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Shark Bait Audio CD – January 1, 1998


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Audio CD, January 1, 1998
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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: RecordedBooks (1998)
  • ISBN-10: 1419373064
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419373060
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)

More About the Author

I hope what gives my books their sense of authenticity, other than the natural inculcation of the island physical and cultural landscape, which ends up in my sentences by osmosis, is my use of language. In Hawaii we often speak what we call pidgin English, a kind of tropical patois. For example, in Standard English one would say, "I am going home." In Hawaiian pidgin it would be, "I going home." A simple thing, but over the course of a novel it becomes a bigger thing, a part of a character's being. It resonates. Syntax, too, creates that feeling of authenticity. It comes to me naturally, thank heaven. I don't have to work at it because I simply hear it. If I had to fake it I'd be laughed off the face of the earth. So, growing up in the islands was my gift. My writing is just me spewing it back.

As for the work itself, I'm big on certain issues having to do with boys and growing up. I guess this is so because of my own fractured upbringing. Much of who I am is self-imposed. I am my choices, and I have chosen to walk a certain path. Important to me are such qualities as honesty, friendship, honor, loyalty, integrity, courage, work and passion. Life for anyone is a series of choices, and I hope that fact gets some play in my books. Luckily for me, I have made some good choices. It could have been different. I could have taken pride in the wrong moves, as many boys do. It's cool to be tough. Beating the spit out of someone is good for the rep. It's honorable to attack someone who "disrespects" you by, perhaps, accidentally bumping into you (Hey! You like I broke your face or what?). Right. I could have fallen into that mindset. But I didn't, and I lay all credit to that on one man: James Monroe Taylor, my high school headmaster.

At the end of my sixth grade year my mom saw the light - she kicked my sorry okole out of the house and sent me to boarding school. It was in the middle of Parker Ranch on the Big Island of Hawaii, and was the most precious gift she ever could have given me. I loved it. For the first time in my life I had something I really, really, really needed: limits. It was like being at boot camp. Mr. Taylor, as part of his training, took us into his home in small groups and lectured us on the good qualities of life, all that stuff that is now so important to me: friendship, honor, etc. Of course, it was my duty at that time to laugh it off. That fat old man was out of his head. But his words stuck, and because they did, whenever I was presented with a sticky situation I was able to fall back on that foundation and use it to make the better choice. My mother and Mr. Taylor. My hat's off to both of them.

In my career as an author, I've spoken to a bazillion kids, mostly in grades 6 through 8. It's been fun, truly. But I had an epiphany one day, and my newest creation, Calvin Coconut, came to be because of it.

I once spoke to a large group of fifth and sixth graders in a huge gymnasium, and was leaving the school, heading down the hall with the teacher who had invited me. "There's a third grade teacher here in our school who just loves your books," she said as we walked, "and she asked me to ask you if you would be willing to just stop by her class and say hi to her kids. They know about you, too, because she read them one of your short stories."

"Sure," I said. I'd never spoken to third graders. It might be fun.

Boy, was it.

The third grade teacher and every one of her students were literally glowing with excitement, having the AUTHOR in their classroom.

They gathered around, sitting in a semi-circle on the floor. I sat in a chair next to the teacher, who reached over and picked up a plate of cookies.

The kids all leaned forward, eyes bright as a thousand suns, rascally twinkles in them.

"Would you like to try one of the cookies we made in class?" she said.

I didn't, but I was on duty. "Uh, sure," I said.

She pushed the plate closer.

The kids did a magnificent job of stuffing back their giggles as I reached out and picked up a yummy-looking, but - I could tell -- very fake, cookie.

The teacher grinned and I played along and pretended to bite into it. "Bleecck!" I spat, and the kids roared, as if it were the funniest thing they'd ever seen in their lives.

And that's what got me: those beautiful, beautiful faces, all looking up at me in pure delight.

I ended up telling them a story of when I got stuck in a mass of mud, a story I love to tell, and they laughed, and laughed, and laughed.

I left that school a new man, and vowed then and there that someday I was going to expand my writing to include this group. Because I loved those faces and yearn to absorb that energy.

I also wanted to include this younger audience because teachers have told me many, many times that they just can't get their boys interested in reading. I know of their plight. I was one of those boys. I read only one book on my own in all my elementary school years: TARZAN OF THE APES, by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

So Calvin Coconut and I have a job to do. Call Calvin Graham Salisbury light, because I'm bringing real life situations and themes for discussion into every Calvin book, just like I do in my books for older readers. I won't get heavy, I won't get edgy, and I won't be gratuitous. None of this is about me. It's about every kid out there today who is just like the wandering fool I was. Besides the simple enjoyment of writing, my aim is simple: to build trust and turn boys into lifetime readers.

I finally became a reader at thirty. That's how hard it is to get some boys to read. I'd like to join all my very fine writer/teacher/librarian/parent colleagues in changing that a bit. Reading changes everything. Boy, does it!


Customer Reviews

I read this book in class it was a good book.
Kristin Lane
The thing that I didn't like is that people make bad decisions in this book and people in real life sometimes made good decisions.
yuliana rodriguez
I like this book because it's interesting to read and to think about as you read.
Hugo Zapata

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Screenwriter on November 4, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
-I recommend this good and enjoyable story.
-I listened to the audiobook, which is read by the author, and the main problem w/ it is that while the author is obviously quite familiar with Hawaiian pidgin English and can write it well, he is not quite up to the task of speaking it aloud. Almost but not quite. Perhaps some Hawaiians have his pidgin accent, but the majority do not. But, having said that, the author does do a credible and competent job as the reader.
-I also listened to Lord of the Deep by the same author. It has a different reader, but the problem is the same - the pidgin accent is not quite accurate. Or at least not representative of how most locals speak.
-Speaking of Lord of the Deep, that story was as good and as enjoyable as Shark Bait - except for the end, which I thought was terrible and which completely ruined the book for me. If not for the ending, I would've recommended it.
-I would like to meet the author someday and ask him about the ending.
-the author's strength is his writing ability. He writes realistically and describes Hawaii well. His story sense is not as good. Or at least his philosophy of story is different from mine.
-but I'm only acquainted w/ these two books. I plan to read (or listen to) all of his books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dahlia Ruiz on December 11, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I wonder when I will ever read a book like Shark Bait again. This book, written by Graham Salisbury, tells the story of a teenage boy who comes to a point where he has to make a decision between obeying his dad's orders or disobeing. The weird thing about this book is that the whole story takes place during one single day. This also makes it a different kind of book, which I liked a lot because it was a story written in a different way. It always kept my attention to the end of the book. I'll just wait until maybe one day there will be a Shark Bait 2 or something that will keep teenagers' attention like Shark Bait did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By yez on December 12, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
kids from ages 6-12will enjoy this book shrk bait. If the teenager read this big 50 percent will like it and 50 percent wont like it. the book is about a boy named Eric who is a freshman in high school who is about to find out that his life is not the best.he is goin to get in a lot of trouble. booleyis the biger stronger guy in thier small gang. he is about to find out that guns are not to play with. in this book Eric seems to be the daddys boy and he wants to show hes friends that he is not. This book is recomended to ages 6-12. I give it one thumb up and a B-.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Erika G.Garcia on December 12, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Shark Bait, By:Graham Salisbury,
Is about choosing wrong or right and the decisions you make.
You have bad consequences if you choose to go to the wrong place,or do the wrong thing.
I think it was good, because as you are reading it, You realize that some people have make the same mistakes.But you can't get rid off them because you create them. this book is interesting because of the characters.because of problems rom chosing the wrong way. this book will help someone who is trying to get involved into some kind of problems like in Shark Bait.
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By Hugo Zapata on December 12, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I like this book because it's interesting to read and to think about as you read. Like i was doing abry time we read this book in class. And i also liked to use my miend to get a idea of how this is realeted to someting that has hapen to me and how i can make it true in my miend. And i like how the author made the book sund iteresting and realistik.
Something alse i like about this book wher the carecters that remindet me about some friends i had. Because i used to have friedns that wher famyliar whit the caracters in the book. And also because i used to be like one of the caracters in the book. And one of my good friend's used to be like Erik because he used to act like him.
I also like this book because it can make you think about the ways you would react in a situation like the one that Erik was going true. And its like it gives you some experience of how to act in a real situation thats realated to the book or maybe it could be worst then the book. And one of the thing i liked best was that the author made it saund like a movie.
The best thing i liked about this book was that they mention a low rider. Because im into lowriders even dow i dont own one. I like to colect low riders and i also like sport cars. (...)
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By A Customer on December 11, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I think that the book is good. It has a lot of action and there are some parts that are interasting, and that get people into the book. I espesually like the part where they shot Booly in the ley. I tought that Ericks dad was actually going to take Eric, Calony, CC, and all of them to jail but he just took them to go see Booly and in how much pain he was in. That part was also sad because I tought that Booly was going to die and that the book was going to end like that but it didn't. I was also intetrested becasue Eric was looking for the gun and he couldent find it but CC had it. once they were about to fight CC was going to pull the gun out but booly told him not to. The part that i also liked was the part were Eric tryed to take the gun and run but CC cought him and told him that he was not going to give it back to him (well not untile the sailors left). so for me the book was really interesting but i dont know if other people are going to like the book too. I hope that some people get into it like I did.
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