A Place for Delta by Melissa Walker
Publisher: Whale Tale Press
Genre: Children's literature, Middle Grade, ages 9-12
Hardback 270 pages
Book Source: Lisa from OnLine Publicist
My Rating: 90/100
Joseph can hardly believe what he has been asked to do. His Aunt Kate, a wildlife biologist, is waiting for him at a research station and needs his help taking care of an orphaned polar bear cub only a few months old. He will leave his friends and family and venture to the farthest northern town in the United States. As the adventure unfolds, Joseph and his newfound Eskimo friend Ada find mysteries wherever they look. The bear cub, Delta, remains in danger. Who would want a polar bear dead?
Joseph will have to look to the North Georgia woods to save Delta. When his parents were kids, they too embarked on an excursion into the unknown. Their encounters with the wilderness beyond their backyard have shaped the future for Joseph and Delta. A Place for Delta is about one family's journey—a passage born in the Appalachian Mountains and leading to the Arctic.
This was an adorable little book. Joseph goes to Alaska to assist his Aunt Kate with caring for a polar bear cub that was found without a mom. While there he makes friends with an Eskimo girl, Ada, and has fun discovering Barrow, Alaska, and what it's like to live in one of the coldest places in the world. Joseph learns a little bit about polar bears as well as why all of the Alaskan wild life may be in danger due to global warming. Joseph and Ada also help in solving the mystery of why this polar bear was alone. Apparently kids make good spies, so keep this in mind the next time you are planning a heist or something.
Part of the story also takes place in rural Georgia, where Joseph's family is from and his Aunt Kate grew up. This is where Kate learned to loved mother nature and animals. Exploring the woods around her house growing up provided a lot of fun and a healthy respect for the planet we live on.
A Place for Delta is a fun story of adventure and mystery, that I think would appeal to children. The story incorporates information about life in Alaska, but not so much that it is burdensome to a child. The plot is pretty simple, but has enough information to keep it appealing to children. As an adult reader, I had to adjust my thinking for this story. For example, I don't know anybody who would let their 10 year old fly off alone, to meet their Aunt in Alaska. Also, the writing is very simple and the story is easy to figure out. However, when children are engrossed in a book, they don't care about these things. The adventure of being by themselves and solving mysteries and acting like their parents makes it exciting to them.
So if I had children, I would certainly recommend they read this book. Not only does it provide information about nature and another community, but it may spark an interest in their mind to learn more. The back of the book contains a glossary of words and their meanings as well as resources, useful websites, films, and green websites for children. The big message of this book is the environment, and hopefully children will think about what that might mean to Delta the polar bear. I would also be remiss if I didn't mention the wonderful illustrations in the book. Simple and quite pretty.
My Rating: 90/100
Thanks to Lisa from Online Publicist for my review copy.
2010 Challenges Met: 100+
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