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HIPPIE CHICK by Joseph Monninger


by Joseph Monninger

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-59078-598-0
Publisher: Front Street/Boyds Mills

Lolly has a special affinity for the ocean that is just moments away from the front door of her home in the Florida Keys. At 15, she is already an expert at sailing her Boston Whaler, the Mugwump, solo. Disaster strikes one night, however, and Lolly is cast overboard. She is resigned to certain death when a group of manatees arrive. Through an inexplicable connection with them that she finds as mysterious as readers will, she is able to cling to one and persist until they take her to a warm spring offshore and, finally, she is rescued. Monninger’s descriptive narrative is pictureseque, with Lolly’s nuggets of seafaring wisdom interspersed with flashbacks from her life leading up to the accident. The manatee rescue holds the possibility of deus ex machina, but the integrity of Lolly’s character and the ferocity of her desire to protect the manatees makes her a believable narrator. The emphasis placed on human-animal bonding and interdependence does not sermonize, but lends urgency to the current global environmental crisis. Spare and beautiful. (Fiction. 12 & up)