CM . . .
. Volume XXIV Number 23. . . .February 16, 2018
Leatherback Blues. (The Wild Place Adventure Series, Book 4).
Toronto, ON: Dundurn, 2018.
174 pp., trade pbk., epub & pdf, $12.99 (pbk.), $8.99 (epub), $12.99 (pdf).
ISBN 978-1-4597-4017-4 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4597-4018-1 (PDF), ISBN 978-1-4597-4019-8 (EPub).
Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-13.
Review by Kay Weisman.
The men chased her. Dark figures in the dark night. She dug her toes into the gritty sand to get traction, but her feet sank into the beach’s cement-like wetness. Afraid, violently afraid, she hurled herself forward, staggering to get her balance. Run. RUN!
Feet thudded behind her. She heard the see-saw sound of grabbed-for breath. Close. Then closer. She pumped her legs up and down, over and over. A hand clenched her arm.
Fiercely, she yanked herself free, but the force of the movement pitched her forward. She buckled, then smashed down hard on the sand. Blood burst from her lower lip. She scrambled up, but the men had her now. Gripping her arms, they hauled her into the air, kicking legs and all, and carried her to a van in the bushes. They threw her inside, gagged her, and bound her hands and feet.
Frantic with fear, she lay in a tight ball, her heart pounding like a fist against a brick wall.
In this fourth volume of the “Wild Place” series (Howl, The Truth About Brave, and Saving Crazy, 2015) Robin Green and her best friend Zo-Zo, operators of the Wild Place Animal Shelter, are offered a chance to help protect sea turtles in Costa Rica. Getting there isn’t easy. Robin has to convince her grandmother to accompany them and then raise money in order to fund the trip. Once there, Robin deals with more problems: a lost suitcase and a scorpion bite. Still, the work with the turtles goes well until Robin and Zo-Zo are kidnapped by poachers and held for ransom.
Hood-Caddy’s strength lies in her vivid descriptions of the various animal rescues Robin and her family undertake. Whether they are redirecting a goose who seems determined to peck dents into a police officer’s car, releasing a bear whose head is stuck in a honey bucket, or saving leatherback turtles from criminals who sell the turtle eggs, Hood-Caddy’s lively story demonstrates her knowledge of the problems faced by animals who suffer for their interactions with humans. The characters—particularly Robin—are also well-honed and multi-faceted. Robin can be fearless and forceful when she needs to save an animal, and yet the scars remaining from her mother’s recent death still affect her daily life. Leatherback Blues is a good choice for animal lovers and fans of the earlier books in this series.
Kay Weisman is a former youth services librarian at West Vancouver Memorial Library.
© CM Association
University of Manitoba
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