May 25, 2018
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A coming-of-age novel from midcoast Maine author

By Dana Wilde, BDN Staff

‘Patch Scratching’ by Steven D. Powell; illustrated by Thomas Block; Maine Authors Publishing, Rockland, 2011; 288 pages, trade paperback, $14.95.

Steven Powell’s first novel “Patch Scratching” is a coming-of-age story about a Maine coast teenager, Jed, who has spent his boyhood having a family cobbled together around him after being abandoned by his mother and father. Jed from childhood is an up-early lobsterman and has a propensity for writing, which of course places him at a certain ungainly distance from the lobstering community where he lives.

By the time he’s a senior in high school, the complexities of his childhood close in on him, with legal ramifications and emotional crests.

“Patch Scratching” tells its story in straight-on, workmanlike prose whose quick narrative distance seems best suited to a teenage audience. Thomas Block’s competently made black and white illustrations of lobster boats and people in contemporary surroundings add a nice atmosphere to the pages.

Steven Powell lives in Thomaston.

“Patch Scratching” is available through and from online booksellers and many local bookstores on the midcoast.

Dana Wilde’s collection of essays, “ The Other End of the Driveway,” is available electronically and in paperback from

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