The stuttering son of a famous explorer discovers a new ability that will change his life and his world forever.
Marlin Rackham doesn’t have an ordinary childhood. He works alongside his brother, Tim, and father, Ronan, in the family’s exotic South American zoo, a zoo so renowned that rich and famous people from all over the world travel to visit the resort. But Marlin has a problem: He stutters. His stutter is so bad he can barely communicate with people. Many think he’s mute. However, there is one group Marlin can talk to with no problem: the animals. And when his father brings a jaguar back from an expedition, the beast’s mystical ways make it possible for the animals to talk back. As Marlin communicates with the animals, Gale (The Bully Book, 2011) explores the complicated issues of animal captivity with intelligence and heart. The book is firmly pro-animal, but the stance isn’t overt or preachy. A secondary plot concerning Marlin’s relationships with his father and brother is equally nuanced and powerful, making the book a formidable read on two fronts. The romantic setting and striking prose are icing on the cake, creating an intoxicatingly charming book.
Beautiful and fully absorbing. (Fantasy . 8-12)