Monday, February 17, 2020

Review: Escape Galapagos by Dr. Ellen Prager

The Wonder List Adventures, #1
by Ellen Prager
Tumblehome Inc.
Middle Grade Adventure
180 pages
ages 8 to 12

As Ezzy Skylar's mother lay dying, her father promised to take Ezzy and her younger brother, Luke, to all of the places on his wife's wonder-list, starting with the Galápagos Islands. There's just one problem: while Luke loves all living things, Ezzy freaks out around wild animals. For her family, Ezzy must face her fears and walk with iguanas, swim with sea lions and sharks, and pretend to dance among blue-footed boobies. Things take a dangerous turn when hijackers take over their cruise ship. Ezzy, Luke, and Aiden, a teen they meet on the ship, are stranded on remote and wild Isabela Island, where an erupting volcano adds to the action and adventure. Ezzy must find bravery she never knew she had and rely on her little brother's help to make their way across the island in an attempt to rescue a ship full of tourists and the animals of the Galápagos.


This book packs kid-appropriate adventure on every page and mixes it with some interesting facts about animals and more along the way to create a fun read.

Following a last wish from her deceased mother, Ezzy's father take her and her brother on a trip to the Galapagos islands. Her brother is thrilled, but then he's and animal friend. Ezzy isn't so sure they're as neat as her brother believes. when a hike on Isabela Island ends with them stranded and their cruise ship in the hands of hijackers, Ezzy not only has to learn to conquer her fear of the animals but save them and an entire ship.

Any readers who love animals...especially more exotic ones...and adventure is sure to enjoy this tale. The first pages already dive right in as Ezzy faces her first 'mini-dragon' and is told there is so much more to come. Her fear is understandable, as is her irritation with her younger brother, who can't understand her reaction. But then, their entire, little family carries a nice atmosphere, and it's clear they care for each other quite a bit.

The adventure itself is quick-paced and packs enough tension to keep the reader hooked. At the same time, it stays with the realm of kid friendly and is even appropriate for more sensitive readers. This, along with the information about various animals and the islands, makes it a wonderful read for school groups or homeschoolers, too. Add the wonderful mix of sibling relationships, friendship, and learning to step beyond ones fears...and this makes a lovely read.

And here she is...

Dr. Prager is a marine scientist and author, widely recognized for her expertise and ability to make science entertaining and understandable for people of all ages. She currently works as a freelance writer, consultant, and science advisor to Celebrity Cruises in the Galapagos Islands. She was previously the Chief Scientist for the Aquarius Reef Base program in Key Largo, FL, which includes the world’s only undersea research station, and at one time the Assistant Dean at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

Read an article from Ellen in Children's Writer's Guild:

Here's the tour if you'd like to follow along!

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