Title: Leatherback Blues
Author: Karen Hood-Caddy
Genre: Middle Grade
Release Date: February 20, 2018
Robin is kidnapped by dangerous poachers while trying to save leatherback turtles in Central America.
Robin Green is carrying on her work rescuing vulnerable animals at The Wild Place Animal Shelter when she and Zo-Zo get an amazing chance to help protect sea turtles in Central America. Worried about the bugs, the heat, and the threat of poachers, Robin faces her fears and travels there with Zo-Zo, her brother, Squirm, and her eccentric grandmother, Griff.
It only takes one scorpion sting before Robin wants to go home, but the unbelievable sight of a leatherback turtle laying eggs on the beach changes her mind. Just when the group starts making progress, the poachers strike back. Suddenly, the turtles aren’t the only ones who need rescuing! Can Robin and Zo-Zo find a way out?
This is a great story to teach kids about wildlife!
Robin is a great character. She’s brave because she’s willing to travel around the world to save animals. She convinces her family to travel to Costa Rica to help a turtle sanctuary. She’s realistic because she is also flawed. She doesn’t listen to her grandmother when she tells Robin not to go on the beach by herself. Robin ends up paying the price for that when she is kidnapped, so she learns to follow her grandmother’s rules.
The setting of Costa Rica was very realistic too. My friend just came back from vacation there, and it was depicted just the way she described it to me. It was very hot but rainy when she got there, just like when Robin arrived . Carlos even says “pura vida,” which is what all the locals say. Though I have never been to Costa Rica, I felt like I was there in this story.
The climax of the story, when Robin is kidnapped, happens close to the end. Since it was mentioned in the description, I thought it would happen earlier. But this was an important turning point in the story. Robin learned what the animals at their rescue shelter feel like when they are kept in cages. She ended up learning from the scary experience.
This is a great story for young readers who are interested in wildlife!