Sunday, June 14, 2009

Calvin Coconut: The Zippy Fix by Graham Salisbury

Calvin Coconut is a Trouble Magnet, that much we know, but in The Zippy Fix author Graham Salisbury shows us that while Calvin not only attracts trouble, he can cause his share too.

Sixteen-year-old Stella has arrived from Texas, and she’s starting to fit in. Calvin’s mom and sister surprise Stella with a new green dress. She’s been invited to a dance at the high school. She puts it on and…

Well, here’s Calvin’s reaction: “She looked pretty good, all right. The silky smooth dress was the deep color of a ripe watermelon. It somehow made Stella look like a nice person. ‘You look like … like … like a watermelon.’”

See? Trouble finds him. He meant to be nice! He recognized how nice Stella looked in her new dress and wanted to compliment her. He did! But unfortunately sixteen-year-old girls don’t appreciate comparisons to oblong-shaped over-sized fruit, and she too can play the insult game. “Stump. Peewee. Pygmy. Pip-squeak. Squirt. Half-pint. Elfie. Rump. Shrimp. Shorty. Midget. Which one works for you?” Stella asks.

Now is where Calvin creates trouble. Stella is allergic to cats. Cats? Calvin comes up with a plan, a way to fix Stella with help from Maya’s cat, Zippy. The Zippy Fix.

The results are extraordinary, way beyond Calvin’s expectations. And this is where readers learn even more about Calvin. He has a heart. Compassion. He wants to make things right with Stella by getting her the perfect birthday gift, but it’s going to take a little more than the $1.31 he has.

Calvin goes through great lengths to make up the difference including loans, recycling, odd jobs, Uncle Scoop, trouble with Tito, help from Ledward, and a lot of determination.

All for Stella. The girl who stole his bedroom. Who teases him endlessly. Who made him live in the garage. Who looks beautiful in a new green dress. That Stella.

Look for The Zippy Fix this September.

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