A Sandy Grave
a sandy grave cover

Category: Chapbooks for Tweens
Author: Donna M. McDine www.donnamcdine.com
Illustrator: Julie Hammond www.juliehammondart.com
Hardcover ISBN: 9781616334543; 1616334541
Softcover ISBN: 9781616334550; 161633455X
eBook ISBN: 9781616334567; 1616334568

The anticipation of summer vacation can put anyone in a great mood with the excitement of adventures to be had--especially at the beach. But what is a group of friends to do when they discover mysterious men poaching whale teeth at the beach?

Beach Book Festival awardA Sandy Grave by Donna McDine and artist Julie Hammond has been awarded 1st place in picture books 6 and older in the 2014 Purple Dragonfly Awards, The Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014 Award! and Story Monster Approval 2014

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" Leah, Nicole and Haley are excited about their summer break. This time they have planned it to be a seaside break. Apart from being a breezy holiday story, the book also exposes the harm caused by poaching and what it does to marine life. A healthy marine life is a necessity to save the Earth's crippled environment. The story reveals how certain men steal a whale's teeth and the courage of the girls who try to help the authorities catch the poachers. It is a relevant theme and something that is happening around us all the time.
This is a well written book with a clear message. ... The book is an enjoyable read and makes children aware of poaching and illegalities associated with it. During times of dwindling marine life and plants, it is important to save them. This book teaches children to protect marine life and endangered animals." ~ FIVE STAR REVIEW~ Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite http://www.readersfavorite.com/book-review/27283 A

Leah, Nicole, and Haley are ready to start their beach summer vacation; they sprint to the beach only to come across a crowd of people buzzing like bees near a dead whale that has washed ashore with missing teeth! ... Teaching adult and kids about poaching: I love the way Ms. McDine related the truth about what can happen to poachers. I love this well-written story. The illustrations by Julie Hammond capture the true essence of the story and pull the reader into the story.~Reviewed by Nicole Weaver, Award-winning Children’s Author ~ http://mysisterismybestfriend.blogspot.com/2014/02/book-review-sandy-grave-by-donna-mcdine.html

A Sandy Grave by Donna McDine is an interesting, unique mystery with brave characters who find themselves in a situation that doesn't happen everyday: A whale washes ashore. Readers will enjoy the breezy artwork and the wonderful story.
~ Reviewed by Linda Derkez, author of Manny the TV Watching Dog, http://www.angelfire.com/stars4/kswiesner/linda.html

Award-winning children’s author Donna McDine tackles the issue of poaching in this entertaining tween chapter book. A Sandy Grave finds a group of friends meeting up at the beach for the summer. But their fun is interrupted by a dead whale washing up on shore and some mysterious men hanging around. The girls then learn about the illegal practice of poaching and Leah is concerned those men hanging around the beach are up to no good. There must be something the girls can do to help out.
A book like this empowers children to make a difference while educating them about their world in a fun way. The delightful illustrations by Julie Hammond are the perfect complement to McDine’s story. This is a quick read that will leave a lasting impression.~ Reviewed by Cheryl Malandrinos, author of Little Shepherd http://childrensandteensbookconnection.wordpress.com/2014/03/07/a-sandy-grave-by-donna-m-mcdine-giveaway

A Sandy Grave is about three tween girlfriends, Leah, Nicole and Hayley, having fun at the beach, when they spot a whale that has washed up on shore. A typical day of fun in the sand and the sun begins an experience that the friends will never forget, especially when they become the heroines of the story and are rewarded for their bravery. In a little under twenty-five pages, McDine explores a number of issues; poaching, stealing, relying on your instincts, doing the right things, trusting adults and learning how whales are disposed of when they wash up on the beach. She makes the reader aware of the role that Marine Biologists play in taking care of sea creatures and environmental laws that are usually unheard of, The Endangered Species Act and the Mammal Protection Act. She hides all these issues and more under the disguise of a mystery, finding the secret hiding place.
Children and young adult stories are very engaging when there’s something to be found. In this case, the girls are sure that they believe that the bad men have buried something in the sand. They believe that the men they see on the beach are up to no good and to them something doesn’t’ feel right. “She felt in her bones that those guys were up to no good.” Being curious as all kids are they set out to find the treasure (what the men have buried) and it turns out to be bag of teeth stolen from the washed up whale. Rather than ignoring her feelings, Leah used them to confide in her parents, ask advice and involve the police when the men return and chase the girls. Paying attention to your initial feelings is something that McDine stresses in the story. The girls feelings and actions are not ignored by the adults. In fact those feelings and their actions of doing the right thing and turning the bag of teeth into the police has them being rewarded for their bravery.
McDine weaves into the story the complex issue of poaching and the reason why it is a lucrative business. She also introduces environmental laws, the Endangered Species Act and the Mammal Protection Act and how poaching and steeling violate these laws. The story also explores death in the animal world and shows how whales are buried in the sand.
A Sandy Grave is a good fast read for the individual reader or for parents to read to their younger children. It engages the reader and opens up a dialogue between parents and children on the many different issues in the book. Most of all, McDine shows that children can respect authority without fearing it and parents and those in roles of responsibility can respect the contribution that children can make to society.~ Reviewed by Rebecca’s Writing Services http://rebeccaswritingsvcs.com/2014/03/13/a-sandy-grave-book-review-and-giveaway

Leah and her friends are looking forward to a fun-filled vacation at the beach. A whale isn't in their plans, but there he is mysteriously beached, dead, and missing teeth!
Donna McDine has written a wonderfully suspenseful book colorfully illustrated by the equally talented Julie Hammond, that will be fun reading for any child who loves a bit of mystery. Her descriptive language is easy enough for a tween to understand yet interesting for an older child as well. Just in time for summer reading, the story follows Leah as she unravels a mystery Nancy Drew herself would have loved. But, the story is not just a good beach tale. There's a subtle lesson here too: Doing the right thing can be scary, but it doesn't change the fact that right is right. I love this book. It's well written, timely, edgy enough to keep a tween on the edge of his/her seat, (me too!) and fun to read. ~ Reviewed by Sharon Stanley, children’s author http://farmandfrufru.blogspot.com/2014/03/its-book-review.html