The Missing Manatee
By Cynthia DeFelice
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Hardcover, 9780374312572, 192pp.)
Publication Date: March 24, 2005
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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A tribute to Florida, fishing, and family
All Skeet Waters wants is to catch a big, beautiful tarpon on his fly rod - and to keep everything else in his life in Florida the way it's always been. But on his spring break from school, Skeet overhears his mother telling his father to move out permanently. Then, while riding in his boat to escape his parents' troubles, he discovers a manatee that's been shot in the head. Skeet puts aside his search for the manatee and its killer when Dirty Dan the Tarpon Man offers to take him out to catch his first tarpon on a fly. Because of Dan, Skeet begins to
unravel the mysteries surrounding the manatee's apparent murder and his parents' dissolving marriage.
Skeet discovers that life is a lot like tarpon fishing, in which you can't look just at the surface of the water - you have to look through it, at what lies beneath. The Missing Manatee is a nominee for the 2006 Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery
Cynthia DeFelice is the author of many bestselling books for young readers, including The Ghost of Fossil Glen, Wild Life, Signal, and Weasel. Her books have been nominated for an Edgar Allen Poe Award and listed as American Library Association Notable Children's Books and Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, among numerous other honors. She lives in upstate New York.
"DeFelice delivers a fast-paced mystery with a strong sense of place. Strong characters and an effective first-person narration...create an exciting whole, sure to hook readers." -- Booklist
"DeFelice keenly evokes the feel of a Gulf fishing town...the reader's empathy will be engaged as Skeet discovers that things aren't always what they seem."
-- Kirkus Reviews
"The characters shine. Readers will savor the story." -- VOYA
"DeFelice offers a realistic adventure story that is fast paced and full of drama. The characters are multifaceted and well developed, and the story should prompt readers to think about cause and effect." -- School Library Journal
"A great mystery." -- SIGNAL