Friday, July 3, 2009

MIA'S GIFT by Victoria and Craig Weeden

by Victoria and Craig Weeden
Illustrated by Del Hopewell
Jazz Angel Press
Banner Elk, NC
ISBN: 9781439213292
Trade paperback, 132 pages, $12.99
Genre: Children’s fiction, ages 6-12

Since her mother’s death, Mia is trying harder than ever to be closer to her dad, who researches manatees. Like her mother, Mia senses manatees and helps her dad locate them but what Mia’s dad doesn’t know is that Mia can also communicate with the manatees. Mia’s favorite manatee, Muzzles, is pregnant and Mia worries about her safety. Shortly after Muzzles gives birth, her baby is stolen, and Mia and her friend Clark place their own lives in danger to save her.

This is a creative, well-illustrated book which children will treasure. Mia is a sweet character and her friend Clark, who stutters and whose family is down on their luck, is the perfect counterpart. The story is heart-warming, the characters engaging, and the message concerning manatees and the dangers they encounter from humans important and welcome and very much needed. Parents and teachers will appreciate the premise for this book, which would be the perfect addition for school classrooms as well as school, home, and public libraries.

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