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Calvin Coconut: Trouble Magnet: 07/08/11
Calvin Coconut: Trouble Magnet is the first in a new series by Graham Salisbury. Trouble always seems to find Calvin even when he's doing his best to avoid it. At home he has to give up his room to a girl from Texas. At school he's got a couple of bullies to avoid. To make matters worse, one of the bullies has a crush on the girl from Texas!
The Calvin Coconut books are set on the island of Oahu. As Graham Salisbury explains on the series website, he has set the books in his old elementary school. What this means is that the characters in Calvin Coconut seem real without being an obvious lesson on Hawaiian multiculturalism.
Instead of focusing on Hawaiian culture being different, Calvin and his friends learn through trial and error how different Texas culture. What strikes them as normal strikes Calvin's house guest as weird. Being in a Pacific rim state too, I find Hawaiian culture more normal than Texan, so I can relate to Calvin's bewilderment.
The books are best for children in second through fifth grade. There are delightful illustrations by Jacqueline Rogers to accompany the silliest of the scenes in the book.
There are four books planned and I've read two. I hope to read the others.