Hand Over Hand by Alma Fullerton
Published on April 4, 2017.
Who says girls can’t fish?
When Nina asks her grandfather to take her fishing with him on his old banca boat, his answer is always the same: “A boat is not the place for a girl.”
But Nina is determined to go. She knows that if her lolo will show her how to jig the lines, to set the hook, and to pull in a fish, hand over hand, she can prove to everyone in their Filipino fishing village that she deserves her turn in the boat, girl or no!
I always love a good girl-power book, and this book was no exception. Nina wants to go fishing with her grandfather, Lolo. At first he dismisses her, saying that girls can't fish. But she is insistent, and she has nothing to do on shore anyway. They can catch twice as many fish if she helps. Her grandfather gives in and then defends his decision when the other fishermen question him.
Out on the boat, Lolo reels in fish after fish, hand over hand. Nina begins to wonder whether the men were right. Why isn't she catching any fish? Her grandfather dismisses this idea since the fish don't know she's a girl. While pulling in her line to check the bait, she catches a huge fish that pulls out her full line. She struggles to pull it in, and she doubts herself, asking her grandfather for help. And this is my favorite part - he doesn't help. He tells her it's her fight, and she eventually hauls in the giant fish. When they get back to shore late, all of the fishermen are shocked that Nina caught that fish.
This book is so great on many levels - the cultural story of the Philippines, the relationship between grandfather and grand-daughter, the gender stereotype discussion, and the message of empowerment. I really enjoyed it!
My Rating: 4 Stars