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CALVIN COCONUT by Graham Salisbury

CALVIN COCONUT

Trouble Magnet

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

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: March 24th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-385-73701-2
Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random

Believable, funny characters populate this chronicle of fourth grader Calvin’s life on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. In short chapters narrated in the first person, Calvin and his friends reluctantly bid summer adieu and begin the new school year. Coinciding with this is his mom’s announcement of the imminent arrival of her friend’s teenage daughter from Texas. Her stay forces poor Calvin to move into the storage room, crawling with a host of creepy insects, including a centipede he captures in a jar. As the subtitle suggests, only mischief can ensue. The story line here is a familiar one of an (at times, overly) energetic but well-meaning boy stumbling into mishap. Yet the cultural details of Oahu emerge naturally, the inevitable neighborhood bully is richly developed and the familial relationships among Calvin and his sister, their mom and her boyfriend are touching, realistically tempered with moments of frustration. Rogers’s lively ink-and-wash drawings augment the story and evoke a playful feel. An auspicious start to a series that is likely to have broad appeal. (Fiction. 7-10)