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From New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe comes a beautiful story of friendship, loss, and the healing power of nature in her first book for middle grade readers.

Twelve-year-old Jake’s life has just turned upside-down. His father has been wounded in Afghanistan, and his mother is going to leave to care for him. That means Jake’s spending the summer on tiny Dewees Island with his grandmother. The island is a nature sanctuary—no cars or paved roads, no stores or restaurants. To make matters worse, Jake’s grandmother doesn’t believe in cable or the internet. Which means Jake has no cell phone, no video games...and no friends.

He’s barely on land before he meets and befriends two other kids—AJ, another “summer kid” and Lovie, who lives there and shows both Jake and AJ the ropes of life on the island. All three are struggling with their own family issues, and the three quickly bond, going on adventures all over Dewees Island.

But their fun stops after one misadventure on an abandoned boat leads to community service. Their punishment? Mandatory turtle duty as a part of Team Turtle, where they must do a daily dawn beach patrol checking for loggerhead sea turtle tracks and to keep an eye on the nest. And when the nest becomes endangered, the three friends must find a way to protect it.

Can they save the turtle nest from predators? And can Jake’s growing love for the island and its inhabitants (be they two-legged, four-legged, feathered, or finned) help to heal his father?

Mic Smith Photography

Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, including the Beach House series: The Beach House, Beach House Memories, Swimming Lessons, Beach House for Rent, and Beach House Reunion. She is a 2018 Inductee into the South Carolina Academy of Authors’ Hall of Fame, and her books have received numerous awards, including the 2008 South Carolina Center for the Book Award for Writing, the 2014 South Carolina Award for Literary Excellence, the 2015 SW Florida Author of Distinction Award, the RT Lifetime Achievement Award, the International Book Award for Green Fiction, and the 2017 Southern Book Prize for Fiction. Her bestselling novel The Beach House is also a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. She is the cocreator and cohost of the weekly web show and podcast Friends & Fiction. An active conservationist, she lives in the lowcountry of South Carolina. Visit her at MaryAliceMonroe.com and at Facebook.com/MaryAliceMonroe.

More books from this author: Mary Alice Monroe