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Reviewed by Nino Lobiladze for Readers' Favorite
Jack Cooper was only twelve when he lost his father and best friend, John Cooper (Redds), to a tragic accident. Now his mom, Jill, urges Jack to travel with her from Pennsylvania to Alaska; it will be a trip Redds planned for the whole family before his death. He was an avid fisherman and outdoorsman, teaching Jack all he knew about survival in the wild. He was also working on a guidebook about fishing Alaskan style. Jill wants to finish the book and meet Redds' father, Fly Bob, a local legend. But Jack is broken-hearted that Fly Bob didn't come to Redds' funeral. Reluctantly, Jack goes to Alaska's Cooper Landing, a town named after his family. Everything is different for Jack in this mesmerizing wild land, but he accepts a new challenge: to win the Salmon Slam, catching five salmon species in one summer. Salmon Survivor by Christian A. Shane tells a story about overcoming grief and old grievances to become stronger and wiser.
Salmon Survivor is a captivating story. Christian A. Shane presents a magnificent adventure that will strengthen our perception of duty, purpose, friendship, and life in general. This story provides a life-changing experience we can acquire along with Jack Cooper. Shane crafts a lovable character in a young boy whose world has just turned upside down. His fulcrum is a fishing rod and the knowledge he got from his late father. I liked how masterfully Shane draws parallels between Jack's inner growth, Alaskan legends, and the salmon's life cycle. Readers see nature as a great healer and the foundation of life. I believe the powerful message of Salmon Survivor is important for young readers and those grieving the death of a loved one. I appreciated the educational aspects of Salmon Survivor very much; it offers interesting facts about Alaska and fishing and even provides recipes. The author inspires young readers to be more thoughtful about environmental protection and gives them practical recommendations regarding outdoor activities. Salmon Survivor also contains a family mystery and a dramatic, completely unexpected ending. I highly recommend this wonderful story to readers who love adventures, nature, and fishing or seek ways to deal with loss.