Giant Lobster Captures Writer’s Imagination


Halifax-based children’s writer, Jessica Scott Kerrin, launches her latest fiction series, The Lobster Chronicles. All three installments in this trilogy, Lower the Trap,  A Narrow Escape and Spit Feathers have been released in bookstores by Kids Can Press. Lower the Trap has just been nominated for a Hackmatack Award.

The trilogy, aimed at middle readers, centers on the accidental capture of a giant lobster. Set in a fictional East Coast fishing community called Lower Narrow Spit, she examines, through the eyes of three different boys, how their lives change after the capture of a gargantuan lobster. Graeme Swinimer, a budding marine biologist, struggles with what to do about the lobster that his fisherman father has caught. Norris Fowler, the owner’s son of the town cannery, has his own ideas about where the giant lobster should end up. Ferguson Beaver, grandson of a retired fisherman, rallies a group from the local seniors’ residence to force a debate about the fate of the behemoth.

“I am fascinated by the rich history of the Maritimes, and in particular, our relationship to the sea. The largest lobster ever caught was off Nova Scotia’s coast back in 1977. It weighed 44 pounds!”

When asked what sparked her interest in giant lobsters, she replied, “Every once in a while, fishermen still come across giant lobsters, and this always captures the public’s attention. These crustaceans are not particularly attractive creatures, and yet they command a considerable amount of respect, given their extreme advanced age.”

She recognizes that featuring a giant lobster is unique in the world of children’s literature. “Sure, I could have written about ponies or orphaned kittens. But there are plenty of those already for readers to chose from.”

When asked if she is fond of lobsters, she replied, “Absolutely. My husband, Peter, makes delicious lobster bisque.”

Jessica Scott Kerrin is the author of the newly launched mystery novel, The Spotted Dog Last Seen, published by Groundwood Books, and the bestselling Martin Bridge series, published by Kids Can Press. Martin Bridge: Ready for Takeoff! was chosen by the Horn Book and the New York Public Library as one of the best books of 2005. Born and raised in Alberta, Jessica moved to Nova Scotia to study at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Surrounded by shipyards, fog and seafood festivals, she remains in downtown Halifax, where she lives with her family and pet tortoise.

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