Calvin Coconut's fourth grade class meets Benni Obi, a weird and likable new kid. Benny brags about knowing kung fu, wears mirrored sunglasses, eats worms, crickets, and chocolate-covered scorpions, and says all the wrong things to bully Tito. Uh-oh. Meanwhile, the neighborhood kids and pets clear the road—Calvin's babysitter Stella is learning how to drive. She's got a lead foot.
Readers will enjoy the humor in Kung Fooey as Calvin's smarts and courage help him learn something new about standing up for friends, and facing a bully.
About the Author
Graham Salisbury writes from the heart and draws on his own experiences of growing up in Hawaii. His drive to write about the emotional journey that kids must take to become adults in a challenging and complicated world is evident through his work. Says the author: "I've thought a lot about what my job is, or should be, as an author of books for young readers. I don't write to teach, preach, lecture, or criticize, but to explore. . . . And if my stories show [characters] choosing certain life options, and the possible consequences of having chosen those options, then maybe I will have finally done something worthwhile. Wonder of wonders."
Salisbury has already done something worthwhile. His first novel, "Blue Skin of the Sea," won the PEN/Norma Klein Award, the Bank Street Child Study Award, and the "Parents' Choice" Book Award, and was selected as an NCTE Notable Trade book in the Language Arts, a "School Library Journal" Best Book of the Year, and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults.
His second novel, "Under the Blood-Red Sun" has won the prestigious Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, the 1998 Hawaii Nene Award, as well as numerous other honors. This powerful and poignant book is the moving story of a Japanese American boy caught in the aftermath of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
"Shark Bait "is" "a fast-paced, exciting action story that explores the lure of violence and its consequences for a boy and his friends when a Saturday night tumult stuns a Hawaiian village. To read a letter to educators and hear an excerpt from the book, along with pronunciations of the unusual words and character names from the novel, click here.
The most recent novel from Salisbury,"Lord of the Deep," enticingly combines the high action of fishing with a narrative that delves into the intricate relationship between a 13-year-old boy and his new stepfather.
Born in Hawaii, Graham Salisbury is a descendant of the Thurston and Andrews families, who were among the first missionaries to arrive in the Hawaiian Islands. He grew up on the islands of Oahu and Hawaii. Later, he graduated from California State University and received an MFA degree from Vermont College of Norwich University. Salisbury has worked as the skipper of a glass-bottomed boat, as a deckhand on a deep-sea fishing boat, as a musician, and also as an elementary school teacher. Today, he lives with his family in Portland, Oregon, where he manages a historic office building.
Beverly Cleary was born in McMinnville, Oregon, and until she was old enough to attend school she lived on a farm in Yamhill, a town so small it had no library. Her mother arranged to have books sent to their tiny town from the state library and acted as a librarian in a room over a bank. It was there that Mrs. Cleary learned to love books. Generations of children have grown up with Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, Ralph Mouse, and all of their friends, families, and assorted pets. Beverly Cleary continues to capture the hearts and imaginations of children of all ages throughout the world.