THE SHARK CALLERS by Eric Campbell
Kirkus Star


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A story of survival off the coast of New Ireland (itself an island off the coast of Papua New Guinea) by Campbell (The Place of Lions, 1991). Andy Thompson is a teenager who was raised sailing around the world on his family's boat, Quintana. Although the Thompsons have moored for a few months off Matupit village, they are forced to leave because of volcanic activity nearby. They manage to escape just before the volcano erupts, but Quintana is badly broken in a subsequent tidal wave. Andy sets out in a dinghy -- fitted with a sail, rudder, and outriggers -- to reach shore. Meanwhile, New Ireland native Kaleku is leaving on his first voyage as a shark caller -- a shark hunter who attracts his prey by shaking a large rattle called a larung. Kaleku, too, is caught in the tidal wave, but he and his sturdy canoe come through the experience unharmed. He continues toward the shark roads and calls to the fish. Andy is now a shark caller as well -- though inadvertently -- because the sound of his makeshift rudder mimics the noise of the larung. When a pack of mako sharks is stirred up by the noise of the rudder and the larung, only chance determines which of the two callers will survive. Mesmerizing.

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 1994
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Harcourt Brace