Scott O'Dell

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Virginia Haviland

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 115

[In The 290, Scott O'Dell displays] his distinctive gifts for distilling significance from historical matter and for dealing with the sea. Jim Lynne, at sixteen an apprentice to a ship's architect for the 290 in Liverpool, immediately captures the reader's interest when in a pub on a "raving cold" November night he is approached by his ne'er-do-well, money-grubbing brother, who unsuccessfully seeks to buy information from him about the nearly finished vessel…. With lively conversation and with increasing tension from confrontations at sea and aboard Jim's ship, the author crisply tells the story, skillfully integrating historical elements…. (pp. 160-61)

Virginia Haviland, in a review of "The 290," in The Horn Book Magazine, Vol. LIII, No. 2, April, 1977, pp. 160-61.

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