Oregon Book Awards Finalist: Calvin Coconut: Man Trip

You can cast your vote for the 2013 Readers’ Choice Award online at oregonlive.com/books.  The winner will be announced at the Oregon Book Awards ceremony on April 8th at the Gerding Theater at the Armory.

2013 Oregon Book Awards Finalist

Calvin Coconut: Man Trip by Graham Salisbury

Children’s Literature

Random House Children’s Books

In Man Trip, Calvin catches his first big fish while deep-sea trolling off the Kona coast.  But when his mom’s friend Ledward hooks a huge marlin that charges the boat, Calvin’s special man trip opens his eyes to some important ideas about life and respecting nature.

An excerpt from Calvin Coconut: Man Trip

      Baja Bill leaned in close.  “One time when I was bout your age, I went fishing with my dad.  It was right after a hurricane blew through the islands, and there was a lot of debris in the water.  The ocean was still choppy.  We were way outside the harbor, way out, when we saw something coming toward us in the rolling swells.”  

      “Another boat?”
      “Couldn’t tell what it was, just this huge thing barreling toward us.  It made white water as it moved, so we knew it wasn’t just something floating, like a log or something.  It was alive.”  
      “Ho,” I whispered.
      “We had to get out of the way, because it was going to ram us.  So my dad gunned the engines.  Soon we could see what it was–a giant, angry sperm whale, heading like a submarine to who knows where.  But here’s the thing: that’s when I learned how dangerous a marlin can be.”  
      “But it was a whale.”
      Baja Bill nodded.  “Sure was, and when it passed us we discovered why it was so angry.”  Baja Bill sat back and looked at me.  His eyes widened.  “Stuck in its side was not one, but two marlins.  Rammed their bills right into that whale and couldn’t get out.  They were dead, and that sperm whale was raging mad.”  
      I gaped at him.
      “My guess is they went nuts and attacked the whale for being in their territory.”  
      Baja Bill looked gravely out over the ocean.  “So you see, Calvin.  You  can never let your guard down when you’re dealing with a marlin.”
      “If you do, you could die,” I said.
      “If you do, you could die.”

About the Author

Graham Salisbury grew up in the Hawaiian Islands and graduated from California State University, Northridge.  He received an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where he was a member of the founding faculty of the MFA program in writing for children.  He lives with his family in Portland, Oregon.

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