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Salmon Survivor book review

Updated: Mar 27, 2023


Hearing that a great friend of the Allison Park Sportsmen’s Club Christian A. Shane had written a book it was imperative that I procure a copy. Fortunately Christian had copies at the Trout Unlimited monthly meeting for purchase.


His book “Salmon Survivor” is one that comes with my highest recommendation. Not only is it a delightful read. A book that you truly won’t want to put down. But, it also tells a heartwarming, uplifting story that you are sure to enjoy. Christian is a talented writer. He manages to paint a picture of the Alaskan landscape that has you visualizing standing in the river, casting to the salmon, while watching the wildlife pass by in the background.



While the title and the author’s interests may lead you to think this is a book about salmon fishing it is much more. In fact, salmon fishing is a subplot to a much bigger story about a young man growing up under difficult conditions and how fishing becomes a way for him to cope. That’s part of what makes this book so relatable for anyone who has ever dropped a line in the water. We all get something from the sport that goes far beyond simply catching fish.



Finally, the book reflects the author’s personality with an upbeat and optimistic message. It’s a wonderful book that can be enjoyed by people of any age. You may find yourself reading it and then passing it on to your children or grandchildren.


Bio: Christian A. Shane , a Middle School Life Science teacher in Pittsburgh, PA, is also an avid fly fisherman, fly tier, and outdoor writer. His writing has been featured in PA Angler & Boater Magazine, The Drake Magazine, Fly Culture Magazine, Montana Fly Fishing Magazine, PA Outdoor News, and the Kype Magazine. For over 25 years, he has enjoyed teaching young people from Second through Seventh Grade.



Book Summary: Salmon Survivor, an award-winning Middle Grade Alaskan adventure novel - After the death of his father and fishing partner, twelve-year old Jack Cooper unwillingly travels with his mom from Pennsylvania to Alaska to meet his grandfather, Fly Bob, for the first time. Over the summer, Jack challenges himself to do something his father ‘Redds’ Cooper had never accomplished. He attempts to catch the Alaskan Salmon Slam, all five species of Pacific salmon in one summer. While chasing after the Red, the Chum, the Pink, the Silver and the elusive King, he’ll need the assistance of his so-called grandfather and veteran fishing guide, Fly Bob, to teach him the secrets of fishing for salmon in Alaska. As Redds used to say, “It’s not called catchin’, it’s called fishin’.” Nothing comes easy, especially in Alaska.


Book Awards:

*2022 SCBWI - SPARK Award for Independent Publishing (Older Children Readers category)

*2022 Moonbeams Children's Book Awards (Bronze Medal) Preteen Fiction

*2022 Pen Craft Literary Excellence Awards (First Place Preteen Children's)

*2022 Chanticleer FINALIST (Middle Grade Fiction) Gertrude Warner Book Award

*Readers' Favorite (5-Star Review)


Age Range: Ages 10 and up


Publisher Info: Relevant Publishers LLC (From Sutton, Alaska)


Reviews: "Salmon Survivor is poignant, funny, dramatic, educational, and above all entertaining. Do yourself a favor and read this book to learn about salmon, to learn about Alaska, but especially to learn about why we fish, and how often that is less about catching fish than connecting with friends and family."

- Chris Wood , President and CEO of Trout Unlimited


Salmon Survivor follows the struggles of a young angler as he navigates grief and self-discovery in the middle of remote Alaska. Whether you’re new to the outdoors or are one of the many who’ve found themselves on the river, there’s something for everyone in this remarkable story.”

- April Vokey, podcaster, FFF casting instructor, and creator of AnchoredOutdoors.com


"Drawing from his own fly fishing experiences and background in teaching, Christian introduces us to a family that loves fly fishing, bringing us along for an adventure-filled journey to Alaska that captivates our sense of exploration. While navigating a storyline involving loss and grief, Christian interlaces fly fishing for salmon to an audience that will fall in love with the challenges and tranquility the sport brings so many. Reader beware: You will be traveling to Alaska soon after reading Salmon Survivor!"

- Tim Cammisa, YouTube producer of Trout and Feather & author of Fly Tying for Everyone


The book is available on book platforms such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Bookshop, and Relevant Publishers.


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