiction.
                        Alaska -- Fiction.


Permission is granted for the noncommercial duplication and use of this resource, provided it is substantially unchanged from its present form and appropriate credit is given.