This year I have read quite a few middle grade books. Thank you NetGalley for sending them all my way. The quality has been outstanding and once again I have picked a winner.
Synopsis – Melody Finch is a story about the hardships of drought in Australia’s Murray Darling Basin river system, as seen through the eyes of its native wildlife. When Melody Klomp turns into a Diamond Firetail Finch, she learns from a secret network of frog spies that big rains are coming. An amazing journey begins from Charleville in Queensland to the Coorong in South Australia, so Melody can tell her Nana of the incoming rains before she sells her beloved tour boat, The Isabella. Along the way, Melody meets many wonderful birds, frogs, seals, and even a platypus. At the end of her journey, she and her network of bird friends must fight together to defeat an evil net fisherman and his pet osprey, Silverclaw, to protect the future of all animals living in the Coorong.
Set in country Australia we are given a birds eye view of our rugged, beautiful, harsh landscape. The book brings all the problems facing our country to the forefront through the eyes of our native animals. Drought, introduced species and entitled humans are causing chaos for many parts of Australia and the authors do a wonderful job of educating and encouraging conversations.
I loved that every place in this book is real, you could go and visit it, the animals aren’t the usual kangaroo or koala, we meet a platypus, pelicans, seagulls are heroes. The animals have such wonderful and distinct personalities that it makes you care for them. You will look at seagulls different after reading this book. We are shown the family dynamics of the different animals; Seals for example, won’t leave an area until their entire group is together and ready to go. We are shown how important water is, how strong and resilient animals are. Frogs that dig themselves a hole and wait for the rain, how all of the aspects of the ecosystem rely on each other, and when one part is taken away everything is out of whack.
This book delivers so much in a humorous way. It’s fast paced, it’s quirky and clever. There are spy frogs (the term infrognito is used often), a bee eating bird who becomes best friends with a bee and a sweet girl who embarks on a massive mission and makes friends along the way.
This book is an absolute gem and I can’t wait to see it in schools all over Australia. It’s a book I finished and straight away wanted to pass on to kids everywhere. It’s an important, well written book, that I hope people all over the world will discover.
Title – Melody Finch
Author- Ian B. Boyd and Gary Luck
Released – 9th October 2020
Publisher – Spirit of Earth Books