________________ CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 3. . . .September 17, 2010


Keep Out! (Red Dune Adventures).

Hélène Boudreau.
Halifax, NS: Nimbus, 2010.
82 pp., pbk., $8.95.
ISBN 978-1-55109-753-4.

Subject Heading:
Piping plover-Prince Edward Island-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 1-4 / Ages 6-9.

Review by Dana L. Coates.

*** ½ /4



“Is she going to be okay?” André asked.

The plover chirped and circled the new fence.

“She’ll be fine,” Warden Hainey replied. She put her arm around André. “The ex in exclosure means out. The fence keeps foxes and other predators out of the nest area. But the holes in the mesh are big enough for the piping plover to fit through. So she can get in to her nest.”

Finally the piping plover decided that it was safe. She ducked through the mesh fence and sat on her eggs.

“Awesome,” André said. He sounded relieved.

“Feel better?” Warden Hainey asked. She messed up André’s hair and smiled.

“Yeah,” André sighed.

“Okay guys, grab the stuff and let’s get going,” said Warden Hainey. “Camille will check the nest tomorrow morning to make sure everything’s still okay. Thanks for your help today!”

Keep Out! takes place in Prince Edward Island with twin brothers, André and Lucas, searching for the most radical waves at the beach to body board with their dad who is a veterinarian. On their quest for waves, they end up helping their mom, the park warden, and her assistant, Camille, build fences to protect the piping plover eggs from being crushed. Then the boys discover that something or someone is sneaking into the beach that is closed off for the nesting season. Can André and Lucas find the perpetrator before all the eggs are crushed? Read more to follow the boys’ journey in this intense mystery.

internal art     The font is large which makes reading easier, and the steadily paced plot is interesting and very descriptive. The book’s brevity, combined the action packed mystery, will cause readers not to want to put this book down until it is finished. Also, the stupendous pencil sketches help readers with visualizing the story.

      Keep Out! is truly a compelling story, with hints given throughout the book about who or what is causing the piping plovers’ eggs to be broken. Readers may be particularly interested in learning that the piping plover attempts to distract predators by pretending to have a broken wing. Keep Out! is espeacially recommended for emergent or reluctant readers, but it can be enjoyed by just about anyone.


Dana L. Coates is a grade 6 teacher in Norway House, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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