Gator on the Loose! (Animal Rescue Team Series #1)

( 3 )


Meet the Carters: Mr. and Mrs. Carter, 10-year-old daughter Keisha, five-year-old Razi, baby Paolo, and Grandma Alice. Together, they run Carters' Urban Rescue, the place you call when you've got an animal where it shouldn't be. In their first adventure, there's a baby alligator at the city pool, which will seriously interfere with opening day, especially Keisha's cannonball practice. So it's up to the whole family to figure out what to do with the poor guy who has no business hanging around Michigan. Luckily for...

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Gator on the Loose! (Animal Rescue Team Series #1)

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Meet the Carters: Mr. and Mrs. Carter, 10-year-old daughter Keisha, five-year-old Razi, baby Paolo, and Grandma Alice. Together, they run Carters' Urban Rescue, the place you call when you've got an animal where it shouldn't be. In their first adventure, there's a baby alligator at the city pool, which will seriously interfere with opening day, especially Keisha's cannonball practice. So it's up to the whole family to figure out what to do with the poor guy who has no business hanging around Michigan. Luckily for all of them, and thanks to some serious ingenuity from Keisha, the answer is closer than they ever could have imagined.
Sue Stauffacher turns to her first series effort with Animal Rescue Team. With compelling plots based on actual events in her community, Sue has created a lovable cast of characters of boys and girls, young and old, who feel like people you'd meet at your neighborhood block party. Written in an accessible and engaging style meant to appeal to those independent readers looking to be excited and entertained, and with subplots about friendship, siblings, the environment, and animal conservation, along with plenty of humor, these will be a hit with teachers and librarians, and parents, as well as kids themselves.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Stauffacher’s (Donutheart) Animal Rescue Team series opens with a slightly overwritten story introducing a Michigan family that runs a wildlife rehabilitation service. After 10-year-old Keisha Carter; her younger brother, Razi; and their father and grandmother rescue an alligator that has wandered into the city pool, the creature escapes from the family’s bathtub (where they’ve placed it for safekeeping), necessitating a second rescue. Called upon to evaluate the gator’s condition, a zoo employee helps deliver the moral: alligators don’t make suitable pets and often can’t survive when released into the wild by their owners. Keisha is a virtual encyclopedia of facts about alligators and other animals, and the sheer chaos of the Carter family’s multiracial household—with friends and neighbors constantly popping in—keeps the story moving. The environmental message, though, is delivered with a somewhat heavy hand, and the humor—largely generated by unconvincingly eccentric Grandma (who’s obsessed with fashion and looking young) and grating chatterbox Razi—can feel forced, though animal lovers are unlikely to mind. The series continues in July with Special Delivery! Ages 8-10. (May)
From the Publisher
"Situational comedy, appealing spot art, and a personable protagonist will give this series broad appeal"- Booklist

"Take one appealing family, add a fashion-crazy grandmother, mix with one abandoned alligator, and you have the first in a promising new series for middle-grade readers."-The Horn Book Magazine 

"An excellent family or classroom readaloud, and kids (and adults) who join the Carter team will eagerly await their next adventure."-The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Grand Rapids resident Sue Stauffacher knows her audience. She gets that young readers love animals, adventure and lots of action. She gets that parents and teachers are looking for stories that broaden children’s understanding of family and the world. All those things come together on Stauffacher’s new Animal Rescue Team series."-The Grand Rapids Press

Kirkus Reviews
Ten-year-old Keisha Carter knows a lot about alligators thanks to a report she wrote last year in school. Her knowledge gets a good workout when one shows up at the Grand River City, Mich., public pool, and her parent's company, Carter's Urban Rescue, gets the call from the pool manager. Keisha, her fashion- (and age-) conscious Grandma, her father and her rambunctious five-year-old brother, Razi, head out to save the day. Trapping the young gator is only the beginning of their adventure, since Pumpkin-Petunia, as Razi dubs her, turns out to be an escape artist. Good thing Keisha's friends are as can-do as she is. Stauffacher's first of a new series, with two more slated for this year, will please the animal lovers of the comfortable-with-chapters set. If it belabors environmental consciousness, seems self-consciously multicultural and swings toward the didactic when animal issues come up, fans of the Animal Ark series won't mind. (Though all will be glad Razi's not their younger brother, since he pushes the bratty-brother envelope often.) Lamont's spot and full-page illustrations are a nice addition. (Fiction. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375858475
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 5/11/2010
  • Series: Animal Rescue Team Series, #1
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 1,025,937
  • Age range: 8 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 740L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Sue Stauffacher lives with her husband and sons in a 150+-year-old farmhouse in the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Over the years, possums, bats, raccoons, mice, squirrels, crows, ducks, woodchucks, chipmunks, voles, skunks, bunnies, and a whole bunch of other critters have lived on the property. Though Sue is not a rehabilitator herself, she is passionate about helping kids know what to do when the wild meets the child.
A longtime advocate for literacy, Sue speaks around the country, connecting kids with books to help grow lifelong readers. She is a former book reviewer, and her novels for young readers include Harry Sue, Donutheart, and Donuthead. To learn more about Sue and her books, visit her on the Web at

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One    

The call came in at 10:40 a.m. on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Keisha was at the desk, Razi and Daddy were out back bottle-feeding the raccoon cubs and Mama had taken the baby with her to the farmers' market. It was Grandma's turn to be at the desk, but she had traded with Keisha so she wouldn't miss her favorite show: How Not to Look Old.  

Keisha looked at the ringing phone. It might be someone calling for information. But if her parents had to go out on a call, that meant Grandma would take them to the Grand River city pool's opening celebration. Grandma was not fun to be with at the pool. She made everyone wear big floppy hats, even in the shade. Plus, her swim cap had purple flowers on it, and instead of pinching her nose when she jumped in like everybody else, she wore a color-coordinated nose plug.  

Keisha checked the caller ID and was surprised to see that it was the city pool. She picked up.  

"You have reached Carters' Urban Rescue," she said in a deep voice. "Our office is now closed. If this is an emergency, please dial—"  

"Is that you, Keisha?" It was Mr. Ramsey, the pool manager.  

"Yes, sir," Keisha said.  

"I need to talk to your mom or your dad."  

"We're going to be there in an hour," Keisha said. "I'm working on my cannonball today."  

" 'Fraid not, honey. You know that big alligator the kids climb all over? The one that spouts water out of its nose?"  

"Mmmm-hmmm." When Keisha was little, she spent a lot of time climbing on that alligator and sliding down its tail. But she could go on the diving board now, so she didn't hang around in the kiddie area.  

"Well, it appears it had a baby."  

"A baby? As in a baby alligator?"  

"That's affirmative."  

Keisha got out an intake form. At least it sounded interesting. She wrote Mr. Ramsey's name at the top.  

"Tell me what happened, Mr. Ramsey."  

"This morning when I came to open up, there was a real alligator lying in the pool below the fiberglass one."  

"How big is it?"  

"Big enough to make me jump back over the fence. And I've got knee problems."  

"That doesn't tell me how big, Mr. Ramsey," Keisha said in her calmest voice. "You have to talk in inches and feet."  

Keisha knew a little something about alligators. She had written a report on them in Mr. Frost's class last year. Then she watched a special on TV. She loved the way they bobbed in the water with only their eyes showing. She planned to try floating like an alligator herself this summer. If Mr. Ramsey could give her an idea of the size, she could probably tell how old it was.  

"Is it bigger than the spine board?" Keisha asked, referring to the board that hung on the wall by the locker rooms, the one they used if anyone had a bad accident at the pool.  

"No . . . no, not that big," Mr. Ramsey said. "More like the rescue tube."  

Keisha thought a minute. The rescue tube was about three feet long. That was no baby lying in the city pool.  

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2010

    The Best Gator Book I Have Ever Read!

    This is a great book. I have never read a book about a family rescue team, but this is surely the best gator book i have ever read. This book is about a family that is a rescue team, and this family is trying to capture an alligator.I would certainly recommend this book to a friend because it is very entertaining. One reason that this book is great is that the reader doesn't know what the alligator is going do next so it makes you think alot. Another reason is that each caracter has its own personality, so one caracter could make more trouble, one could be anoying, or another could just solve the problem. Other books just make the caracters perfect. In conclusion, this book is very good and I recommend it for anyone that likes to read or not.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2013



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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2012



    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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