Reviews, Testimonials and Interviews

ResQ and the Baby Orangutan

"...reaches ages 9-12 with a vivid story set in Indonesia and centered around animal rescue efforts, adding a dash of added sci-fi to keep the tale especially engrossing.

 

Mattias Lanas adds black and white drawings to enhance the story of boy genius Wheaton and his nature-loving cousin Stowe, who embark on their first adventure in their animal rescue organization when they fly their modified space shuttle to Borneo to find a missing baby orangutan, helped by a grandmother equally determined to influence a successful rescue mission.

 

Eva J. Pell incorporates the atmosphere of Indonesia's jungles and peoples as she presents this vivid story, adding a realistic feel to events that swirl around people and animals [...].

 

These elements help ground a story that also changes its perspectives to add [...] notes from Stowe's journal of observations, which are a fine contrast to Wheaton's reasoned first-person narration of events in Borneo and journeys through Indonesia.

 

The result is a powerful story that invites preteens to learn more about Indonesia and illegal animal trafficking. Its facts are based on firsthand accounts of those familiar with both orangutans and Borneo, and this reality enhances an adventure that will not only entertain, but educates."

 

 -- Diane Donovan, Editor, Midwest Book Review California Bookwatch. 

http://www.midwestbookreview.com/calbw/aug_19.htm#pets 

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To the ResQ of Endangered Species

"Wheaton is pulling his cousin Stowe out of hip-deep mud when they get an SOS from Indonesia. A mother orangutan has been shot and her baby is missing. Sounds like a job for ResQ, the Emergency Service for the Rescue of Endangered Species that they founded with their grandmother, a famous wildlife

photographer. So off they soar in their ECAPS solar jet with their HeliBoaJee (helicopter/boat/jeep combo) on board, both inventions courtesy of Wheaton’s crack engineering skills. But first, they have to make a phone call. Even with grandma along, an 11- and 12-year old can hardly go halfway around the world without checking with their moms, right?

“ResQ and the Baby Orangutan” is the first in a projected series of books for middle schoolers by Eva J. Pell, former Smithsonian Undersecretary for Science, that addresses the crisis of endangered animals. Illustrated by Mattias Lanas, the adventure series features futuristic high-tech wizardry—including a drone that acts like a bloodhound to track down poached animals—and exotic locations, as well as evergreen lessons about nature, science, and math. There are even fact-filled diversions on culture, language, and food.

But the educational bits, informative as they are, never get in the way of the compelling rescue mission, which finds the ResQ team—with the help of a local Indonesian boy whose skills and derring-do more than match their own—battling chainsaw-wielding illegal loggers and criminal traffickers who are trying to smuggle baby Buddi out of Borneo. It’s an exciting read with an engaging pair of precocious main characters (Wheaton has already graduated from college and is headed for grad school). They are, nonetheless, still kids, and while they are consumed with a passion for rescuing animals, they have a lot to learn about the world. “When we flew over here, I thought this would be straightforward,” muses Wheaton as they depart the island. “I guess there’s a lot more to ResQ than just a simple rescue,”

---- Karen Lyon, Literary Editor, HillRag, Washington D

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"When lives of baby orangutans are at stake, turn to the ResQ for help! ResQ is an endangered animal rescue organization, lead by a passionate scientist named Ariella and assisted by her talented grandchildren Weaton and Stowe. The current mission involves heading to Borneo in search of captured orangutan babies before poachers harm or sell them. There is plenty of danger to navigate for Weaton, an inventor of amazing futuristic tech devices, and Stowe, a naturalist and athlete. As they journey, we read excerpts of Stowe’s log to learn the natural and cultural history of the area and grapple with the environmental consequences for deforestation versus conservation. With each new wrinkle and danger, the cousins need all of their skills to get out alive and complete the mission! This new series by Eva Pell will encourage inquiry and open imagination as science and technology mesh with mystery and adventure, saving one animal at a time!

THOUGHTS: This new series is from a local author with high qualifications. Eva Pell is a Retired Undersecretary for Science at the Smithsonian Institution as well as Emeritus Sr. Vice President and Dean of the Graduate School, Penn State University. I am excited to have her into my school to work with students and families on this book! There are STEAM connections throughout the book, and ample writing and discussion opportunities that could enhance the story experience."

From goodreads/ Dustin's review

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2835766238?book_show_action=true&from_review_page=1

 

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"How often does a book accurately introduce young readers to the biology of endangered species and tropical forests, to engineering, and to a different language and culture and at the same time feature high adventure and fantastic inventions? Eva Pell brings the thorough research skills and care for detail of a scientist to an exciting and engaging tale of baby orangutan ResQ."- Kathryn Fuller, President Emerita World Wildlife Fund

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“ResQ and the Baby Orangutan” is the first exciting adventure in a planned series brimming with fun science, astounding inventions, and a great character-driven story. Eleven-year-old college graduate inventor, Wheaton Ivan Guinto and his twelve-year-old amateur naturalist cousin, Stowe LeBlond are the pre-teen two thirds of the ResQoperation, with their shared grandmother, professional photographer Ariella Gordon.  The reader quickly roots for Wheaton and Stowe, the Indonesian characters at the Gunung Palung National Park, and even the orangutans, mom Bella and baby Buddi. The danger from the poachers is as real in the book as it is for the actual orangutans of Borneo. Eva Pell’s joy of science shines through in every chapter, and especially in Stowe’s clever Log, written as a mom-required homeschool assignment while on her adventures."—Steven Herb, Director Emeritus, Pennsylvania Center for the Book

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“Get ready for an Indonesian adventure with the ResQ team!  Join the precocious and brilliant Wheaton (11-yrs old) and his cousin Stowe (12-yrs old), accompanied by their incredibly patient and extremely “cool” grandmother, Ariella, for a trip to the wilds of Borneo.  From a hydrogen-powered space ship (ECAPS) to a futuristic HeliBoaJee (helicopter/boat/jeep), Eva Pell has created a fun-filled conservation adventure grounded in the reality of species in peril, and infused with a sense of urgency and action aimed at saving them.  And along the way the reader will learn about the life history of orangutans, the threats to their survival, and about the people working hard to stem the tide of their extinction.  I’m looking forward to following the future far-flung adventures of this dynamic team as they travel the world seeking to apply the best science to save some of the rarest species on planet earth.”—Steve Monfort, John and Adrienne Mars Director, Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.

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"Orangutans are amazing animals, among our closest relatives in the wild kingdom, yet striking in their size and hairy orange appearance. And they live in an incredible tropical forest habitat in Indonesian Borneo.

But orangutans are endangered by habitat loss due to palm oil plantations, poaching for the pet trade and other human activities.

Dr Eva Pell, an experienced scientist in her own right, has created a fun adventure to save orangutans with a genuine, fact-filled story told through the eyes of an 11-year-old genius and his very bright naturalist cousin. Together, they travel with their scientist-grandmother via advanced spaceship technology to Borneo to rescue a baby orangutan separated from its mother, just like adult experts currently do using traditional travel methods. Dr Pell creatively brings the reader a true image of tropical Borneo and its wild places and wild creatures through maps and vivid descriptions of plants and animals, and the science behind advanced technologies, often via cousin Stowe’s journal entries. And Stowe and tech wizard Wheaton have a Bornean collaborator who is their same age, and the kids are brave, innovative and tenacious in their attempts to reunite the orangutans. Their grandmother, who mirrors Dr Pell in her extensive knowledge and brilliance, accompanies the kids on this adventure and offers adult influence and support. As the kids deal with vehicle-sucking bogs, aggressive poachers and nervous orangutan young and mother, we follow them on their very timely quest through the rainforest. This book is a fun read for kids, and could be used by parents and teachers to discuss endangered species conservation or contemporary issues in international social studies and economics. It is a good adventure story!"—Dr Don Moore, Director, Oregon Zoo and Senior Science Advisor/Smithsonian Institution

Reviewer of Silver Dolpjin/Readers Digest and author kidlit

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