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by Will Hobbs

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: April 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-688-17475-2
Publisher: HarperCollins

Though Protection is Robbie’s Alaskan port where his family works at subsistence fishing, he leaves his safe childhood when he becomes the mysterious Tor’s deckhand. Known for a successful salmon fishing business but not his discovery of historical treasures buried along the Alaskan coast, Tor barely reveals himself. Either the silence scares Robbie into fearing for his life, because he knows about Tor’s secrets, or Hobbs has insufficiently villainized Tor, but the only proven danger is slippery decks and high winds. None of the characters are convincing and most of the text is problematic. First-person narrator Robbie flips from present to past tense, using the present to explain fishing and past tense to describe his adventure, most of which is slow and laborious. Light characterization, in combination with slow text, harms the reading experience, until the final monster storm, when past and present meld together into a fiery pitch with a sugary dénouement. In a final word, Hobbs provides background information and further reading suggestions. For patient fishing enthusiasts who are willing to wait for a final thrill. (Fiction. 9-12)