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Title: Moby Dick Author: Herman Melville Publisher: Bendon Number of Pages: 181 Type of Book: Fiction, Classic Age: 8+ Available here and here. Price: N580 MY SUMMARY Described by the author as the “greatest sea yarn since Jonah,” it’s a tale about a young man, Ishmael who decided to join a whaling ship on a three-year expedition that became the greatest adventure of his life. Told in the first person by Ishmael, it chronicles his journey on the Pequod, a ship filled with all sorts of whaling sailors: strange but skilled Black and Indian harpooners, a strange and bitter, one-legged captain and three tough but good-natured shipmates. He encounters large whales and giant squids, bloodthirsty island pirates, Fedallah, the mysterious and his phantom crew and a dark sea captain who is determined to find the white whale, Moby Dick at all costs. Did he find Moby Dick and at what cost? Find out when you read the book. It is one whale of a story! THUMBS UP AND DOWN UP: This book is a science lesson, a history lesson and a novel rolled up in one small and interesting package! DOWN: None RATING: 4 Stars TRIVIA 1. According to Ishmael, “The Lion is the King of the beasts and the _________ is the King of the fishes” The Sperm Whale. 2. Why did Captain Ahab want to find Moby Dick? Because the whale ate his leg! 3. Queequeg, the first harpooner Ishmael met scared the pants off him. Why? Queequeg was a huge, dark and ugly man with purplish yellow skin colour and tattoos all over his face and body and he also threatened to kill Ishmael when he found him in his bed. 4. ‘A giant, jelly-like mass, cream in colour … with long arms reaching out from its center, curling and twisting like a nest of snakes … The arms were about 30 feet long.’ What was Ishmael describing? A giant squid 5. Why did the whaling sailors like the Sperm Whale best? Because they harvested gallons of spermaceti, a sweet smelling liquid from its head. Spermaceti was used to make expensive perfumes. They also got barrels of oil for making oil lamps from its skin. 5. Two fast facts about whales, mentioned in the book. (Clue: related to the number ninety) Many whales grow to over ninety feet in length and the largest of them weigh over ninety tons (that’s about 810kgs) CHALLENGE: “The Lion is the king of the beasts and the Sperm Whale is the king of the fishes” Do you agree? If yes, write a brief 200-word essay on the Sperm Whale If no, compare and contrast the Whale and ‘King of the fishes’ Send your answers to Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8-12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book. Answers must be submitted before 12:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 6th. Next Book of the Week: The Amazing Adventures of Izi And Larry by Segun Akande

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This article was first published on 5th October 2015 and updated on October 6th, 2015 at 9:58 pm


Ugochinyelu Anidi is a lawyer and a children’s literature enthusiast. She blogs at and tweets @UgochinyeluA

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