Gloria Skurzynski is an award-winning author who has written more than 50 children's books. Her nonfiction book Almost the Real Thing won the American Institute of Physics' Science Writing Award. She has also penned numerous works for National Geographic, including Are We Alone?, an IRA/CBC Young Adults' Choice for 2006. Skurzynski lives in Boise, Idaho.Alane Ferguson's skill at weaving mystery and suspense into middle-grade fiction won her an Edgar Award for Show Me the Evidence. Along with Gloria Skurzynski, she has cowritten many books in National Geographic's Mysteries in Our National Parks series. Once they decide on a plot they do on-site research in the featured park, then collaborate by phone, fax, and e-mail to develop the page-turning plot. Ferguson lives in Elizabeth, Colorado.
Gr 4-8-In this, their fifth mystery, the Landon family travels to Glacier National Park to investigate the disappearance of grizzly bear cubs. For 12-year-old Jack, the real mystery lies in his sister's strange behavior. When their parents attend a briefing with park administrators regarding the bear problem, Jack volunteers to stay behind at the campsite with Ashley. As soon as the adults leave, she disappears into the woods and returns with a young Mexican named Miguel, an illegal alien seeking a better lifestyle and trying to reach a former teacher who lives in Seattle. When the three children accidentally discover the reason for the cubs' disappearance, namely poachers, they devise a plan and rescue the bears. Their ingenuity and daredevil tactics come at a price, however, as the drugged mother grizzly awakens and reacts violently toward them. Events unfold at a rapid, steady pace with the children helping one another thwart the attacks of the grizzly, and finally being rescued by Mrs. Landon and the local park rangers. While the story lacks depth, it does work as an exciting adventure, with the youngsters confronting the hazards of nature in order to restore its delicate balance. Miguel's fate is conveniently and happily resolved. Themes of friendship, family love, and the importance of protecting wildlife are nicely woven around likable characters and a cohesive plot line.-Janet Gillen, Great Neck Public Library, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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