Tortuga Squad – Kids Saving Sea Turtles in Costa Rica
Kids Saving Sea Turtles in Costa Rica
photos & text by Cathleen Burnham
Crickhollow Books • Hardcover
$18.95 • 32 pages • 10.5” x 9” • January 2016
Free downloadable teacher’s guide
Sea Turtle Conservation (Endangered Species) • Youth Environmental Activism • Global Kids • Ideal for ages 7–12
“Bright photos depict the children in action, the turtles and other animals, and the surroundings. The spreads also include attractively arranged maps and drawings and deftly inserted facts about turtles…. Burnham has written other books about compassionate efforts by children, such as Doyli to the Rescue: Saving Baby Monkeys in the Amazon (Crickhollow, 2015), that inspire readers to take positive action.… VERDICT: A wonderful addition to most collections.” – School Library Journal
Tortuga Squad (Book 2 in the WAKA book series) is about a group of kids in Costa Rica working to save baby turtles, patrolling the beach for poachers and rescuing eggs to incubate in a hatchery they have built.
On Parismina Island in Costa Rica, the “Tortuga Squad,” a group of youngsters, keeps watch on the beach for new nests of sea turtle eggs.
Like many places in the Caribbean and elsewhere, this island is a dangerous place for turtles. Here, the villagers have eaten turtle meat and eggs for generations. But now, many such species are close to extinction. Poaching eggs and killing sea turtles for meat is now illegal on the island. But some people still do it.
So the turtles need extra help. This is where the kids come in.
Tortuga means turtle in Spanish, and Tortuga Squad is the name the kids gave themselves because they help save turtles. They patrol the beach during hatching season, and have built their own hatchery where they can help protect eggs until they hatch. This way, they can make sure the little turtles make it to the water on their first journey to the ocean.
“Color photos of the children, animals, and settings create a strong sense of place. . . . Readers will learn about threats to sea turtles as well as how people are helping them. An unusual glimpse of children as environmental activists within their own community.” – ALA Booklist