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THE MISSING MANATEE by Cynthia DeFelice

THE MISSING MANATEE

By Cynthia DeFelice

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: April 8th, 2005
ISBN: 0-374-31257-5
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Skeet’s spring break starts on an ominous note when he discovers a manatee with a bullet through its head—and the gentle sea mammal’s body disappears before he can show it to the authorities. That, and overhearing his mother on the phone rejecting reconciliation with his laid-back fishing-guide father, nearly overwhelms Skeet’s delight at landing his first tarpon. DeFelice keenly evokes the feel of a Gulf fishing town—the glimpses of tourists, the sense of water stretching up rivers and coves, the simple pleasure Skeet feels in his familiar surroundings. Skeet’s dawning realization about the identity of the manatee’s killer is filled with the right amount of tension—counterpoint to the family issues he’s grappling to understand—and the reader’s empathy will be engaged as Skeet discovers that things aren’t always what they seem. (Fiction. 9-12)