Red Tide is the story of Peter, a shy, dreamy city boy, who learns the beauty of nature and copes with his mother's illness while living with his grandfather on an island off the coast of Florida. His grandfather, a retired doctor, and Andrea, a girl with mischievous eyes, teach him about the animals that live on the island. He overcomes bullying by his new schoolmates and fear of the out-of-doors with a series of adventures. His grandfather teaches him to fish and how to sail a boat. With his newly gained confidence, he helps save a patch of wetland from developers and becomes an activist to protect the environment. He and Andrea discover dead fish and birds on the beach that were poisoned by red tide. When he learns that red tide, a microorganism in the water that is deadly to marine life, is stimulated by agricultural fertilizers, he writes a letter to the governor and encloses a dead fish. The dead fish gets him in trouble with the police but he becomes a hero to his classmates.
About The Author:
The author, Dr. John Raffensperger, learned about the out-of-doors while roaming the woods along the Illinois River. He graduated from medical school in 1953 and became a pediatric surgeon in Chicago. While in practice he cared for children with cancer, injuries, and birth defects. After retiring he sailed on the Atlantic Ocean and then with his wife, Susan, cats, and a dog named Rosy lived on Sanibel, an island off the coast of Florida. He has written surgical textbooks, several books on medical history, and then turned to fiction. He wrote Red Tide to encourage children to get out of doors and even to become activists to protect our fragile planet.