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The ABCs of Fruits and Vegetables and Beyond by Steven Charney and David Goldbeck
At Her Majesty's Request by Walter Dean Myers
Bleach Volume 14 by Tite Kubo
Blind Side by Penny Warner
Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
Castrato by Michael Collins
Character Flu by Robert Reed
Chronicle of the City of Havana by Eduardo Galeano
Color for Thought by the 5th grade class of Coast Episcopal School
Crescent Moon Volume 1 by Haruko Iida
The Cuba Journal by Sophia Peabody Hawthorne
Cuba Revisited by Martha Gellhorn
Cuban Childhood by Fidel Castro and Frei Betto
Diary of the Boy King Tutankhamen by June Reig
The Dive from Clausen's Pier by Ann Packer
Dora's Backpack by Sarah Willson
Dreaming in Cuban (excerpt) by Cristina Garcia
Dreamland by Clarence Budington Kelland
Fables from the Mud by Erik Quisling
Fergus by Mary Patterson Thornburg
The Ghost of Lizard Light by Elvira Woodruff
The Girl Genius Omnibus by Kaja and Phil Foglio
Go Green by Nancy H. Taylor
Image of Josephine by Booth Tarkington
Jewel in the Skull by Michael Moorcock
The Light in the Forest by Conrad Richter
Litany by Rand B Lee
Local Rites by Paul Daffey
Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann
Monkey See... by P. E. Cunningham
Nature's Children: Ostriches by Merebeth Switzer
Never Have Your Dog Stuffed by Alan Alda
No More Monsters for Me by Peggy Parish
OPEN Brand by Kelly Mooney and Nita Rollins
Operation Ghost by Jacques Duquennoy
Ophie Out of Oz by Kathleen O'Dell
Our Man in Havana (Excerpt) by Graham Greene
Peacocks by Ruth Berman
Picture Purrfect Kittens by Erika Tatihara and Masaru Mizobuti
The Pigeon Loves Things That Go by Mo Willems
The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl
The Salting and Canning of Benevolence D. by Al Michaud
The Sea Shack by Mark McNulty
She Who Hears the Sun by Pamela Jekel
Ship of Fools by Katherine Anne Porter
Shoes by Debbie Bailey and Susan Huszar
Show Me Your Smile by Christine Ricci
Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
State Birds by Arthur and Alan Singer
Still Hot by Sue Mittenthal and Linda Reing
A Superior Death by Nevada Barr
Tundra Swans by Bianca Lavies
The War with Spain (excerpt) by Henry Cabot Lodge
Where's the Big Red Doggie? by Norman Bridwell
What to Wear by Consuelo Hermer and Marjorie May
Wheels, Wheels and More Wheels by Ed and Ruth Radlauer
Wild Turkeys by Julian May

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The Sea Shack: 06/07/08

The Sea Shack

The Sea Shack follows a long tradition of coming of age stories where a young child is sent to live with an elderly person, sometimes a relative, sometimes not and over the course of living with this person learns important life long lessons. For Any O'Brien, the trip is to his grandfather's sea shack for the summer while his father is on an extended business trip.

Andy goes full of anger and it takes him a good third of the book to rein in that anger. Andy narrates his own story but from some unknown time in the future where he is looking back on this turning point in his life. Because it is adult Andy or perhaps just teenage Andy, the story is told mostly in long descriptions with little time spent on dialog.

It took me a while to get into the novel. It's never much fun to listen to someone winge and that's what Andy does. Grampy, though, makes up for Andy's lack of personality at the start of the book. Grampy is an old sea dog, happily living on the beach, taking what he needs from the sea.

It was initially the mystery of Grampy that sucked me into the story and as McNulty explains in the Afterword, the novel is really more about Grampy than Andy. McNulty though doesn't answer all the questions about Grampy's life. Things I wanted to know: how long had he been living in the sea shack, what had happened to his wife, and how did Andy's parents meet. Of course had these questions been answered, the book probably would have felt bloated. At 192 pages, the book feels just about right.

For more coming of age stories I recommend:

Comments (2)

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Comment #1: Sunday, June, 8, 2008 at 08:26:09


Did you know that the author is a BookCrosser, or did you find the book by accident?"

Comment #2: Sunday, June, 8, 2008 at 17:09:11


I am. I bought the book after it was announced at BookCrossing back in 2004. I didn't mention BookCrossing because Mark hasn't been very active recently."

Comment #3: Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 21:26:44

Mark McNulty

Thank you so much for reading The Sea Shack and taking the time to post this fair, honest review. It has bee six years since you posted it but it is never too late to show gratitude. As a writer, this genuinely means a great deal to me. All my best...

Comment #4: Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 21:29:22


Welcome to my book blog! So much has happened since I read and reviewed your book. I hope to review another of your books in the future.

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