Swim That Rock (Hardcover)

By John Rocco, Jay Primiano, John Rocco (Illustrator)

Candlewick Press (MA), 9780763669058, 293pp.

Publication Date: April 8, 2014

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Description

A young working-class teen fights to save his family's diner after his father is lost in a fishing-boat accident.

When his dad goes missing in a fishing-boat accident, fourteen-year-old Jake refuses to think he may have lost his father forever. But suddenly, nothing seems certain in Jake's future, and now his family's diner may be repossessed by loan sharks. In Narragansett Bay, scrabbling out a living as a quahogger isn't easy, but with the help of some local clammers, Jake is determined to work hard and earn enough money to ensure his family's security and save the diner in time. Told with cinematic suspense and a true compassion for the characters, Swim That Rock is a fast-paced coming-of-age story that beautifully and evocatively captures the essence of coastal Rhode Island life, the struggles of blue-collar family dynamics, and the dreams of one boy to come into his own.


About the Author

John Rocco is the author and illustrator of several books for children, including Blackout, a Caldecott Honor Book. He also illustrated The Flint Heart by Katherine and John Paterson and Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. John Rocco lives in Los Angeles. Jay Primiano is a poet, performer, and most recently, children's book author. Like his co-author, John Rocco, Jay Primiano was raised on fishing boats. He started working on a commercial lobster boat when he was eleven years old and still has a deep connection to the waters of Rhode Island, where he spends much of his free time teaching his daughters how to catch dinner. He lives in Jamestown, Rhode Island.


Praise For Swim That Rock

An affable coming-of-age novel… Jake’s voice is credible and appealing. Particularly touching is his developing relationship with Darcy, a waitress who swears long sleeves to conceal her arms, one of which is badly burned. Darcy’s scars, like Jake’s ungainliness, can be read as any flaw that preoccupies an ill-at-ease teenager. But their story offers a way toward self-acceptance.
—The New York Times Book Review

Swim That Rock is a rare catch: a brilliantly crafted, heartwarming story of friendship and family; also a page-turner full of storms, mystery, danger, mobsters and even the odd pirate. Like the New England 'quahoggers' in their novel, John Rocco and Jay Primiano know how to bring the nets in full. Humor, adventure, wonderful characters, stakes that matter, and a setting so lovingly described you can taste the salt in the air – Swim That Rock is a savory feast.
—Rick Riordan

The rich imagery of life in a fishing town, combined with action that primarily revolves around intense quahogging expeditions, makes this a refreshingly unique read.
—School Library Journal

Readers will be hooked by the exciting opening scene as a hurricane rips the shore and Captain takes Jake out on the dangerous waters to pirate motors from sinking boats. With a lushly detailed sense of place and character, the story delineates the struggle of a boy coming to terms with his situation.
—The Horn Book

[An] entertaining coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of the New England fishing industry. ... Steeped in atmosphere and rich in detail, this adventure captures the salt in the air as well as the omnipresent ticking deadline. ... Jack's struggle is easily relatable thanks to deft characterizations and an overall sense of authenticity.
—Publishers Weekly

[T]he distinct, clearly realized setting details distinguish this title from the vast schools of novels for young teens swimming in the publishing sea... Fills the bill for teens looking for an atypical action adventure.
—Kirkus Reviews

Jake’s willingness to work wicked hard on both sides of the law to remain part of his Narragansett Bay community is vividly conveyed... The coauthors incorporate autobiographical elements, which lend the tale’s cast and setting a salty authenticity.
—Booklist

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