Synopses & Reviews
Hawaii, December 7, 1941. Tomikazu's world is destroyed when Pearl Harbor is attacked by the Japanese. Tomi's father and grandfather both born in Japan are arrested, and Tomi must help his mother and sister survive. It's a terrifying time to be Japanese American.
"Salisbury skillfully describes Tomi's emotional highs and lows, and has a particular knack for realistically portraying the camaraderie and dialogue between boyhood chums." Publishers Weekly
"Salisbury spares few details the fear, the horror, the sounds, the smells all envelop the reader as they do the characters....[An] action-packed novel..." Frances Bradburn, Booklist (Starred Review)
"Character development of major figures is good, the setting is warmly realized, and the pace of the story moves gently though inexorably forward." School Library Journal
"Salisbury's second novel is not only a timeless tale of the loyalty of friends, but it also explores both cross-generational and cross-cultural issues. An easy read...[that] is nevertheless challenging in its content and subject matter." Lisa J. McClure, The ALAN Review
Tomikazu Nakaji's biggest concerns are baseball, homework, and a local bully, until life with his Japanese family in Hawaii changes drastically after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941.
About the Author
Graham Salisbury writes from the heart and draws on his own experiences of growing up in Hawaii. His drive to write about the emotional journey that kids must take to become adults in a challenging and complicated world is evident through his work. Says the Author - "I've thought a lot about what my job is, or should be, as an author of books for young readers. I don't write to teach, preach, lecture, or criticize, but to explore. . . . And if my stories show [characters] choosing certain life options, and the possible consequences of having chosen those options, then maybe I will have finally done something worthwhile. Wonder of wonders."
Salisbury has already done something worthwhile. His first novel, Blue Skin of the Sea, won the PEN/Norma Klein Award, the Bank Street Child Study Award, and the Parents' Choice Book Award, and was selected as an NCTE Notable Trade book in the Language Arts, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults.
His second novel, Under the Blood-Red Sun has won the prestigious Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, the 1998 Hawaii Nene Award, as well as numerous other honors. This powerful and poignant book is the moving story of a Japanese American boy caught in the aftermath of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Shark Bait is a fast-paced, exciting action story that explores the lure of violence and its consequences for a boy and his friends when a Saturday night tumult stuns a Hawaiian village. To read a letter to educators and hear an excerpt from the book, along with pronunciations of the unusual words and character names from the novel, click here.
The most recent novel from Salisbury, Lord of the Deep, enticingly combines the high action of fishing with a narrative that delves into the intricate relationship between a 13-year-old boy and his new stepfather.
Born in Hawaii, Graham Salisbury is a descendant of the Thurston and Andrews families, who were among the first missionaries to arrive in the Hawaiian Islands. He grew up on the islands of Oahu and Hawaii. Later, he graduated from California State University and received an MFA degree from Vermont College of Norwich University. Salisbury has worked as the skipper of a glass-bottomed boat, as a deckhand on a deep-sea fishing boat, as a musician, and also as an elementary school teacher. Today, he lives with his family in Portland, Oregon, where he manages a historic office building.
From the Hardcover edition.
: April 11 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Education: California State University, Northridge (BA); Vermont College of Norwich University (MFA)
Current home: Portland, Oregon with his wife Robyn.
Previous Jobs: I've been a musician, teacher, graphic artist, and commercial building manager
Children: Sandi (29), Miles (18), Ashley (16), Melanie (14), Alex (11), Keenan (5), Zachary (3)
Pets: We have two cats (Chelsea and Totts) and one dog (Boomer).
Inspiration for writing: Reading wonderful stories (emotion); Reading superb writing (craft); Father and sons; Young people of all ages
Favorite hobbies: boating, fishing, biking, running
Favorite foods: papayas (fruit of the gods); fresh squeezed orange juice
Favorite clothes to wear: T-shirts, shorts, zorries
Favorite colors: blue, green
Favorite books: Lord of the Flies, Roots, This Boy's Life and lots more.