Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 12
- Grade: 4 to 7
- Reading age: 9 to 12
Amelia’s world came crashing down when her parents separated and she was forced to relocate with her mother to a new part of town.
When Duke and Gabriella move into the suite downstairs with their menagerie of exotic animals, Amelia feels like she’s been thrown a lifeline. Helping care for the animals gives Amelia a sense of purpose, and she’s determined to keep Duke and Gabriella’s secret. But eventually her mother discovers the animals and refuses to let them stay. To make matters worse, Winston, a sulcata tortoise, has fallen ill, and the medical bills are piling up. Can Amelia figure out a way to help save Winston and keep her newfound family together?
About the author
Becky Citra is the author of over twenty books for children, ranging from early chapter books to novels for young adults. She was an elementary schoolteacher for over twenty-five years and began writing for children in 1995. Becky’s books have been shortlisted for and won many awards, including the Red Cedar Award, the Diamond Willow, the Silver Birch and the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize. She lives in Bridge Lake, British Columbia. For more information, visit www.beckycitra.com.
- Short-listed, PNBA Book Award
- Short-listed, Chocolate Lily Book Award
- Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens
"Short, manageable chapters lend readability...will especially appeal to animal-lovers and -caregivers."
"Citra keeps the focus light...and delivers some life lessons with grace. The story neatly focuses on the passions not only of Amelia, but also of Duke and Gabriella, in whom Amelia finds an extended family after her parents' divorce. It all comes together in a lovely little episode that animal-loving young readers should especially find resonant. Sweet and lively."
"Readers will be pleased...wonderful as a classroom read-aloud."
School Library Connection
"The human relationships are caring without being perfect...Authentic. Recommended."