Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Centre

Norris is always messing up: he steals from Georgia’s lunches, he’s an awful speller and, worst of all, he ruined Ms. Penfield’s prize cactus.

Really, though, he wants nothing more than to be liked. When a giant lobster is up for auction at the annual lobster festival, Norris’s dad, the richest man in town, vows to be the highest bidder and make it a trophy. But Norris knows that won’t win people’s respect. Can Norris do the right thing for once?

A Narrow Escape is the second book in The Lobster Chronicles, a trilogy about how life changes for three boys in a small coastal town when a giant lobster is caught. Each book describes the same events through a different boy’s eyes, making for three suspenseful, believable stories and an engrossing reading experience.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
  • Kirkus Review: “The second of a planned trilogy that explores the same event (capture of a giant lobster) from the viewpoints of three children in a Nova Scotian village, each in a separate book. This one focuses on Norris, a clever bully, the son of the town’s largest employer, an arrogant man who is raising the boy in his own image. Norris realizes how his father’s actions are souring the community; he rethinks his own course but it is far from clear that he’s reformed – no doubt a believable result. Told from Norris’ unpleasant point of view, it is all but impossible to warm to this character, even thought it’s fairly clear that he walks in his father’s shadow. A tough but realistic view of the inner workings of a rather nasty boy.”
  • School Library Journal: “Many readers will be sympathetic to the protagonist, a line-cutting, cheating kid who has a big heart hidden beneath his father’s elitist teachings.”