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Children's Fiction Environment

We the Sea Turtles

A collection of island stories

by (author) Michelle Kadarusman

Pajama Press Inc.
Initial publish date
Sep 2023
Environment, Emotions & Feelings, Diversity & Multicultural, Turtles, Recycling & Green Living
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 8 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 9


Eight beautifully evocative short stories from the pen of Governor General’s Award finalist Michelle Kadarusman

On islands around the world—from Manhattan to Phillip Island, Australia, to Komodo Island and beyond—eight children face life-changing moments: escaping a flood; embracing their identity; discovering that the adults in their lives can ease the burden of their eco-anxiety. And although each child couldn’t be more different, one thing connects them all: a turtle swam into each of their lives at a critical moment, and left them changed.

Author Michelle Kadarusman has lived and travelled all around the world, and her elegant writing captures the spirit of the places that have left their mark on her. In We the Sea Turtles, she explores relevant themes like eco-anxiety, natural disaster, and how people ground themselves when they’ve been uprooted. One way, as this collection shows, is to tell ourselves stories: stories that make sense of life.

About the author

Michelle Kadarusman is a multi-award-winning author of middle-grade novels, including Music for Tigers, The Theory of Hummingbirds, and the Governor General’s Award finalist Girl of the Southern Sea. Born in Melbourne, Australia, Michelle has also lived in Indonesia and Canada; today she splits her time between Toronto, Canada, and Byron Bay, Australia. Room for More, Michelle’s first picture book, was inspired by Australian wildlife sheltering in wombat burrows during the devastating Australian bush fires of 2019–2020.


Michelle Kadarusman's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Praise for We the Sea Turtles: A collection of island stories

Kirkus “150 Most Anticipated Books of the Fall 2023” Selection

Quill & Quire "2023 Fall Preview: Middle Grade and Graphic Novels" Feature

2023 Children’s Book Council “Hot off the Press September” Selection

CBC Books "26 Canadian early reader and middle-grade books to read in fall 2023" Selection

49th Shelf Fall 2023 “Most Anticipated Books for Young Readers” Selection

“Turtles swim in and out of this collection of nine gentle stories. Canadian novelist Kadarusman uses short stories to deftly explore emotional turning points in young lives…. All have a strong environmental component; the writer’s own love for the natural world is evident. The settings are well depicted, and the racially, nationally, and economically diverse characters are distinctive….An exploration to be savored.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Ultimately, We the Sea Turtles is a book about the wonder of nature and the tenacity and beauty of its creatures, in particular the sea turtle. By encouraging kids to love and be inspired by their natural surroundings, author Michelle Kadarusman hopes to encourage a generation of children to play a positive role in the future of our planet. There is lots of fruitful content for thought and discussion. Highly Recommended.”—CM Reviews

“This anthology explores relevant themes like eco-anxiety, natural disaster, and the change people are forced to make when they are uprooted. Kadarusman expertly presents scientific information guided by the sincere environmental concerns that many young people reflect upon.…This is an ideal read-aloud source for grade 4 to 6 classrooms….I loved it.”—Dr. Larry Recommends

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