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From the Cooper & Packrat series, volume 5

by Tamra Wight ; illustrated by Carl DiRocco

Pub Date: June 21st, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-952143-36-6
Publisher: Islandport Press

The sight of a lynx kitten wearing a collar in the wintry Maine woods catalyzes a host of increasingly dangerous escapades for Cooper, Packrat, and friends.

Fans of aspiring game warden Cooper Wilder and his friend Packrat—whose useful collection of miscellany resides in his jacket’s many pockets—will enjoy following the boys as their attention turns from setting up (with friends Roy and Summer) the premier winter festival at the Wilder family’s campground to learning about a probable fur poacher nearby. When dog-sledder Wynter and her mother show up, the friends are torn between welcoming Wynter and distrusting her mother’s questionable behavior. Warden Kate proves a reliable female role model as each short, accessible chapter skillfully weaves information—including descriptions of lynx habits and laws protecting them, the mechanics of ice-fishing, building a snow fort, the sport of skijoring (which involves being pulled by a dog while wearing cross-country skis), and the difference between legal trapping and illegal poaching—into a suspenseful tale. First-person narrator Cooper’s voice is believable as a young teen who is both daring and mostly responsible—and who is starting to feel a change in his feelings toward his friend Summer. Part of the fun for readers is trying to outguess Cooper’s changing assessments as the clues pile up. Stylized, grayscale spot art is appropriately lighthearted and reassuring. All characters follow a White default.

Snowy fun and suspense Down East.

(Mystery. 8-12)