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Lord of the Deep

by Graham Salisbury

Published by Delacorte Press, 2001

Ages 10 - 14

Mikey, age 13, is proud to be working as a deckhand for his stepfather Bill, aboard Bill's Hawaiian charter fishing boat. Bill seems adept at knowing just how much work Mikey is able to perform, and Mikey soaks up Bill's understated appreciation and respect, determined to live up to his stepdad's expectations. A pair of obnoxious customers makes Mikey question Bill's integrity, however. They treat Bill and Mikey rudely and then threaten to sabotage the struggling charter business if Bill does not support their manufactured account of landing a trophy fish without Mikey's help. The fishing scenes shine with authenticity, a splendid backdrop to Mikey's discovery that right and wrong are less concrete than he had previously thought. Readers will especially appreciate the solid framework of this boy's strong and loving bond with his stepfather. Mikey's mixed-race heritage (white/Polynesian) is part of his identity, but not the focus of this lively novel. CCBC categories: Fiction for Young Adults.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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