Leaving Protection Paperback – Apr 5 2005
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From School Library Journal
Grade 6-10-Having grown up in Port Protection on Prince of Wales Island in southeastern Alaska, 16-year-old Robbie is no stranger to fishing. Now that he's old enough to work as a deckhand, he hops a puddle jumper to a nearby town to pursue his dream of catching big kings on a commercial troller. He barely manages to secure a last-minute position before the short-lived, but storied summer salmon season begins, and he is initially very grateful to be the lone hand working under Tor, a moody and mysterious skipper who supplements his dwindling fishing income by selling antiques. His enthusiasm wanes when he learns that Tor is, in fact, pillaging the coastline of historical artifacts by systematically digging up a series of extremely valuable plaques left by early Russian explorers. Not only does Robbie question the captain's ethics, but he also begins to suspect that he may have learned a bit too much about the man's activities, and that Tor will not allow him to return home alive to betray his secret. All of the questions are sorted out in an exciting fashion by a sudden storm. Readers who appreciate straightforward outdoor fiction laced with bracing action and heady suspense will enjoy this book. They'll also learn a great deal about this rugged region, its history, and the present-day threats to Alaskan salmon fishing and the livelihoods of those who have depended upon it for generations.-Jeffrey Hastings, Highlander Way Middle School, Howell, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Gr. 7-12. Sixteen-year-old Robbie Daniels hopes to earn money for college by working on a fishing trawler in southeastern Alaska during the king salmon season. He has no luck finding a job until he encounters Tor Torsen. Robbie soon discovers that in addition to fishing, Torsen hopes to find plaques that early Russian explorers buried in the late eighteenth century as they lay claim to Alaska. Torsen plans to sell the plaques illegally, until he and Robbie are caught in a huge storm. Hobbs blends details about salmon fishing in the dangerous waters off Alaska as well as a few well-placed pieces of Russian history into a taut, exciting novel. At the center of the story is Torsen, who comes across as ambiguous and complex, never a black-and-white villain despite his illegal acts. The first-person narration adds immediacy, especially in the final chapters, which describe the storm in action-packed detail. Todd Morning
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Leaving Protection is a story of a boy named Robbie, who leaves his floathouse home at Port Protection to get a job as a deckhand to a salmon troller. He arrives in the port town of Craig to find that nearly all the openings for deckhands have been taken. Luckily, he gets a tip from a local that a certain "highliner," or very successful fisherman, might be able to use his help. Well, Robbie's curiosity gets the better of him as he begins to snoop about aboard the guy's boat, and stumbles across this odd plaque. The captain of the Storm Petrel, Tor Torsen, catches him and after much begging, Robbie manages to persuade the highliner captain to hire him - or so he thinks. Robbie eventually learns from Tor the meaning of the plaques. The plaques were buried along the coast hundreds of years before by the Russians to stake their claim on Alaska. Tor hunts for these plaques and unearths them to sell on the black market for his retirement fund. As they pursue these plaques, Robbie feels as though danger is imminent. Does he know too much? What does Tor have in store for him? Meanwhile, a monstrous storm approaches. What is Robbie to do?
The main reason behind my great enjoyment of Leaving Protection was Will Hobbs's attention to detail. Hobbs makes such colorful descriptions of the fishing. As I read Leaving Protection, I could feel my sea legs returning. I braced as the Storm Petrel skipped across the bay. I saw the ever so lustrous King salmon leap out from the water. I heard the dull thud of the gaff making contact with its skull. I could feel the sea spray on my face and taste the salty water on my tongue when a swell came.
One problem I initially encountered was a weak sense of character complexity, but when you live on a boat for a couple weeks, it doesn't take a three-ring circus to entertain you. Besides, the filler between the single-sided suspense is probably the best part, sort of like a 99¢ cheeseburger from McDonald's: the air-pocketed storyline holds the compressed, pre-cut character patty in place, while what appears to be a half-melted slice of cheesy nothingness keeps it all glued. Try pulling the bun off, and half of it is stuck to the cheese, while the other half is in flakes on your lap. You can't slip the meat out, because that cheese is sticking for good. The fishing is the source of calcium. It strengthens your structure and it's the only thing in that sandwich that's good for you.
I may be able to better appreciate Will Hobbs's descriptions because I have sport-fished for salmon in Southeastern Alaska on three occasions. However, even if you have never seen live salmon, Will Hobbs does a great job of depicting the actual setting - it's even historically accurate. I think Leaving Protection deserves a full 5 points, and if I had another dollar, I'd buy another burger.
Ps 10 stars all the way!!!!!!!!
I was introduced to this book through "The Battle of the Books" competition. It is well written and very thought provoking,
The author does a good job of separating fact from fiction in this story. There is a great deal of action and adventure and plenty of suspense. A short well paced read for the Junior high to High school reader but enjoyable for the adults who share their lives. We will be recommending it to others and enjoying the discussions that it provokes.