Review Blog

May 02 2018

Turtle Trackers by Samantha Wheeler

cover image

UQP, 2018. ISBN 9780702259951
(Age: 9-12) Recommended. Ten year old Isaac lives with his widowed mother in a caravan park in seaside Queensland. They are the park caretakers and the huge workload impacts on their lives, ensuring Isaac has very little free time during his holidays. His passion is for the migrating turtle species who arrive on the nearby beaches every year to lay their eggs. These eggs are at risk from marauding dogs, visiting tourists and feral wildlife. Isaac wants to be an official turtle tracker, someone who watches over the turtles and their nests, but his commitments in the caravan park make it impossible for him to fulfil his dream.
To add to the pressure, visiting travel blogger Eddie Eastwood is visiting the caravan park with his unleashed, mischievous dog Bella and it looks as though a poor review will be forthcoming . . . bad news for his Mum and her future employment with the owners of the park, the local council.
Isaac has a strong environmental passion which is evident in the story and the author uses his voice to educate about the importance of protecting turtles and the impact of pollution on the turtle population. Only one in a thousand hatchlings will survive to generate new eggs so it is important to be aware of the necessity of protecting the turtle's future.
Although this book has a strong message to tell, the story entertains and keeps the reader interested in Isaac and his hopes and dreams.
For the reader that wants to learn more about turtles, the author provides further information and links at the end of the novel.
Turtle Trackers reminds me of another of Samantha Wheeler's books Mister Cassowary, which gives an insight into the prehistoric like cassowary, while telling an interesting story about a boy and his family's past.
The bright primary colours on the jacket are appealing and clearly identify the book's focus.
I recommend this novel to 9 to 12 year olds.
Jane Moore

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