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Trouble Magnet: Calvin Coconut    by Graham Salisbury & Jacqueline Rogers order for
Trouble Magnet
by Graham Salisbury
Order:  USA  Can
Wendy Lamb Books, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Graham Salisbury's Trouble Magnet is the first in his new series (aimed at ages 7-10) about growing up in Hawaii. Calvin Coconut is in the fourth grade and lives in Oahu near the beach with his mother and six-year-old sister Darci (Calvin has been the man of the house since his father left when he was five). Jacqueline Rogers' black and white illustrations bring the chapter book's personalities and the island action and locations to life.

Calvin - who is trying to 'squeeze the last drop of fun out of summer', along with his friends Julio and Maya - gets into all kinds of trouble (he admits he's a goof-up). As summer ends, his mother tells Calvin and Darci that her high school best friend's daughter, fifteen-year-old Stella, is coming from Texas to live with them. She'll take over Calvin's room, and will babysit.

Trouble continues to follow Calvin, who gets seriously on the radar of school bully Tito, releases a centipede in class, starts a food fight, forgets to take his sister home from kindergarten, and gets on the bad side of Stella who, though very pretty, has a mean streak and threatens to show Calvin Texas nice. On the plus side, he does make a new friend of Willy, a haole kid from California.

This first episode ends with Calvin extracting himself (temporarily) from his problems with Tito, but receiving an ultimatum from Stella - how's he going to cope? We'll have to wait for the next Calvin Coconut adventure to find out.

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