Monday, December 12, 2011

Demi and the Dolphins – Alyssa K. Harrell

Publisher:  iUniverse Publishing
Pages:  108
Source:  I received a copy for review
Genre:  Elementary/Middle Grade Fantasy

Product Review from Amazon:
Captain Demi is young, smart, and beautiful, but she is also stubborn and selfish. She comes from four generations of tuna fishermen. She is the youngest captain and the only female to have taken over the family business.

New laws governing tuna fishing with nets is making business difficult for her. Her family has been net fishing for generations, why should things have to change now? Demi doesn’t care if net fishing drowns dolphins; they are not how she makes her living.

Demi and her crew are anxious to finish their run and head home. They need a big catch and the quickest way to do that is with the illegal nets. Convinced it is okay to do as long as no one is around to catch her, Demi prepares to drop the nets on a school of tuna. She knows some dolphin will get caught as well and drown, but all she cares about is making money.

Demi is unaware that one of her crew is also a spy for the police, and he is watching her every move in order to catch her in the act of using illegal nets. An accident occurs that puts Demi’s life in peril. What happens next is magical, and becomes life changing for her.

About the Author
Alyssa K. Harrell wrote this story when she was ten years old for a homeschool writing project. Alyssa is an animal lover, having grown up around her mom's veterinary hospital. She has raised many types of baby animals and has a particular passion for horses. Alyssa and her sister, Demi, have been homeschooled since fourth grade and live in Tampa, Florida.

My Thoughts:
I loved this story.  I live in Florida about 45 minutes away from the author’s home town.  There is nothing I love more than watching dolphins.    In this day and age so many people think about money and not the consequences of their actions. The fishing industry is a large one and often we would hear of dolphins  and turtles getting trapped in the nets.  Laws were put in place to stop the senseless death of these wonderful animals.  No everyone likes it or thinks it is necessary.    In this story we see a young captain who feels just that way.  She believes that it is okay to break the law.  That is she feels that way until she falls overboard and is turned into a dolphin.  She is given the chance to return to the life of a human and to make changes to help save the dolphins.  This is a powerful message told in a simple form.  Kudos to the author for finding a way to bring an important message to our young people.  It is important that they learn these lessons as children so they may grow up to become responsible adults.

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