Cover image for Leaving Protection
Leaving Protection
Hobbs, Will.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, [2004]

Physical Description:
178 pages : map ; 22 cm
Sixteen-year-old Robbie Daniels, happy to get a job aboard a troller fishing for king salmon off southeastern Alaska, finds himself in danger when he discovers that his mysterious captain is searching for long-buried Russian plaques that lay claim to Alaska and the Northwest.
Reading Level:
770 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG+ 5.2 6.0 78023.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 6.7 6 Quiz: 35363 Guided reading level: W.
Geographic Term:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



When sixteen-year-old Robbie Daniels leaves Port Protection, Alaska, for the nearby fishing town of Craig, king salmon season is less than forty-eight hours away from starting without him. The few salmon fishermen who can afford to hire help have already found their deckhands, and time is running out on Robbie's dream of fishing the open ocean for kings.

A tip from a teacher puts Robbie on the trail of a legendary captain named Tor Torsen, but when Robbie boards Tor's fishing troller without permission, he happens upon a piece of Russian history that Tor would do just about anything to hide. Then Tor surprises Robbie by hiring him on, but for reasons darker than Robbie ever could guess.

Catching king salmon from dawn till dusk, Robbie thinks himself lucky -- until he discovers his captain's true intentions. Tor is searching along the coastline for historic metal plaques buried by early Russian explorers laying claim to Alaska. When Robbie finds out how valuable these possession plaques are, he fears he may know too much to survive. Tor's wrath and a violent storm at sea put Robbie's courage and wits to the ultimate test.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

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 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Hobbs's (Far North) nautical thriller brims with detail about the fishing life and weaves in historical facts as well. Sixteen-year-old Robbie leaves his family and their self-sufficient but poverty-bound home in Port Protection, Alaska, with hopes of becoming a deckhand on a salmon troller. Times are tough and the king salmon season brief, so Robbie cannot afford to be picky about any offers. He ends up aboard the Storm Petrel with the gruff Tor, a "highliner" (successful fisherman) who has worked alone for as long as anyone can remember. But Robbie soon learns that while the captain is indeed interested in catching salmon, he is secretly even more interested in a series of antique Russian plaques that were buried around the periphery of Alaska to claim the land hundreds of years before. An over-long history lesson in the middle of the novel puts a temporary brake on the narrative impetus, but the pace picks up again when Tor's conflicted nature reveals itself more clearly. On the one hand, he is a sympathetic victim of circumstance; on the other, he appears willing to act ruthlessly to protect his own interests. Or could Robbie be misreading Tor entirely? Robbie's doubts build to a climactic finale involving a dramatic and fateful storm at sea, grippingly rendered. Fans of maritime tales will relish the atmosphere and the bursts of action. Ages 10-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.