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CALVIN COCONUT: HERO OF HAWAII by Graham Salisbury

CALVIN COCONUT: HERO OF HAWAII

From the Calvin Coconut series, volume 5

By Graham Salisbury (Author) , Jacqueline Rogers (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: March 8th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-385-73962-7
Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random

Fifth in the Calvin Coconut series, this fast and engaging read focuses on fourth-grader Calvin, who lives with his mom, little sister and a teenage houseguest, Stella, since his father left the family. Set on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, this installment takes a distinctive turn toward adventure as torrential rains cause terrible flooding and Calvin finds himself and a friend in danger. Rogers’ pen-and-ink drawings are nicely expressive, their playful feel becoming more subdued when depicting the more serious event of the flood. The ongoing strengths of the series are once again present in this volume—cultural details that emerge contextually and blend seamlessly with the narrative and an appealingly realistic depiction of Calvin’s busy and sometimes stressed family. In an earlier volume, his mom’s boyfriend, Ledward, began transforming into more of a father figure for Calvin, and here, Stella’s boyfriend, Clarence, also starts to serve as a role model. While young audiences will appreciate and be drawn in by the quick-moving action, the at-times predictable plot is not the point here. Rather, it is what keeps readers moving through this nuanced, often very funny and heartfelt story of a boy’s growth and understanding of his role in a family made stronger by its willingness to redefine itself. (Fiction. 7-10)