Sunday, May 17, 2009

An Advance of the Next Calvin Coconut

A while back I posted about a new series I had found called Calvin Coconut. The series takes place in Hawaii and I liked it a lot. Saturday I was at my favorite book store, Cover to Cover on High Street in Columbus and I ran into my blogging friends Franki and Katie and of course owner Sally. We had some great conversations about the title in each other's stacks and then WOO HOO! Sally came out with a cart full of ARCs! We felt like we had found gold, I picked up a few and the conversations continued. At some point I mentioned the Calvin Coconut series and Sally went to her office and handed me an ARC of the next book in the series, Calvin Coconut: The Zippy Fix. YESS! SCORE!! JACKPOT!! (I'm doing a little happy dance here!) I couldn't wait to get home to read it. Here's the artwork for the cover and illustrator Jacqueline Rogers website. I'm happy to report that I like the second just as much as the first. Graham Salisbury is on to something here!

In this Calvin Coconut adventure, Calvin gets even with Stella, a high school girl that lives with his family, by putting a cat named Zippy on her pillow. Since Stella is highly allergic to cats her reaction causes her to miss going on a date. Even though Calvin gets in trouble, he is not without a conscience and begins to feel guilty. When he finds out that Stella's birthday is few days away he decides, with his mother's help, to buy her a CD of her favorite musician. The catch is that he doesn't have enough money. Calvin is determined to buy the CD and works odd jobs, collects pop cans for the refund, and selling shave ice from Uncle Scoop's Lucky Lunch truck at the beach. Through it all, Calvin deals with the bully Tito, learns the value of hard work and money, and feels better in the end when Stella absolutely loves his gift. In fact, she loves it so much that she invites Calvin and his little sister Darci into her room to listen to it.

As in the first book Graham Salisbury portrays Hawaiian children in a fun and informative way. The setting of the story is based on his childhood home and school and is completely realistic and authentic. I love that Calvin is not a perfect kid, just a normal kid that gets into some trouble but figures out a way to make things right in the end. I love the characters created, from Tito the bully to Mr. Purdy the ex-Army school teacher to Julio and Willy, Calvin's best friends. I love that Graham Salisbury has given us books set in a culture that is unfamiliar to most of us and I love that both books are well written.

Look for Calvin Coconut: The Zippy Fix next fall. Look for Calvin Coconut: Trouble Magnet NOW!

Katie, this one is headed your way next, I think your son will enjoy it!

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