Books by Sarita Kendall

RANSOM FOR A RIVER DOLPHIN by Sarita Kendall
ANIMALS
Released: Dec. 15, 1993

Carmenza, who lives in an Amazon Basin village in Colombia, contributes to her family's income by delivering shortwave radio messages to neighbors. Thus she learns of the pending arrival of hunters and arranges for her mother to provide their room and board. Meanwhile, the girl comes across a dolphin whose mouth has been maimed by a boat propeller, and later finds it further injured by a harpoon lodged in its fin. She and classmate Ramiro nurse it back to health with the aid of Ramiro's father, who knows dolphin ways and determines that the animal's ``spirit'' has also been wounded. Chapters about the dolphin alternate with those about Carmenza and Ramiro (with subplots concerning the illegal export of fauna and Carmenza's little brother's mysterious illness); the book closes with a dolphin birth. Kendall packs her quiet narrative with authentic details, occasionally allowing educational trappings to overwhelm the story (e.g., Carmenza's mother suddenly recites local history, while Ramiro provides an essay on a war with Peru). The dolphins are frequently anthropomorphized, but not too intrusively. Despite such shortcomings, an unusual book, and certainly a heartfelt one. (Fiction. 9-12) Read full book review >