Blue Skin of the Sea
Blue Skin of the Sea
Laurel Leaf Library, Mass Market Paperbound, 9780440219057, 224pp.
Publication Date: May 1, 1994
Eleven interlinked stories tell the tale of a boy coming of age in Kailua-Kona, a Hawaiian fishing village. Sonny Mendoza is a little different from the rest of the men in his family. Salisbury explores characters like Aunty Pearl, a full-blooded Hawaiian as regal as the queens of old; cool Jack, from L.A., who starts a gang and dares Sonny to be brave enough, cruel enough, to join; mysterious Melanie, who steals his heart; and Deeps, the shark hunter.
But the most memorable character is the sea itself: inviting, unpredictable, deadly. Mendoza men are brave men, but Sonny's courage is of a different kind. Why can't he love and trust the water as the men of his family are meant to do?
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.