A “lights out for loggerheads” campaign becomes a satisfying community-action project for Vivienne and her summer school classmates.
Environmental advocate Cousteau and acclaimed author Hopkinson team up to encourage young activists. New in her South Carolina town, Vivienne is drawn into the community through a summer school assignment. Challenged by their teacher, she and classmate Clementine discover a problem: lighting in beach houses disorients hatchling loggerhead turtles. As a group, the students research the issue, publicize it, enlist adult help, and suggest solutions. A community meeting is the culmination—until the magical night they watch hatchings find their ways from their nests in the sand to the ocean by the moonlight on the water. Gorgeously illustrated with watercolor and colored ink and pencils, this is a beautiful package. So’s paintings of both the natural and diverse human world add atmosphere, characterization, and informative depth. Vivienne’s early shyness is evident in her body language; Clementine is chunky (Clementine is blonde and white, while Vivienne has dark hair and slightly darker skin). Details include steps for a community-action project and examples of the students’ research, campaign publicity, and fundraising. Important information about loggerheads is woven into this story and its backmatter, but their use of light cues is oversimplified, and the creators (all from west coasts) have misplaced their setting crescent moon.
An appealing model of preteen activism. (authors’ notes, further info, resources). (Informational picture book. 5-9)