Melody Finch is a middle grade fantasy book that was sent to me by the authors and was published last week. 12-year-old Melody Klomp didn't believe in the "fairy tales" her grandmother told her about humans turning into animals- at least, not until Melody did. Once a girl, now a Diamond Firetail Finch. With some new wildlife friends, Melody starts a journey to warn her grandmother and save her from an evil fisherman set on illegal seal culling that puts the Coorong and her grandmother in danger. Along the way, she learns about the harshness of drought, invasive species, and the delicacy and connectiveness of ecosystems.
I enjoyed how educational the book was and the format in. For example, I had no idea that birds knew directions like north and south based on where the sun shines on their wings, or that cane toads' skin produces poisonous mucus. Rather than the facts being presented in a textbook, in Melody Finch the information is presented in a fun fantasy story. I enjoyed how the authors included the dangers of invasive species and some extreme, inhumane measures like seal culling.
I liked the evolution of the plot, how a goal for Melody to tell her grandmother about it finally raining turned into a much larger adventure and mission of protecting all of ecology and sustaining the circle of life. Ecology is a giant chain; if one link is broken, all suffer. Melody saw and learned first-hand how a single change, whether man-made or natural, can disrupt an entire ecosystems. Melody Finch felt similar to many parts of Finding Nemo, which made me smile. The cover is also gorgeous!
I highly recommend this book!
Title: Melody Finch
Author: Ian B. Boyd and Gary Luck
Publisher: Spirit of the Earth Books
Rating: 5 Stars