In the village of Perchance, screechers have long been reviled, while the adorable hummingbears are the lifeblood of the economy, drawing tourists for the hummingbear festival each year. Eleven-year-old Willodeen loves all animals, but especially the stinky screechers that everyone else hates. When they are hunted almost to extinction, she is the only one who is worried. More widely concerning is that the hummingbears have also not made their annual migration to Perchance. Willodeen is determined to stand up for the screechers before it's too late--and she might even discover the answer to the disappearing hummingbears along the way.
We adore Katherine Applegate around here (The One and Only Ivan, The One and Only Bob, and Wishtree are some of our favorites), and she has again hit it out of the park with a lovely story on the delicate balance of nature and the dangers of human disruption. This is a beautiful blend of magic and science--after finishing this book, my science-loving second-grader started a nature observation notebook, just like Willodeen's.
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The earth is old and we are not, and that is all you must remember . . .
Eleven-year-old Willodeen adores creatures of all kinds, but her favorites are the most unlovable beasts in the land: strange beasts known as “screechers.” The villagers of Perchance call them pests, even monsters, but Willodeen believes the animals serve a vital role in the complicated web of nature.
Lately, though, nature has seemed angry indeed. Perchance has been cursed with fires and mudslides, droughts and fevers, and even the annual migration of hummingbears, a source of local pride and income, has dwindled. For as long as anyone can remember, the tiny animals have overwintered in shimmering bubble nests perched atop blue willow trees, drawing tourists from far and wide. This year, however, not a single hummingbear has returned to Perchance, and no one knows why.
When a handmade birthday gift brings unexpected magic to Willodeen and her new friend, Connor, she’s determined to speak up for the animals she loves, and perhaps even uncover the answer to the mystery of the missing hummingbears.
A timely and timeless tale about our fragile earth, and one girl’s fierce determination to make a difference.