Interrupted Journey: Saving Endangered Sea Turtles

by Kathryn Lasky and Christopher G. Knight

When ten-year-old Max and his mother find a Kemp’s ridley turtle on a cold... read more

When ten-year-old Max and his mother find a Kemp’s ridley turtle on a cold Cape Cod beach, its body temperature has dropped to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, 25 degrees below that of a normal turtle. Max and his mother are volunteer members of a group that patrols the beaches in fall and winter, attempting to rescue Kemp’s ridley turtles, who enjoy the warm bays and lush food supply of the Cape area in summer but become incapacitated and die after cold weather arrives. This photo-documentary account of the endangered Kemp’s ridley turtle successfully alternates its focus from the turtle discovered by Max to the status of the species. The text clearly explains the plight of the turtle, and realistically states that even seemingly active rescued turtles have only a 50 percent survival rate. An especially fascinating section describes the difficulty a veterinary team has in determining whether a turtle is dead or alive, as turtles can survive with heart rates so slow as to be almost imperceptible. As one veterinarian puts it, “With turtles . . . death is a relative term.” The many color photographs throughout this cogent and well-designed informational book range from excellent to disappointing. (Ages 7–11)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2002

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