Graham Salisbury

Overview

Graham Salisbury, winner of the Scott O'Dell and Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards, grew up in Hawaii during the 1950's, and the lion's share of his fiction is set there. He writes about boys of all races trying to carve an identity for themselves and struggling to make moral decisions as they grow into manhood. The first section of this book chronicles the labyrinthine path of Salisbury's life and career: from barefoot island boy to college dropout, from bubblegum pop musician to schoolteacher, and from real estate ...
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Overview

Graham Salisbury, winner of the Scott O'Dell and Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards, grew up in Hawaii during the 1950's, and the lion's share of his fiction is set there. He writes about boys of all races trying to carve an identity for themselves and struggling to make moral decisions as they grow into manhood. The first section of this book chronicles the labyrinthine path of Salisbury's life and career: from barefoot island boy to college dropout, from bubblegum pop musician to schoolteacher, and from real estate manager to young adult author. The book then offers a critical context for Salisbury's work, discussing his novels in terms of plot and style: analyzing literary themes and examining critical responses to his work. Salisbury's use of archetypes and the coming of age stories that dominate his work are explored in depth. Fans are also treated to a peek at some of Salisbury's future projects. Librarians, teachers, and teen readers will find this critical biography to be a useful resource for the library, classroom, and reference bookshelf.
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Editorial Reviews

Marilyn Sprague
Good analysis of Salisbury's works. Gives chronology of his life; breaks down the stories, reviews critical responses to the works and discusses themes and characters analysis. It is easy to read and understand and it comes with a complete bibliography for further referencing. Highly Recommended.
From the Publisher
Gill (English education, University of North Carolina) chronicles the life and career of Graham Salisbury, who has written seven children's books since 1991 set in his native Hawaii. He also analyzes the characters in each book, summarizes the plots, and compares the protagonists and themes that reappear throughout the stories. REFERENCE & RESEARCH BOOK NEWS
VOYA
Graham Salisbury's work has received critical acclaim for more than a decade. From his first collection of connected stories, Blue Skin of the Sea (Delacorte, 1992/VOYA June 1992) to the more recent Eyes of the Emperor (Wendy Lamb Books/Random House, 2005/VOYA August 2005), Salisbury writes with passion and conviction about Hawaii, its inhabitants, and its culture. Part of the Scarecrow Studies in Young Adult Literature series, Gill's critical analysis of Salisbury's work is a satisfying and absorbing read. Gill structures his study of this acclaimed novelist using terms resonant with Hawaiian culture. In the introduction, titled "Aloha," Gill provides readers a quick glimpse into Salisbury's life by relating the story of his first meeting with the author. Early chapters tell of Salisbury's childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, leading up to the publication of Blue Skin of the Sea. The heart of the book examines each of Salisbury's novels and the stories that they relate. A penultimate chapter offers an insightful critical examination of the totality of Salisbury's work with emphasis on the elements of archetypal characters and structures. A final "Aloha" looks ahead to works still in progress. The index and bibliography provide more than ample information for readers. Although the series focuses on YA literature with an academic purpose, this study uses the same techniques that draw readers into any book. Gill's writing is clear, devoid of jargon and educational obfuscation. What comes across most clearly is a heartfelt appreciation for the talent Salisbury demonstrates in his novels. Teachers, librarians, and students will all find this volume useful as well as interesting to read.2005, Scarecrow Press, 136p.; Index. Biblio. Source Notes. Chronology. Appendix., PLB $35.. Ages adult professional.
—Teri S. Lesesne
School Library Journal
Part literary analysis and part biography, this is a well-balanced look at an unusual talent, a writer who has an eye for the frailties of life and the rites of adolescence. Gill discusses how growing up in Hawaii in the '50s influenced Salisbury's writing and does a fine job of showing the complexity of his work. He highlights Salisbury's reoccurring use of archetypal symbolism, or hero characters, pitted against the vulnerabilities of humankind. Temptation, coercion, and weakness are systemic themes in Salisbury's fiction. But, as in real life, redemption is not achieved simply, or contrived for a tidy ending. This is an exceptionally well-researched book. Teachers will find good excerpts to use with their students, helping them to gain a more thorough comprehension of Salisbury's talent.-Alison Follos, North Country School, Lake Placid, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

David Gill is an associate professor of English education at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he specializes in young adult literature. He is the author of many short stories, essays, and other articles and has served on the Board of Directors of ALAN (Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE).
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Table of Contents

Part 1 Acknowledgments Part 2 Preface: Aloha Part 3 Chronology Part 4 Introduction: The Islands Chapter 5 1. Island Boy: The Life and Career of Graham Salisbury Chapter 6 2. Hai Moolelo: Blue Skin of the Sea and Island Boyz Chapter 7 3. Makuakane and Keiki Kane: Lord of the Deep Chapter 8 4. Ohana and Kanaka e: Shark Bait and Jungle Dogs Chapter 9 5. Mana olana: Under the Blood-Red Sun and Eyes of the Emperor Chapter 10 6. One Hero: The Monomyth in the Novels of Graham Salisbury Part 11 Conclusion: Aloha Again Part 12 Selected Bibliography Part 13 Index Part 14 About the Author
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