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|Here where the sunbeams are green|
Author: Phillips, Helen
Sisters Madeline and Ruby travel to a Central American jungle to help find their missing father, a renowned bird watcher, only to discover a nefarious plot that puts their lives in danger.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.50
Points: 13.0 Quiz: 155141
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 7.30
Points: 21.0 Quiz: 60060
Kirkus Reviews (10/01/12)
School Library Journal (-) (01/01/13)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 01/01/2013 Gr 4–7—After a disturbing letter arrives from their ornithologist father, 12-year-old Madeline (Mad) Wade and her younger sister, Ruby (Roo), head to Central America with their mother to find him. They are accompanied by Ken/Neth, a representative of the luxurious La Lava Resort and Spa, which hired Dr. Wade months earlier to document birds in the area. In reality, the spa, winner of numerous environmental awards, has made him a virtual prisoner so he can track down the nearly extinct Lava-Throated Volcano trogon (LTVT). The birds' bones can be transformed into a youth serum to make huge profits for the company. Mad, Roo, and their mother stay at a nearby resort run by a mysterious old woman who knows many legends, including one that predicts that the nearby volcano will erupt when the last LTVT dies. With the help of her grandson, Kyle, the sisters figure out their father's predicament, enlist the aid of an environmental-activist actress, and foil La Lava's plans. Although narrator Mad consistently and annoyingly disparages her own abilities while extolling Roo's talents, she is the one who ultimately saves the day. Roo's ability to understand Spanish without lessons and to bond immediately with the LTVT that the trio discovers require suspension of disbelief. Phillips doesn't clarify whether Ken/Neth is a villainous mastermind or a corporate dupe or explain how Mrs. Wade remains oblivious to her children's forays into the rainforest. The nascent romance between Mad and Kyle adds yet another element to the overburdened story. Offering plenty of action, the plot crashes to a rather abrupt resolution with hints of a possible return visit. An additional purchase for large fiction collections.—Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.