Case of the Missing Cutthroats: An Ecological Mystery

Case of the Missing Cutthroats: An Ecological Mystery

by Jean Craighead George
     
 

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This mystery begins when Spinner, a New York City native who would rather pirouette than fly cast, catches the family prize––much to her boy cousins' dismay. The prize fish, a huge cutthroat trout, had been thought to be extinct in the river, and Spinner and her cousin set out to solve the mystery of how this one spectacular cuttroat survived until Spinner… See more details below

Overview

This mystery begins when Spinner, a New York City native who would rather pirouette than fly cast, catches the family prize––much to her boy cousins' dismay. The prize fish, a huge cutthroat trout, had been thought to be extinct in the river, and Spinner and her cousin set out to solve the mystery of how this one spectacular cuttroat survived until Spinner reeled him in.
HarperCollins is pleased to republish Jean Craighead George's fourth ecological mystery, which was first published in 1975 as Hook a Fish, Catch a Mountain.

Author Biography:

Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in a family of naturalists, Jean George has centered her life around writing and nature. She attended Pennsylvania State University, graduating with degrees in English and science. In the 1940s she was a member of the White House press corps and a reporter for the Washington Post. Ms. George, who has written over 90 books - among them My Side of the Mountain (Dutton), a 1960 Newbery Honor Book, and its sequels On the Far Side of the Mountain and Frightful's Mountain (both Dutton) - also hikes, canoes, and makes sourdough pancakes. In 1991, Ms. George became the first winner of the School Library Media Section of the New York Library Association's Knickerbocker Award for Juvenile Literature, which was presented to her for the "consistent superior quality" of her literary works.

Her inspiration for the Newbery Medal-winning Julie of the Wolves evolved from two specific events during a summer she spent studying wolves and tundra at the Arctic Research Laboratory of Barrow, Alaska: "One was a small girl walking the vast ad lonesome tundraoutside of Barrow; the other was a magnificent alpha male wolf, leader of a pack in Denali National Park ... They haunted me for a year or more, as did the words of one of the scientists at the lab: 'If there ever was any doubt in my mind that a man could live with the wolves, it is gone now. The wolves are truly gentlemen, highly social and affectionate.'"

The mother of three children, Jean George is a grandmother who has joyfully red to her grandchildren since they were born. Over the years Jean George has kept 173 pets, not including dogs and cats, in her home in Chappaqua, New York. "Most of these wild animals depart in autumn, when the sun changes their behavior and they feel the urge to migrate or go off alone. While they are with us, however, they become characters in my books, articles, and stories."

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Originally published in 1975 as Hook a Fish, Catch a Mountain, this "ecomystery" investigates an endangered fish. Ages 8-12. (May) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Judy Chernak
Ballet dancers with long black hair shouldn't be forced to go fishing, not even if three generations of fisherman are counting on them to snag the annual trophy and recapture the family's honor. Having no choice in the matter, Spinner resentfully flicks out her fly and is nearly dragged into the killer swirls of the Snake River by a monster fish that shouldn't be there--a huge species thought to be extinct! When her father, who always throws back his own fish after measuring and admiring them, reneges on his promise and gleefully opts to stuff and mount Spinner's prize catch, she decides to team up with her obnoxious cousin Alligator, who just might be able to solve the mystery of how the fish got there in the first place. Braving mountain passes, lightning storms, coyotes and grizzlies, she's rewarded by finding a way to restock the pond and produce new life to replace the death her lucky catch had caused. Spinner's growth from a New York City dancer to an ecological whistleblower who turns in the lumber company illegally felling the mountain timber is an exciting one. 1999 (orig.
Children's Literature - Trina Heidt
inevitably depends upon and learns from the other. This engrossing book offers its readers the opportunity to learn about a part of the world which many of them will never see or touch but which they may be inspired to preserve. It is an excellent read and would be a wonderful discussion piece for combined reading, writing, math and science lessons. "An Eco Mystery" series title. 1999 (orig.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8More than anything else, 13- year-old Spinner Shatter wants to catch a fishthen she will never have to fish again. Ever. Born into a highly competitive family of fishermen, she would rather be at home in New York City practicing her dance steps than at the family cabin in Jackson Hole, WY. But it is obvious that her father would rather raise a fisher than a dancer. Even his nickname for her, "Spinner," refers to a type of lure. As the story opens, Spinner, in an effort to please her father, is fishing the icy Snake River with little hope of catching anything, let alone winning back the family fishing medal. Her surprise at catching a record-breaking cutthroat trout is nothing compared to the suspenseful adventure that follows as she sets out with her cousin "Alligator" to determine how the rare, large fish came to live in a pool where, by all appearances, it never should have been. Nature's delicate balance is carefully woven into a thoroughly engrossing mystery-adventure. Both Spinner and readers are slowly drawn deeper and deeper into the unfamiliar beauty and power of the natural world. Like the tiny midges that grow up underwater, Spinner emerges with wings and with the understanding that she can be both a fisher and a dancer.Lisa Wu Stowe, Great Neck Library, NY

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060254667
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/01/1996
Series:
Eco Mysteries Series
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
5.79(w) x 8.56(h) x 0.77(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Jean Craighead George wrote over one hundred books for children and young adults. Her novel Julie of the Wolves won the Newbery Medal in 1973, and she received a 1960 Newbery Honor for My Side of the Mountain. She continued to write acclaimed picture books that celebrate the natural world. Her other books with Wendell Minor include The Wolves Are Back; Luck; Everglades; Arctic Son; Morning, Noon, and Night; and Galapagos George.

The spectacular artwork of Suzanne Duranceau, illustrator of Love Can Build a Bridge, can also be seen in the book-and-tape package Follow the Moon. She lives in Montreal, Canada, with her daughter.

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