The story opens with Ben and Kate, the newest residents (with their mother) arriving in Georgia to their new home on the cusp of wilderness. Ben and Kate spend the first few chapters exploring their new world, understanding the boundaries between civilization and the wild, and forging new friendships with a local veterinarian and daughter.
The next scenes occur with Ben and Kate grown, Ben married and father to an 11 year old son who is just as curious and nature loving as his father. By this time Kate has become a researcher in the Alaskan wilderness when she is greeted by a surprise resident; a polar cub. With the help of her nephew, Joseph, she is able to care for the baby cub as intrigue is soon introduced. Someone is purposely killing the polar bears, hence, Delta's orphaned state. Joseph and his new friend, Ada, a native Alaskan decide to solve this mystery.
Dr. Melissa Walker writes this book with a conservatory slant as she explores the threats to nature in the Alaskan tundra (man encroaching and man's greed) while preserving a solid, well written story that will appeal to the target age group audience - ages 9-12.
Being in the business of public education, a title I love to throw out to add weight to opinion, I love the book.
More importantly, I happen to be in the business of raising four amazing and distinct children, I appreciate the simple language yet not condescending. Children will appreciate the adventure, the mystery, the friendships, and the new scenery. The author introduces a valuable resource on preserving the earth, the magical sense of discovering life of different shapes, sizes, and molecular make up.
Let me clarify. I am not a tree hugger. I am not opposed to oil drilling. I am not prepared to desecrate the wilderness and destroy animal and plant life beyond all recognition but I wanted to clarify my belief system before I type the next sentence.
I enjoyed this book immensely. It is new with excellent research to strengthen the story and provides latency age children with not only a good read, but an education, albeit sneaky. I'm not opposed to this path. I already know my children ARE tree huggers and will be pursuing education and work opportunities in botany and biology.
With my public educator persona and parent persona firmly in agreement, I can honestly recommend this book to school reading book circles with no qualms. It is meaningful, realistic, and empowering for a latency age child.