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Swim that rock /

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... Full description

Main Author:
Other Authors: Primiano, Jay.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Candlewick Press, 2014
Edition: First edition.
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SUMMARY

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.


Review by Booklist Review

Jake's dad is lost at sea, presumed dead. Unless Jake and his Valium-dulled mother can pay off a loan shark by the end of the month, they'll lose their cafe and be forced to leave for Arizona. Jake's desperate efforts to raise the money working by day as a picker on one quahogging boat and by night on another that harvests from polluted beds closed off by the Department of Environmental Management fall short. But thanks to the efforts of friends and his own act of kindness to an inexperienced quahogger, the debt is paid just in time. As a bonus, he finds that he has also worked his way past the worst of his grief and anger. A values-driven story developed around the tribulations and rewards of quahog harvesting seems unlikely to find a wide audience. However, Jake's willingness to work wicked hard on both sides of the law to remain part of his Narragansett Bay community is vividly conveyed for an interested audience. The coauthors incorporate autobiographical elements, which lend the tale's cast and setting a salty authenticity.--Peters, John Copyright 2014 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Rocco (Blackout) and Primiano deliver a predictable but entertaining coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of the New England fishing industry. In order to save his family's diner, 14-year-old Jake Cole needs to finish raising $10,000 by the end of the month, so he follows in his late father's footsteps as a quahogger, fishing up the profitable clams. While he also takes on some less-than-legal nighttime work with the shady "Captain," Jake's big chance seems poised to arrive with the opening of Barrington Beach, long closed due to pollution and one of the best quahog sites in the area. Can Jake balance quahogging by day and avoiding the "clam cops" at night, while growing closer to the lovely Darcy at the diner? Steeped in atmosphere and rich in detail, this adventure captures the salt in the air as well as the omnipresent ticking deadline. While the framework, if not the specifics, of the story are familiar, Jack's struggle is easily relatable thanks to deft characterizations and an overall sense of authenticity. Ages 12-up. Agent: Rob Weisbach, Rob Weisbach Creative Management. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 6 Up-After growing eight inches in only a year, 14-year-old Jake Cole has a knack for tripping over himself. Since his dad has gone missing-presumed dead in a fishing accident-it's not only Jake's body that feels out of control. If he and his mom can't come up with $10,000 in two weeks, they will lose their diner on Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, and will be forced to move in with Jake's grandmother in Arizona. Determined not to leave his father behind, Jake takes matters into his own hands, working any job he can get that will bring him closer to paying off his family's debt. During the day, this means quahogging with the local clammers. At night, Jake takes riskier jobs, working for a gritty and mysterious stranger known only as "Captain." On the water, Jake is anything but uncoordinated. He can bring in more quahogs than almost any clammer in the Bay, but will it be enough to save the diner? This fast-paced coming-of-age tale follows a predictable plotline that readers have seen before, but 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. The beginning feels harried, throwing readers into the middle of a confusing action sequence, but the authors soon find their rhythm. Although somewhat light on character development, this feel-good story illustrates the value of hard work and determination.-Liz Overberg, Darlington School, Rome, GA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
AUTHOR NOTES

John Rocco grew up Barrington, Rhode Island. He studied illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design and School of Visual Arts in New York City.

John collaborated with actor/comedian Whoopi Goldberg on the picture book Alice. Shortly after the project was finished he moved to Los Angeles where he worked as a creative director.

At Walt Disney Imagineering John designed many attractions at Disney's Epcot, including the Post-Shows for Spaceship Earth and Mission Space. He also served as the art director for DisneyQuest, an interactive theme park in Downtown Disney. At Dreamworks, John was the pre-production art director for animated film Shrek.

In 2005 John shifted his focus to writing and illustrating children's books and created Wolf! Wolf! which netted him the Borders Original Voices Award for best picture book. His next book was Moonpowder (May 2008) followed by Fu Finds the Way (Oct 2009).

John continues to collaborate with authors and has illustrated Boy, Were We Wrong About the Solar System (Sep 2008) for Kathleen V. Kudlinski and The Lightening Thief (Dec 2009) for Rick Riodan. He also illustrates all the covers for Rick Riordan's bestselling YA series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

In 2012, his title Blackout was a Caldecott Honor recipient and made the ALA Notable Children's Books list.

(Bowker Author Biography)


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