Aguiar, Nadia Secrets of Tamarind, 373 pgs. Feiwel and Friends (Macmillan), 2011. $17.00. Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content-G; Violence: PG; Sequel to The Lost Island of Tamarind.
Three siblings, Maya-16, Simon-14, Penny-5 (and their friend Helix), sneak aboard their parents’ boat for a return trip to Tamarind. While the children know something is amiss, they don’t know the magnitude of the problems facing the island. Someone is mining the magical ophalla for their own nefarious purposes. If they aren’t stopped, there could be disastrous consequences for the islanders, the wildlife, and for Tamarind itself.
This is a really well-written book. The character development is good and I loved the way the siblings cared about and looked out for each other. The plot was well-paced with moments of high adventure mixed with beautiful descriptive passages of people or the island. I felt like I was actually on the island--meeting the unusual people and experiencing the action with the characters. There is an underlying theme in the book of protecting natural resources that is interwoven nicely throughout the story. This book portrays a magical world that I would love to be part of. There’s nothing objectionable in it for elementary aged students, but the length and the complexity of the plot make it more appropriate for slightly older or more advanced readers.
MS-ESSENTIAL Reviewer: M. Mathews, middle school librarian.