Packed with intrigue and sweet humor, this mystery with a conservation twist will grab young readers.
Twelve-year-old Cooper and his little sister, Molly, live at their family’s business, a campground on Pine Lake in Maine. Cooper loves canoeing, camping and, perhaps most of all, the lake’s loons—and he is determined to protect this year's hatchlings. Living at the campground has a downside, though: It seems that his chores never stop, and his parents are so preoccupied with the business, there's no family time. He’s also supposed to be nice to all the campers—and that includes the camp bully, Roy. But enter ally Packrat, an upbeat kid and new fast friend. Disaster strikes when Cooper and Packrat discover someone has dammed up the lake, causing the water to rise and destroying the loons’ eggs. Who is the culprit? Roy? Or Mr. Bakeman, a perpetually grumpy neighbor who openly professes his hatred of the loons? Hope is restored when Cooper and Packrat learn the loons may lay a second set of eggs, and they quickly hatch a plan to prevent another disaster. Wight has penned a winning cast of characters, dialogue that sparkles and a plot that flies. DiRocco’s detailed and humorous black-and-white illustrations elevate the book’s charm even higher.
A story that should turn even the most finicky readers into happy campers. (Mystery. 8-12)