The Lobster Chronicles: Lower the Trap (series #1)
What You Need to Know:|
• On a small island off the east coast, a young boy faces a moral dilemma.
• Graeme's dad is a widower, but there is no mention of his mother and what happened to her.
• Lower the Trap is the first in a trilogy. Each book will be told from the perspective of a different boy on the island
• Jessica Scott Kerrin is also the author of the Martin Bridge series.
Graeme lives on a small island, loves marine life and wants to be a marine biologist when he grows up. His dad is a fisherman, and between the two of them, their house is filled with things, like a saltwater tub, sailor's knots and fishing nets. Although he loves his island, it has become almost too familiar, and "For Graeme, the unexplored sea beckoned." He's not sure how, but one day, he hopes to explore the waters beyond Lower Narrow Spit.
He just may get that chance when his dad catches a giant lobster and promises to take him to Big Fish Aquarium if it gets the highest bid at the lobster festival. He wants so desperately to go, that he strikes a bargain with Norris, a mean boy from his class, who claims that he'll get his father to bid high for the lobster. Helping Norris lands Graeme in a heap of trouble, and on top of that, he's feeling torn about whether the lobster should get sold at auction or put back at sea where it belongs. Will Graeme end up doing what's better for himself or what's right for his dad's prize catch?
This simple story has just enough depth to engage readers in the world of Lower Narrow Spit, without overwhelming them with too much information. It's more descriptive in terms of the setting and the situation than it is of the characters themselves. For example, we don't know exactly how old Graeme is or what happened to his mom. We never meet his sister, but we do learn about the little things she does to bug Graeme. The story is easy to follow, but within some chapters, readers may need to keep track of more than one day or a few different scenes. The ethical dilemma that Graeme faces will get kids thinking about how to treat other living things, and the details in the story may even make them curious about marine life. It's perfect for the reader who appreciates the story itself, and doesn't need action on every page.
Jessica Scott Kerrin
2012, 128 pages
Books for Boys, Ethics, Family Life, Self-Awareness/Discovery
• Why does Graeme want to be a marine biologist?
• Should Graeme have agreed to help Norris? Would you have helped him? Why or why not?
• Is Norris a bully? Why or why not?
• What do you think Graeme and his father should do with the giant lobster?
• Would you like to live on an island? Why or why not?
• Why did Norris choose to make the announcement that he does at the auction?
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