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Murders, Mysteries and a Rare Sea Turtle


“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” - Carl Sagan

Not many people can say that they’ve seen a rare sea turtle or they were in on a live crime. That is not the case for Hayley Makk, a reluctant student with a hard tongue and a fierce ambition for journalism. Working as a reporter for her father’s newspaper in a small Canadian town, Halifax, her first “big scoop” rolls in late one night after tracking the radio messages of a bloodstained murder in a shack. The short-lived victory diminishes quickly when her dad puts her on an expedition to study a rare and highly endangered sea turtle. Hayley sets out with her biology teacher, Ms. Cameron and her irritating former classmate, Ernest, in order to make up the credit she needs to graduate from high school. Despite the seemingly never-ending dullness of the trip, everything takes a turn when a fishing boat just as intent on finding the sea turtle fires shots at the research group’s boat. Forced to head back home and just when she believed things could not get more absurd, Hayley unravels a shocking connection between the turtle and the murder, leading to an even bigger mystery than anyone could’ve imagined.

Though I admittedly found the main character a bit self-absorbed at the time, I still immensely enjoyed this book overall. Kate Jaimet managed to put two unlikely topics together smoothly; she added more awareness on the endangerment of species with a crime-mystery genre, making both subjects more interesting and giving a unique twist to her writing style. As the story progresses, the different characters’ motives for their actions seem to change, making you question if you really do know what’s happening. This book is a great and a one-of-a-kind way to learn more about endangered species and the consequences that they hold in our global community.

Want to meet the author and learn more about endangered sea turtles? Well, then you’re definitely in luck! On Tuesday, February 9th from 5:00-6:30 p.m., the Main Branch auditorium (120 Metcalfe Street) will be the venue for an exclusive Book Launch and Film Screening. The author’s new documentary, created with professional filmmaker Melanie Willis, follows a group called the Barbados Sea Turtle Project and their mission to save the endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtles. All are welcome!

Ottawa Public Library’s Teen Bloggers in Residence are fantastic teen volunteer writers from across the city. They blog about their favourite teen reads and authors, and get writing assignments to cover special teen events happening at the library. Their residency rotates throughout the year. Call-outs for upcoming terms are made through the Teen Blog in May/June, September/October and January/February.