Devil’s Bridge

Cynthia, her husband Buzz, and puppy Josie on the beach near Devil's Bridge,

Cynthia, her husband Buzz, and puppy Josie on the beach near Devil's Bridge,


by Cynthia DeFelice
Reading level: Ages 9-12

Synopsis

Young Ben Dagget cherishes the memory of his late father and takes pride in his father’s outstanding record in the Martha’s Vineyard annual Striped Bass Derby. When Ben overhears a stranger conspiring to cheat and win the derby, Ben knows he must save the family honor.

Awards

Winner of the Sunshine State Young Reader’s Award
Winner of the South Dakota Prairie Children’s Book Award

A Note from the Author

This story was born when I was fishing for striped bass at the real place on Martha’s Vineyard Island known as “Devil’s Bridge.” It’s not a bridge at all, but a rocky ledge out in the ocean. It’s a dangerous place for ships to navigate, but a great place for stripers to feed among the rocks.

The beach near Devil's Bridge on the island of Martha's Vineyard.

The beach near Devil's Bridge on the island of Martha's Vineyard.


I was fishing at night, as Ben does in the book. I was using the same kind of floating “popper” lure. I caught a huge striper, as big as a fifth grader! It was so beautiful shining in the moonlight, so big and so magnificent, that there was no way I could kill it. The events and feelings from that night became the basis for the book.
There is a real fishing derby every year on the island. Most people enter for fun and good sportsmanship. But I wanted Ben to discover that two men were cheating in order to win the prize money. I asked the real fishing contest judges if people had ever cheated, and how they had done it. I used the way I thought was the most diabolical in the book!

Reviews

“DeFelice’s story – focusing inwardly on a boy’s maturing process and outwardly on a bustling local fishing contest – moves skillfully toward a lyrical climax…The author’s ear for true-to-life dialogue and knowledge of boys’ attitudes and eccentricities make her latest work much more than a fishing story….it is a multi-layered book feeling.” - Publisher’s Weekly

“A good combination of a suspenseful adventure and a coming-of-age story.” - Horn Book

Devils Bridge by Cynthia DeFelice
Paperback – 96 pages Reprint edition (July 1997)
Camelot; ISBN: 0380721171
Hardcover – 95 pages (October 1992)
GALE Group; ISBN: 0027264653