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Children's Fiction General

The Reluctant Deckhand

by (author) Jan Padgett

illustrated by Amanda Forbis

Pacific Educational Press
Initial publish date
Jan 1995
General, Boats, Ships & Underwater Craft
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jan 1995
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 8 to 11
  • Grade: 3 to 6


It's summer, and Tess would like nothing better than to spend one lazy day after another with her best friend, Candice. But Tess's mother Sue believes that Tess is old enough to work alonside her on her fish boat, the Henry Bay.

On their journey up the sometimes terrifying B.C. coastline, the most reluctant of deckhands becomes a skillful crew member and learns how to take responsibility for herself and her new cat, Maa-mou. Sighting dolphins, having a breathtaking brush with orcas, and visiting the deserted village of Memcwumless are all part of Tess's summer and lead to her greatest challenge: while her mother assists a boat in distress, Tess has to take the wheel of the Henry Bay.

About the authors

Jan Padgett is a writer and filmmaker who lives in Powell River, B.C. The Reluctant Deckhand is a joint project with the National Film Board of Canada, which has produced an animated film version of the story.

Jan Padgett's profile page

Amanda Forbis' profile page