A young working-class teen fights to save his family’s diner after his father is lost in a fishing-boat accident.
When his dad goes missing in a fishing-boat accident, fourteen-year-old Jake refuses to think he may have lost his father forever. But suddenly, nothing seems certain in Jake’s future, and now his family’s diner may be repossessed by loan sharks. In Narragansett Bay, scrabbling out a living as a quahogger isn’t easy, but with the help of some local clammers, Jake is determined to work hard and earn enough money to ensure his family’s security and save the diner in time. Told with cinematic suspense and a true compassion for the characters, Swim That Rock is a fast-paced coming-of-age story that beautifully and evocatively captures the essence of coastal Rhode Island life, the struggles of blue-collar family dynamics, and the dreams of one boy to come into his own.
John Rocco is the author and illustrator of several books for children, including Blackout, a Caldecott Honor Book. He also illustrated The Flint Heart by Katherine and John Paterson and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. John Rocco lives in Los Angeles.
Jay Primiano is a poet, performer, and most recently, children’s book author. Like his co-author, John Rocco, Jay Primiano was raised on fishing boats. He started working on a commercial lobster boat when he was eleven years old and still has a deep connection to the waters of Rhode Island, where he spends much of his free time teaching his daughters how to catch dinner. He lives in Jamestown, Rhode Island.
Swim That Rock
is a rare catch: a brilliantly crafted, heartwarming story of
friendship and family; also a page-turner full of storms, mystery,
danger, mobsters and even the odd pirate. Like the New England
'quahoggers' in their novel, John Rocco and Jay Primiano know how to
bring the nets in full. Humor, adventure, wonderful characters, stakes
that matter, and a setting so lovingly described you can taste the salt
in the air – Swim That Rock is a savory feast.
Readers will be hooked by the exciting opening scene as a hurricane rips the shore and Captain takes Jake out on the dangerous waters to pirate motors from sinking boats. With a lushly detailed sense of place and character, the story delineates the struggle of a boy coming to terms with his situation.
—The Horn Book
[T]he distinct, clearly realized setting details distinguish this title from the vast schools of novels for young teens swimming in the publishing sea... Fills the bill for teens looking for an atypical action adventure.