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  • An Engaged Teen Tackles Sea Turtle Issues

    Port Winston has a beach, shopping, and a pleasant atmosphere; but to teen Elizabeth, who's been moved mid-school year to Texas, it contains little of interest and much to avoid - including her judgmental, fisherman grandfather, who thinks she's nothing but trouble. At first glance, Elizabeth might seem the last person to take an interest in endangered wildlife, but when she stumbles on an injured, nesting sea turtle, she finds new purpose and new conflicts as she fights to save the Landing, the turtles' critical nesting beach. It's one thing to fight against family, including its secrets: it's another to take on corporations and the results of the Deepwater Horizon's damaging oil slick. It's rare to find an environmental story folded into a young adult read about a teen's angst and coming of age; but by incorporating the two under one cover, Elizabeth's Landing becomes so much more than the usual story of a moved teen's struggle to adjust. Bigger-picture thinking lends a social and political aspect to the story that succeeds in examining issues of a teen's power, awakening to the world around her, and movement from 'troublesome' to 'engaged'. Add psychological insights and a first-person approach to understanding ("Thanks," I say, thrilled to hear terrific, perfect, and you in the same sentence.") and you have a moving story that succeeds on many levels. This award-winning book is recommended for middle school to high school audiences.

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