Lower the Trap

Lower the Trap

by Jessica Scott Kerrin
     
 

Graeme knows every inch of his fishing community. What's left for a future marine biologist to discover? But when Graeme's dad catches a gargantuan lobster with antennae the size of bicycle spokes, Graeme is fascinated. Graeme is even more excited when his dad promises to put the creature up for auction at the town's annual lobster festival and, if it gets the

Overview

Graeme knows every inch of his fishing community. What's left for a future marine biologist to discover? But when Graeme's dad catches a gargantuan lobster with antennae the size of bicycle spokes, Graeme is fascinated. Graeme is even more excited when his dad promises to put the creature up for auction at the town's annual lobster festival and, if it gets the highest bid, use the prize money to take Graeme to a marine research aquarium. But what if the right thing would be to set the lobster free?

Lower the Trap is the first book in the Lobster Chronicles, a trilogy about what happens in a small coastal town when a giant lobster is caught. Each instalment describes the same events through a different boy's eyes, and the result is three suspenseful, believable stories and an engrossing reading experience.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Laura Backman
Graeme, an aspiring biologist, thinks he knows everything about his small, boring fishing town, Lower Narrow Spit. When his dad snares a huge crustacean in his fishing net, Graeme is fascinated. Is the giant lobster the same one caught years before? Graeme's dad promises a trip to a marine research station if the lobster wins the top prize money at the town's annual lobster festival. Graeme desperately wants a trip to the aquarium and the lobster seems likely to get him there, but is it worth all the trouble he is getting into? Throughout the story Graeme must deal with a local bully and his own feelings about whether or not he should set the lobster free before the auction. The story's center around marine life and the ethical dilemma Graeme faces invites readers to think about their own view on how to treat other living things. Although Graeme's interest is in biology, at times the scientific vocabulary weighs down the story and some of the language is advanced for the targeted age. This is the first bookin, "The Lobster Chronicle" series, featuring three boys and a life-changing lobster. Readers will finish the book with some questions including any real change the main character makes. This title will be appealing to boys. Reviewer: Laura Backman
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—This is a less-than-auspicious start to a trilogy. Graeme Swinimer, a budding marine biologist, wants desperately to visit a famous aquarium but finds himself conflicted about what it will take to get there. Essentially, he'd have to sell a giant lobster, caught by his dad, to be able to afford the trip. In the end, Graeme puts the life of the storied crustacean before his own interests, and while there is a noble nugget to be extracted from that, readers have to dig through some mucky writing to get to it. Kerrin fails to make any of the characters likable or interesting. A clumsy subplot about an annoying classmate distracts from the main story, and the author's descriptive efforts are frequently overwrought: "his heart pounded in his chest like the diesel engine on Homarus II fighting gale-force winds." The author may have been trying to build suspense as bidders battle over the lobster in an auction, but readers can only take a few repetitions of "Hey, bada-bada-bada" from the auctioneer before it gets really irritating. It is used 20 times. A minimally additional purchase, and only where lobster fishing and the culture surrounding it are familiar.—Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, AR
Kirkus Reviews
Kerrin, author of the Martin Bridge chapter-book series, aims for a slightly older audience in this first installment of a planned trilogy. Set in a fictional Nova Scotia fishing village, the books will examine, through the eyes of three separate boys, how their life changes with the capture of a gargantuan lobster. Graeme Swinimer's father catches a gigantic lobster with antennae that resemble bicycle spokes. Later that day, obnoxious classmate Norris Fowler coerces Graeme into tracking down the person responsible for stealing their teacher's prize cactus. In return, Norris promises that his father will pay top dollar for the behemoth, which will be auctioned to the highest bidder at the town's annual lobster festival. Eager for the prize money, Graeme, a budding marine biologist, will finally be able to visit Big Fish Aquarium. When he discovers that 30 years ago another local lobsterman captured a huge lobster, Graeme wonders if it could be the same crustacean. Kerrin's writing will appeal to those who enjoy a more thoughtful, less action-packed story. She conveys a believable plot with minimal text that's driven by spot-on dialogue. Engaged readers will relate to Graeme's inner struggle whether to let the crustacean be mounted or "lower the trap" to set it free. A cast of colorful characters and a satisfying ending will leave readers wondering whose story is next. (Fiction. 8-10)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781554535767
Publisher:
Kids Can Press, Limited
Publication date:
03/01/2012
Series:
Lobster Chronicles Series, #1
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
837,168
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 7.30(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
830L (what's this?)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

Jessica Scott Kerrin is the author of the bestselling Martin Bridge series, inspired by the misadventures of her husband and son. Her first novel, Martin Bridge: Ready for Takeoff! was named an ALA Notable Children's Book and placed on the Horn Book Fanfare List. Kerrin grew up on the Canadian prairies, but now lives with her family and pet tortoise in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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