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Fifth-grader Ben Moroney has just moved from Arizona to Massachusetts. While struggling to adjust to his new home, he becomes unlikely friends with his science teacher, Mrs. Tibbets. She introduces the young nature enthusiast to the wildlife inhabiting her rural property, including the fascinating, rarely seen spadefoot toad. Despite his initial loyalty to his previous home, Ben finds himself increasingly interested in his new environment, and when he learns that the spadefoot toad's habitat will soon be sold to developers, he makes it his mission to save the threatened species he has grown to love. This title does not contain the same level of mystery, action, and suspense as Carl Hiassen's Hoot (Knopf, 2002), but the narrative does move along at a quick enough pace to keep the book interesting, and the main character is a well-developed, realistic "child hero." An additional purchase with a positive message that may appeal to readers interested in science and nature.-Melinda Piehler, Sawgrass Elementary School, Sunrise, FL
Posted September 23, 2013
Posted December 1, 2013
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