A Sandy Grave, by Donna McDine, and illustrated by Julie Hammond, is a new Chapbook for ‘Tweens by the author of Hockey Agony, Powder Monkey, and The Golden Pathway. All of Ms. McDine’s books have the theme of doing the right thing at the right time for the right reasons. A Sandy Grave continues her themes of young people dealing with – and surviving – personal and societal injustice.
Leah joins two friends and their families for a beach vacation. On her first day there, the beach is filled with “looky-loos” staring at a beached dead whale. While walking down the beach to get a closer look, Leah sees two individuals representing the dregs of humanity, and I don’t say that lightly. In my book, poachers are in the same category as murderers. They kill wildlife for greed and diminish our natural world and our collective humanity. Leah feels a shudder that tells her these men are up to no good.
“Leah tried to shake off the creepy feeling that was radiating down her back and arms. Grandma always said if something doesn’t seem right trust your instincts. Every inch of Leah screamed that she was right on the money.”
You’ll have to read the book to see how this story plays out, but I’ll tell you this much -- Leah does the right thing!
The artwork by Julie Hammond is light and frothy in contrast to the dark side of life that we glimpse. You see the ocean breeze in the girls’ hair and the sparkle in their eyes. Their stylish summer clothes help lighten the evil lurking in the background. They’re ready for a fun vacation and maybe even an adventure.
This story has bravery, confronting injustice, and, yes, ‘tweens doing the right thing for the right reasons at the right time. For teachers and parents, this book addresses themes of social injustice, right and wrong, protecting wildlife, living in harmony with nature, decision-making, meeting challenges, and supporting your friends in trying situations. I wholeheartedly recommend this and all of Ms. McDine’s books for Tweens.
Donna McDine’s books are published by www.guardianangelpublishing.com and available from quality online booksellers such as www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com. More about Donna McDine at www.donnamcdine.com. And more about Julie Hammond at www.juliehammondart.com.
Tags: Chapbooks, Tweens, injustice, doing good, overcoming obstacles, doing the right thing at the right time, beached whale, beach, vacation, young people, helping friends