________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 6. . . .October 9, 2015


Saving Crazy. (The Wild Place Adventure Series).

Karen Hood-Caddy.
Toronto, ON: Dundurn, 2015.
206 pp., trade pbk., pdf & Ebook, $12.99 (pbk.), $12.99 (pdf).
ISBN 978-1-4597-3026-7 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4597-1869-2 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4597-1870-8 (Ebook).

Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-13.

Review by Kay Weisman.

*** /4



When they got to the lake, Robin raced along the dock, then tried to stop herself. Zo-Zo and Squirm collided into her from behind. Relentless, however, did not stop. Nor did Einstein. They rollicked forward, flying off the end of the dock as if the water were clear and blue and beautiful.

But it wasn’t clear and blue and beautiful. It was bright green and slimy and looked like something from outer space.

Wide-eyed, Robin stared out across the lake. The surface was covered in thick ooze for as far as she could see.

“Ew …” Squirm cried, stepping back. “What happened to the lake?” His voice was barely above a whisper. Shocked and horrified by what they saw, no one spoke.


In this follow-up to Howl and The Truth About Brave, 13-year old animal rights activist Robin discovers that her beloved cottage country lake is now covered in algae bloom, probably a consequence of climate change. At a community meeting to discuss the problem, Robin and best friend Zo-Zo meet newcomer McCoy, and both are smitten. However McCoy ignores Zo-Zo for Robin, causing a major rift between the best friends and prompting many cautions from her grandmother, Griff, about flattering but insincere men. When the girls have a chance to accompany Griff on a whale-saving mission in the Southern Ocean, Robin is at first reluctant to be away from McCoy for a month, until Zo-Zo shows her a photograph of McCoy kissing another girl. The expedition is arduous—filled with storms, seasickness, and evil “researchers” murdering whales—but the experience does help Robin to realize the importance of staying true to her environmental principles.

      Readers of the previous “Wild Place Adventure” series books will enjoy spending time with these well-developed characters. Hood-Caddy expands the backstories of Zo-Zo and Griff: readers learn that Zo-Zo’s mother is an alcoholic who now lives with an abusive partner in Toronto; and Griff reconnects with an old-flame, Finn, who is an animal rights activist and leader of whale-saving expeditions. At times, Robin’s crush on McCoy and her insecurities about whether or not he really likes her seem to dominate the narrative, crowding out the environmentalism that infused the previous novels. And, although Robin and McCoy eventually reach a détente of sorts, it’s left unclear whether Robin’s new trust is misplaced or not. Still, the romance will attract new readers to this series who may just find themselves caught up in the idealism as well.


Kay Weisman works as a youth librarian at West Vancouver Memorial Library.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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