I loved Art’s determined approach to saving the beautiful and fragile salt marsh she lives near. I was surprised when a couple of helpful ghosts appeared, but sometimes that’s what it takes to change people’s minds. Not only is this book about our shoreline, it’s also easy to love Art, flaws and all.— Jamie
"...Artemis Sparke is pure energy! ...Kenna’s well-crafted debut is a timely gift.” —Leslie Connor, National Book Award finalist and author of The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle and Anybody Here Seen Frenchie?
When Artemis Sparke has had it with humans, she heads to the nearby salt marsh to hang out with the birds, plants, and mollusks who don’t make a big deal of her stutter. The shoreline sanctuary is predictable, unlike her family and friends, and the data in her science journal proves it. But one day that data goes haywire, and her bird friend RT confirms it: the salt marsh is dying. Artemis discovers that the historic hotel where she lives with her mom may be part of the problem, but speaking up would mean confronting the cranky hotel owner who happens to be her mom’s boyfriend and boss. Artemis conjures up help from deceased ecologists, and as she works to untangle their clues, she finds family secrets that could be the key to saving the salt marsh but also may destroy her life as she knows it.
“It’s unusual to find a middle-grade read that deftly navigates both peer relationships and the politics of adult interactions... the lively ecological and social threads that run through the mystery offer many thought-provoking moments." —D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
“Birds love Artemis Sparke. Trees love her. Readers, too, will be captivated by this fiery, quirky, and determined twelve-year-old protector of salt marshes. Kimberly Behre Kenna’s debut novel is lively, magical, and wise. An essential read for these times when the earth is in such urgent need of care and we are in such urgent need of hope.” —Ona Gritz, author of August or Forever
“In Artemis Sparke and the Sound Seekers Brigade, a young girl finds her voice as an environmental advocate as she fights to save a local salt marsh. Artemis Sparke's compassion for others, her environmental concerns, her creative activism, and her powerful voice, will surely spark inspiration to work for change. Kimberly Behre Kenna has written a page-turning guidebook for the next generation of readers who are inheriting difficult environmental problems, but who--as this book reminds us--have the potential to learn from the past and to create lasting change." —Diana Renn, author of Trouble at Turtle Pond and Tokyo Heist
“A lovely tale full of pluck, passion, perseverance, and a dash of enchantment. A heartfelt adventure with a courageous young heroine determined to save her beloved salt marsh against daunting odds.”—Sandra Waugh, author of Lark Rising and The Adventures of the Flash Gang series
“A timely theme, nuanced characters, a story brushed with a touch of magic. Kids will love following the lead of environmentalist, Artemis, as this book is rich with opportunities for science investigations and experiments.” —Carol Wallach, CT recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
“Kimberly Behre Kenna has written a terrific middle-grade novel that will inspire readers of all ages. Artemis Sparke is a strong, passionate, courageous protagonist who speaks her truth even when her stutter challenges her communication. She won’t allow anyone to invalidate her deep connection to nature or impede her ambitious plan to save a salt marsh from destruction. This entertaining page-turner has unforgettable characters, family drama, ghosts and secrets, surprises and suspense, and, without being pedantic, illuminates the urgency of battling climate change. The world needs more role models like Artemis Sparke.” —Pamela Gray, screenwriter, Conviction, Music of the Heart, A Walk on the Moon
“Featuring a strong and compassionate character, Artemis Sparke and the Sound Seekers Brigade is an engaging story about friendship, protecting nature, and speaking up for what’s right even when it feels like no one will listen. Some helpful ghosts add layers of humor and mystery to this heartfelt novel.” —Lynne Kelly, author of Song for a Whale
“Warning: Artemis Sparke is pure energy! Equal parts ecologist, artist, scientist and historian, Art had me riding her tailwind on her mission to protect the delicate salt marsh of Long Island Sound. And, oh my, the stakes are high-- environmentally and personally! Kenna’s well-crafted debut is a timely gift.” —Leslie Connor, National Book Award finalist and author of The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle and Anybody Here Seen Frenchie?