Graham Salisbury, Trouble Magnet (Wendy Lamb Books, 2009)
Salisbury kicks off his Hawaii-set series featuring pre-teen Calvin Coconut with Trouble Magnet, a cute book that introduces the characters and some basics of Hawaiian life to younger readers. I think he may underestimate the knowledge of mainlanders sometimes (is there a kid who's been to a county fair anywhere in the country who doesn't know what shave ice is?), but readers will get "ooh, gross!" kicks out of Calvin's out-of-this-world descriptions of traditional Hawaiian snack food (and I gotta say, anywhere you can buy dried squid in cellophane packages to snack on is all right by me). Salisbury does keep things universal with school bullies, canny-but-not-too-canny adults, and what promises to be a standard romantic subplot as things progress, and it's a nice blend. I liked this one. *** ½
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