CM . . .
. Volume XVI Number 4. . . .September 25, 2009
By the beginning of her third environmental caper, teenage eco-heroine Jane Ray knows more about the connection between corruption, greed and animal cruelty than most adults do. Having tackled a negligent oil company and faced down the threat of the West Nile Virus, she has an almost supernatural sense for when something is amiss in the animal kingdom. So when a film company comes to Cedar’s Ridge to film Shapeshifter, Jane’s favourite series of novels, and she hears the anguished cry of a suffering elephant in the forest, Jane knows that trouble is afoot.
Fortunately for the animals, Jane and her best friends can’t let a call for help go unanswered, and with Jane’s ecological expertise, Amy’s ability to engineer complicated equipment from household objects, and Flory’s flair for research, they couldn’t have better champions. The three friends’ landing jobs as production assistants allows them to infiltrate the film crew and be unimaginably close to Gaia, an elephant Jane remembers from a childhood visit to the Raincity Zoo. After a lifetime of discomfort, the elephant is unhappy and uncooperative, behaviours which her handlers respond to with ever-increasing abuse. Jane’s instinct is to protect the animal from her villainous keepers, but her investigations prove that the corruption goes much deeper. Anyone other than Jane Ray would find they had bitten off more than they could chew.
Meredith Snyder is a teacher in Fredericton, NB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.