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Calvin Coconut
Graham Salisbury
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Calvin Coconut (Calvin Coconut #1)

3.54  ·  Rating Details  ·  396 Ratings  ·  104 Reviews
Fourth-grader Calvin lives near the beach in Oahu with his mom and little sister. Mom says: “You’re the man of the house.” But Calvin’s not great at being the man of the house, or taking care of his responsibilities. He’s too busy having fun with his pals, and avoiding Tito, the bully.

Trouble Magnet is the first book in a new series for younger readers full of all the fun
Other Format, 160 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by Paw Prints (first published 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 631)
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Jun 06, 2009 Scope rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
It seems like every other book that’s published these days has a #1 slapped on the spine. I can understand why. Series books allow readers to get comfortable with characters and form a connection that can last over the course of a lot of reading. They’re also the ultimate “what do I read next” solution:

Young Reader: What should I read next?

Me: Well, you read and enjoyed the first outing of Horrible Harry, correct? Might I humbly suggest that you will likely find the second installment of interes
Sarah Sammis
Calvin Coconut: Trouble Magnet is the first in a new series by Graham Salisbury. Trouble always seems to find Calvin even when he's doing his best to avoid it. At home he has to give up his room to a girl from Texas. At school he's got a couple of bullies to avoid. To make matters worse, one of the bullies has a crush on the girl from Texas!

The Calvin Coconut books are set on the island of Oahu. As Graham Salisbury explains on the series website, he has set the books in his old elementary school
Abby Johnson
I asked for suggestions of diverse titles I could potentially booktalk to 3rd graders and this was one of them.

Calvin Coconut (yes, his real last name; it's a long story) is a trouble magnet. It seems no matter how hard he tries to follow the rules, trouble follows him around. Trouble might appear in the form of the school bully who just won't leave him and his friends alone, forgetting to fix the lock on his bedroom door so that their new houseguest gets trapped inside, or accidentally having
This is not a book I would have picked up were it not on the Texas Bluebonnet Elementary Reading list for 2010-2011. I found it to be a cute story that both boys and girls grades 2 to 4 would like. Fast reading. Cute illustrations. Not a very believable Texas teenage girl character comes to live with Calvin in his home in Hawaii. She's believable as a moody teen. Just not believable as a Texas teen based upon her dialogue. (Has this author even been to Texas or met a Texan?) I liked the setting ...more
This is a cute multicultural story for about second or third graders that starts off a long series. In this story Calvin is just starting fourth grade, trying to avoid a bully, and be responsible for his single mother. It takes place in Hawaii and most of his friends have never left the island. A new boy in school is from California; they call him a halo because he is white and doesn't know about the food they eat or things they do. In reading this story, you really see how different growing up ...more
Nov 24, 2008 Karlan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book should be popular with primary grade children. Calvin has problems at school with a bully and problems at home where he must learn to be responsible. The author's light touch and the Hawaiian setting make the story especially entertaining.
I always love how Graham Salisbury makes the everyday multiculturalism of Hawaii come alive for young readers. This is the first of a promising new series about 4th grader Calvin Coconut and the everyday scrapes he gets into, in this case, running afoul of bully Tito, losing a pet centipede in class, and almost losing a man's kiteboard. From the descriptions, Calvin's family is of modest means and cluttered life (Dad left the family to pursue a singing career; Mom's boyfriend helps out around th ...more
Oct 03, 2010 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pleasantly surprised to find myself actually loving this book. This is an early chapter book, perfect for transitional readers in grades 2-4. Calvin Coconut can't seem to stay out of trouble, and yet it's never really his fault. He is a lovable 4th grade native Hawaiian who has to be the man of the house and that's not easy when a strange girl from Texas arrives to live with his family! According to some other reviews of this book that I have read, Stella-from-Texas doesn't speak much like ...more
A solid start to the series, but it does like Salisbury is working too hard as he juggles the introduction of characters, setting, and multiple plotlines. The troubles with which fourth grader Calvin must deal range from the comic (a kiteboarding incident, a centipede on the loose, a food fight) to the serious (his absent father, encounters with the sixth grade bully Tito, and the arrival of Stella, his mother's best friend's daughter, who comes to stay for a while and takes over Calvin's room). ...more
Feb 22, 2013 Lessa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hawaiian-kidlit
As a whole, this was a good introduction to Calvin Coconut, his family, friends, and some of the differences that exist between the Continent and Hawai'i, exemplified in the new haole kid, Willy. I thought that the book did Hawai'i justice and had no mention of your usual Hawaiian stereotypes - surfing, hula, and pineapples. The book talks about the diversity of races and ethnicities found amongst Hawai'i's youth, the diversity amongst the foods they eat, and their family units. Having grown up ...more
I just finished reading Calvin Coconut: Trouble Magnet for the second time. The first time I read it was two summers ago because I found it at our local library and it looked like it might be a fun read. I read it and thought it was OK.

I didn’t really give it any more thought until I saw that it was one of the Lovelace Award nominees for the coming school year (2012-13). I decided to re-read it. This time I read it aloud with my children (ages 8 and 9-1/2). They LOVED it. My 9-year-old now wants
Becky Keir Grace
Fun, quick read that takes place in Kailua, Hawaii. Calvin Coconut lives with his mom and little sister, Darci. Calvin seems to have trouble follow him wherever he goes.

This book covers life in Hawaii with all the cultural diversity. A blond boy from California moves to the island and has trouble adjusting to the life at first. Calvin and his friends are warm and welcoming. They also deal with the bullies of the town. Tito was always giving Calvin and his friends trouble.

Then Calvin's family ge
Ping Zhong
Mar 28, 2016 Ping Zhong rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hi everybody!thank you so much for reading this review.The book I read is Called Calvin Coconut Trouble Magnet.I gave this book 4 stars because Calvin's house was messy so I thought think this whole book is messy and that teenager Stella from Texas is moving in so mom forces Calvin to clean house.It's pretty funny that Calvin finds a centipede in his family's house.In the beginning it's about when summer vacation is over.Thanks again for reading this!
Jan 10, 2010 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tweens, children
In this first book of a planned series, Graham Salisbury has created a fun and believable set of characters that represent a variety of ethnicities and offer insight into daily middle class life growing up on a Hawaiian island. The main character, Calvin struggles with the possibility that he should be the man of the house now that his father has abandoned the family to pursue his singing career. Younger readers will relate to the times when even Calvin’s best effort to be responsible seems to b ...more
Robert Beveridge
Graham Salisbury, Trouble Magnet (Wendy Lamb Books, 2009)

Salisbury kicks off his Hawaii-set series featuring pre-teen Calvin Coconut with Trouble Magnet, a cute book that introduces the characters and some basics of Hawaiian life to younger readers. I think he may underestimate the knowledge of mainlanders sometimes (is there a kid who's been to a county fair anywhere in the country who doesn't know what shave ice is?), but readers will get “ooh, gross!” kicks out of Calvin's out-of-this-world d
Apr 23, 2014 Jnase1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am enjoying this series about a fourth grader who gets himself into all kinds of messes, accidentally of course. It's funny enough that even older elementary students would enjoy it. Lots of great points to discuss in the book...ways to be responsible, ways to earn an allowance, bullying, new "family" members.
Jun 28, 2011 Rebecca rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this because it's an Oregon Battle of the Books choice for next year, so my 9 yo son will read it. It's a stupid, ridiculous story! Calvin, the main character, is 9 years old and lives in Hawaii. His dad is a famous singer, changed the family's last name to Coconut and ran off to Vegas. Now they're poor and his mom works at Macy's. He is NINE and starting 4th grade. He has to walk his 6 year old sister home from school and forgets, but they don't admit it to mom. They stay home alone afte ...more
Apr 05, 2016 Steph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like that this is unique. A troublemaking fourth grader who lives in Hawaii and shares his food and wildlife culture with the reader as his story unfolds? Pretty fun, and absolutely very, very different from anything else in my library.
Jan 05, 2012 Jewelian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Author:Salisbury, Graham

1. It is about a boy named Calvin and a guy who won't stop pushing Calvin around until calvin told him he could meet a pretty girl named Stella.

2. Calvin is : Mischievous because he got in trouble with his teacher a lot.

3. I think the most important event was when Stella arrived and everybody would not stop looking at her especially Calvin Coconut.

4. I recommend this book to people who like the beach and stuff that you do at the beach.

5. Extend understanding: I conn
Mark Sabol
Aug 16, 2015 Mark Sabol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a Global Reading Challenge book ... I read it and it was just so-so for me. I had a number of students read and enjoy it though. I gave it to my less strong readers, and it was a good fit for them.
Mar 18, 2014 Jenna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
3.5 stars. An interesting introduction into Calvin's world but it seemed to be lacking a little extra something to make it stand out. Maybe the next books will be even better once the whole cast is together.
Jun 06, 2015 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute story. Realistic, fun setting. His escapes with the centipede were also funny. I think this would be a good read aloud.
Miss Casabona
A cute book for elementary school students that teaches them about culture and society, friends and school.
Jun 01, 2014 LeeAnn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
Boys who like books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid should check out this series. And if you ever have a chance to hear Graham Salisbury speak, don't pass it up.
Aug 27, 2013 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read several of Salisbury's YA books (Under the Blood Red Son, Blue Skin of the Sea) and enjoyed them. This series I love so far (I've read this one and, I think, two others). Totally middle-elementary appropriate language, concerns, humor, and characters. Supportive teachers and adults in a loving, unconventional family. And, some really amazing (and positive) representations of race, class, culture, language, and gender. I wish these books were easier to find in bookstores and libraries. ...more
Fun book, talking about life on the Hawaiian Islands. Possible read aloud...
Calvin is an active boy with many friends and a change on the horizon, as a young teenager named Stella comes to live with him, his little sister and single mom. Set in Hawaii, there are multiple events going on in this book, but not enough to overwhelm it. Calvin has a very diverse group of friends and I agree with what others have said about the dialogue for Stella, but she was a minor enough character that it didn't bother me. The author leaves many plot lines to develop further in the series ...more
Jan 31, 2016 Mamatufy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bullying
Nice little boy story for beginning chapter book readers.
Nov 06, 2009 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2010-2011 Texas Bluebonnet Award Nominee

This is a charming early chapter book that both boys and girls will latch onto. Salisbury's kidspeak and adultspeak are both perfect. I only had trouble with Stella-from-Texas. Her accent and manner of speech reminded me of a cranky, modern day Scarlett O'Hara. I'm not a native Texan but I do live in Texas and work in a library where I hear teenagers talk every day. It just didn't ring true for me.

The ending seemed a little abrupt, but not to worry. There'
The Library Lady
This is NOT a "primary grade" or "early reader"--the kid here is in 4th grade and MY 4th grader wouldn't consider herself to be a little kid.
It IS easy to read and will have tremendous boy appeal. There's a lot of things about living in Hawaii--REAL Hawaii, not tourist Hawaii--that kids will find out here and they will be looking forward to finding out what happens next. Which is my one complaint with the box--it ends very abruptly, just torturing the kids who'll be waiting for the next installm
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Graham Salisbury comes from a 100-year line of newspapermen, all associated with Hawaii's morning paper, the Honolulu Advertiser. Although a career as a newsman could have been possible, Salisbury chose to imagine rather than report. "I enjoy writing about characters who might have been. To me, exploring fictional themes, situations, and lives is a quietly exhilarating experience. There are times ...more
More about Graham Salisbury...

Other Books in the Series

Calvin Coconut (9 books)
  • Calvin Coconut: The Zippy Fix
  • Calvin Coconut: Dog Heaven
  • Calvin Coconut: Zoo Breath
  • Calvin Coconut: Hero of Hawaii (Calvin Coconut, #5)
  • Calvin Coconut: Kung Fooey
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