"You don't have to go."
That was the way Maddie looked at it. But for 16-year-old Robbie,
it didn't feel like a choice. He had his fishing license and he was
old enough. So off he set to hook up with a boat to fish the big
water for king salmon. He knew there was money to be made if he could
find work. There really wasn't much else for a boy in Port Protection
Alaska to do to get money for college. But what Robbie found out
was that most boats weren't hiring. Discouraged and about to go home,
Robbie meets Tor -- a gruff fisherman who is used to fishing alone.
Tor hires Robbie but there is more in store for them than just fishing.
There is a bit of adventure too.
Robbie’s life is in danger when he hires on with Captain Tor who has an
agenda other than salmon fishing. Robbie figured salmon fishing in Alaska
no breeze. He knew the weather was rough at best but he hadn’t counted
on the Captain’s change in plans. Tracking down Russian treasure had never
been part of his plan. Will Robbie survive the captain’s devious schemes
and the harrowing storm at sea? (Jean B. Bellavance for Pennsylvania
Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2005-2006)
What young man wouldn’t jump
at the chance to go to sea with a pirate? Sixteen year-old Robbie Daniels
had always fished with his family in the inside waters of Port Protection,
on the southeast panhandle of Alaska. Robbie, his parents, and his little
sister live in a floathouse heated with a woodstove in the tiny town of
Port Protection. They eke out an existence from fishing and as Robbie says
they were “rich in a lot of ways, but money wasn’t one of them.” Now that
Robbie is sixteen, he is flying to Craig, Alaska to sign up as a deckhand
on a salmon troller so he can fish for king salmon in the outside waters
of the Pacific Ocean. His dream is to sign on with a highliner, a successful
salmon fisherman, and make some good money while king salmon season lasts.
Robbie meets Tor Torsen, the garrulous captain of Storm Petrel, after making
the major mistake of boarding Torsen’s salmon troller without permission.
Robbie spies an interesting tarnished metal plate with a two-headed eagle
and some strange writing on it. Robbie has just picked up the plate when
Tor’s voice cuts into Robbie’s thoughts like a thunderclap, “Looking for
something?” Robbie knows he has blown any chance of working on Tor’s boat.
Tor tells Robbie to go away, but later he finds Robbie and hires him on
for the king salmon season. Tor is a hard taskmaster, but Robbie loves
to fish. As the days pass, Robbie learns that Tor has another reason for
exploring Alaska’s coast. He’s looking for more of the interesting plates
with the two-headed eagle emblem. Robbie realizes that Tor is a modern
day pirate trying to find the valuable and rare Russian possession plaques
that early Russian explorers buried along the southeast panhandle of Alaska.
Robbie begins to fear that he knows too much of Tor’s plans to sell the
plaques for a retirement nest egg. Robbie feels that the plaques should
be in a museum, preserved as part of the area’s history. Robbie’s inner
conflict comes to a climax as the Storm Petrel gets caught in a huge storm
and Robbie and Tor have to join together to fight for their lives. Read
Leaving Protection by Will Hobbs to discover the fate of Robbie, Tor, and
the historic Russian possession plaques. (Prepared by: Sheri Carpenter,
Young Adult Book Awards)