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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, Mankatoα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
In this ecological mystery set in the shadow of a Central American volcano, two sisters contend with odd portents, like fungal toe flowers that pop up on one of the girls’ feet, as well as ancient legends of eternal youth. Twelve-year-old Mad, more interested in poetry than suspense, narrates the story of how she and the more rambunctious Roo determine to get to the bottom of their ornithologist father’s increasingly odd behavior. He is seeking a Lazarus species of bird that may still haunt the jungle surrounding the superswanky eco spa that hired him. The spa’s minions, meanwhile, seem to be brainwashing Dad while also keeping an all-too-close eye on his family. Enter a local bird-loving boy who helps the girls out, while adding a touch of PG romance to Mad’s life. The narrative drags a bit here and there, but Phillips does build a lush atmosphere of cloying, tropical beauty, punctuated by the volcano’s rumblings. Mystery fans looking for exotic settings and spunky heroines will find this a book to luxuriate in. Grades 4-7. --Karen Cruze --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Editorial Reviews
Excellent read. Some fantasy and family drama. Written from the believable perspective of a 12-year old, it's a perfect read for that age.Published 1 month ago by Andy Paul
Reading HERE WHERE THE SUNBEAMS ARE GREEN was like slipping into a jungle and going on an exotic journey. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Linda Joy Singleton
This book was awesome! I loved it! It had mystery, adventure, and a little romance. It also had some Spanish, and I thought that was pretty cool. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Team LitPick
I loved everything about this book!! This book has so many fantastic life lessons!! Mad, Roo, and Kyle are such great role models!!!:)Published 20 months ago by Andy Z.
This book is creative and descriptive, and a page turner all the way. The plot is so different from anything else I've read, and I fell into a trance as soon as I started reading. Read morePublished on July 21, 2013 by awesome03
I was really looking forward to reading this book because the description sounded amazing. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to even finish this tale. Read morePublished on April 20, 2013 by The Book Lady
It's not the best it possibly could have been, but it's still amazing! Hope everybody enjoyed this as much as I did!Published on April 3, 2013 by mbd
Oh, middle grade books, you are just so delightful. One of my goals this year is to read more of them, because I've had such good experiences with all of my middle grade... Read morePublished on March 18, 2013 by Christina (A Reader of Fictions)