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Wild boar, alligators, hammerhead sharks . . . Can twelve-year-old Algie Emsworth survive the swamps of South Florida? More importantly, can he survive his asthma attacks long enough to make a scientific discovery and fulfill his dream of becoming a real naturalist? With the help of Frankie and Lulu, intrepid heiresses to the Hotel Para so, Algie embarks on the adventure of a lifetime as he escapes certain death, discovers a brand-new species, and goes head-to-head with diabolical thieves, all while a deadly and mysterious red tide ravages the beaches and a possible curse threatens to close down the Hotel Para so for good. Can Algie, Frankie, and Lulu save themselves, solve the mystery of the hotel's curse, and save their never-before-seen species? "San Miguel concocts a comical and exciting tale that leads to a wild, suspenseful, storm-tossed climax while weaving in thoughtful ruminations on the necessity of giving science, people, and nature their just dues, too." -- Booklist, Starred Review "This exceptionally well-written written story gives a nod to the era's fascination with creepy hauntings and dastardly secrets as it expertly transports readers into the atmosphere of 19th-century Florida, uniting well-drawn, nuanced characters with imaginative and tension-building plot twists.... Pure storytelling at its best."-- Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review "Algie has a winsome urgency that makes him likable.... His relationships with his family and new friends are realistic and evolve as Algie, Frankie, and Lulu face dangerous adults. In the life-threatening denouement, Algie displays a nuanced empathy for others." -- School Library Journal
About the Author
Samantha San Miguel grew up barefoot in South Florida. Growing up in this wild, diverse, and exuberant state taught Samantha a lifelong respect for the natural world with both its dangers and delight. Working there as an adult taught her a love for the colorful personalities that crowd the state's borders. And leaving it taught her that whether in Florida, Cuba, or anywhere else in the world, you can never be an exile if there's sunshine in your heart.