Saving Crazy


Saving Crazy is the third book in the Wild Place Adventure SeriesSynopsis of Saving Crazy
It is late summer and the hottest day of the century. Robin is returning from Winnipeg in a car with broken air conditioning. All she can think about is diving into the fresh, cool water of her lake at home. But when she, Squirm and Zo-Zo run down to the dock, they are shocked to see the lake covered in a thick green slime ─ an algae bloom.

A Lake Association meeting is called, but Zo-Zo is discourages about the environment and doesn’t think it will do any good. The girls go anyway and meet McCoy, a new kid in town. Zo-Zo falls in love with him. Unfortunately, so does Robin.

When McCoy shows interest in Robin and arranges to meet her on her own, Robin feels guilty and does not tell Zo-Zo. Zo-Zo finds out and feels betrayed.

In an effort to patch things up between the girls, Griff takes the girls to the city. While there, they listen to an inspiring talk on saving whales by an environmental hero, Finn Rapier, who is an old friend of Griff’s. Zo-Zo is enthralled, but her mood plunges shortly afterwards when they visit her mother and she realizes her mother is in an abusive relationship

Robin starts giving up her own interests to be with McCoy. Zo-Zo feels abandoned and jealous. At a school dance, Robin discovers Zo-Zo drinking in the Girl’s Washroom and Robin arranges to get her back to The Wild Place. When she returns to the dance, McCoy is flirting with another girl. Robin and McCoy fight, then they make up and Robin gets her first kiss.

Saving Crazy is the third book in the Wild Place Adventure Series


Excerpt from Saving Crazy:

“Whales!” Someone shouted.

Everyone scrambled up on deck, including Robin, Griff, and Zo-Zo.

“There! There!” Zo-Zo pointed, bouncing on her toes.

Robin saw the rim of the whale’s long body in the water and smiled. Had she been responsible for the whales coming? She doubted it, but was too enthralled to care. Because she’d seen Finn’s pictures and heard him talk about the weight and size of whales, she thought she knew what to expect. Yet still, the colossal size of it made her jaw drop. The whale was gliding in the water a few hundred metres from the boat and she could see the top of it, from tip to tail just above the water line. Nothing could have prepared her for the size of it. She was flabbergasted.

Zo-Zo’s voice was hushed. “Wow — that’s bigger than big.”

It was. It truly was. Robin couldn’t take her eyes off it. The whale slipped further down in the water and disappeared. Oh no! Was that it? Was that all she going to see of it?

Robin scanned the surface around the boat for several minutes and was just about to give up on seeing it again, when the whale hurled itself out of the water, flinging its giant body into the air. It seemed to go up and up and up, then crashed down making a loud whacking sound as it hit the surface of the water, sending a massive spray of water in every direction.

A few droplets landed on her face. She was tempted to run down to the kitchen and get an empty jar so she could collect the splash water. What a souvenir that would be. Maybe she could give it to McCoy for his birthday. That would be the most unique present ever.

But that would mean leaving the whale and she didn’t want to leave the whale even for a few minutes, so she stayed with the rest of the crew and watched the whale swimming, spouting water, and occasionally breaching or whacking its tail loudly on the surface of the water. She felt mesmerized, mesmerized by its size, mesmerized by the way it moved, mesmerized by … she was struggling for the right word when she remembered what Finn sometimes said. Yes, she was mesmerized by it “magnificence”.

Finn came and stood beside Robin as Zo-Zo took pictures.

“I’ve seen this whale before,” Finn said. “Next time she breaches, take a look at her tail. A small chunk has been torn out of the right side.” He bunched his lips into a fist. “That research boat I was telling you about killed her mother last year. It had this one in its sights too until we chased it off.”

Robin felt a surge of kinship for the young whale. Both of them had lost their mothers. “Sad,” Finn said, “but at least we saved her.”

“They would have killed the mother and her baby?” Robin asked. Even in Canada, hunters tried to spare babies.

“To them, whale meat is whale meat.” Finn scowled. “That’s why we’re vegan on the ship here. So people will realize they can eat well without having to kill animals.”

Robin nodded. She wasn’t minding the vegan diet at all. She was still able to eat burgers, but they were bean burgers and she could still spread “butter’ on her toast, but it was soy butter.

The whale disappeared again and after a while, the crowd of people began to slowly return to their work stations.

“Come on, you pollywogs,” Griff said, putting her arms around Robin and Zo-Zo. “Time to get back to work.”

“Oh, please can we stay for a little while longer?” Zo-Zo asked. “Just in case the whale comes back?”

“Okay,” Griff said. “Darwin’s made some sprouted sunflower seed bread and Kim can help me put the sandwiches together. But don’t be too long, okay?”

Robin and Zo-Zo nodded and soon they were the only two left on deck.

“There she is again,” Robin said. The whale was further out now, but they could see her with their binoculars. Robin felt a deep sense of awe.

“I bet she knows we’re watching her,” Robin said.

As if to prove that she was, the whale swam in closer, then breached.

“See? See the nick on her tail?”

Zo-Zo nodded.

The whale breached again.

“Maybe she’s trying to tell us something,” Robin said. “In whale language.”

“Yeah,” Zo-Zo said. “Whales are supposed to be really smart. Their brains are like the biggest of any animal on the planet.”

The whale whacked her tail on the water.

Robin laughed. “I think she likes that we’re calling her smart.”

“She sure has a lot of spirit,” Zo-Zo said.

She sure did, Robin thought. “I’m going to call her Spirit.” “Cool,” Zo-Zo said. “I like that.”

They watched Sprit for a while longer.

“It’s like she’s putting on a show just for us,” Robin said.

Zo-Zo kept taking pictures. “I’m going to take a video of her breaching.” She tapped some buttons on her phone. “Okay, Spirit. Do your stuff. For everyone back in Canada.”

Spirit breached one more time, as if on request, soaring up even higher, then thundering down and finally plunging into the ocean’s depths. She didn’t reappear again.

Robin rested her arms and chin on the metal railing. She felt a deep sense of contentment. In front of her, the ocean sparkled. It looked as if someone had thrown thousands of sequins all over its surface. A slight breeze wafted across her face, just enough to cool her from the warm sun that was beaming down on her skin. And she’d just seen the most magnificent whale. She couldn’t wait to write to McCoy and tell him all about it. It wouldn’t be so long until she saw him again. In another three days they’d be changing direction and starting back.

Zo-Zo pulled herself up and Robin followed her down the stairs. As she went, she felt her body pitch ever so slightly to the right. She grabbed the handrail and steadied herself.

Oh-oh.

It’s nothing, she told herself. Probably the swell from another boat.

But her body didn’t believe her. And her body was right.

Robin continued down to the galley and began preparing salad. She cut up some celery, gathered it into her cupped hands, and was just about to drop it into a metal bowl, when the bowl slid away from her. She stood frozen in place, only her eyes moving as the bowl slidaway from her, then slid back again.

Kim began clearing things from the counters and putting what she could into cupboards. Darwin dipped his head towards Robin. “Hope you like rock ’n’ roll.”

“I do,” Zo-Zo said, overhearing.

Robin didn’t trust herself to speak.

Darwin reached into his jeans and pulled out a plastic tube of pills. He tapped a few into his palm and stared at them. “Hmm. Puke yellow. How apt.” He popped some in his mouth, then held the tube out to Robin. “You’re looking a bit green behind the gills. Want a few? I’ve got lots.”

Robin shook her head. She didn’t like the idea of taking pills from someone she barely knew. Besides, she didn’t even know if she was going to need them. According to the Internet, that storm wasn’t coming anywhere near where they were. Sure, they might get some of the winds at the edge of it, but so what? She could take a bit of wind, couldn’t she? The waves might get bigger for a few hours, but that didn’t mean there was anything to worry about. And even if the waves did get bigger, that didn’t mean she was going to be seasick. She’d read up about seasickness. Not everyone got it. Even in a storm. And they weren’t in a storm. They were in some choppy water. That was all. She was just going to have to wait and see how her body handled it. She didn’t have to wait long.

As they finished preparing for lunch, everything started to rock and sway. The movement was slow at first, utensils shuffling across counters, a few clattering loudly to the floor. Then the  hanging pots above the work area started banging into each other.

“Storm music,” Darwin said. “Soon, everything’s going to dance.”

The others laughed. Not Robin.

“I’ll get the ginger tea going,” Kim said. “Just in case.”

“Just in case of what?” Robin asked.

Kim turned to fill the kettle. “Just in case your stomach doesn’t like dancing.” She and Darwin exchanged a cautious look.

As Kim made the tea, Robin carried a large bowl of salad to the serving area. Suddenly, she was thrown against the cupboards. Darwin lunged towards her and grabbed the bowl before the salad flew out of it.

“I’ll take it from here,” he said.

Robin nodded and walked with her hand against the wall back into the kitchen.

Within a short period of time, the he swaying became continuous. Robin tried bending her knees and moving with it, but it was difficult. Her stomach didn’t like the instability one bit.

When it was time to eat, Robin watched the others helping themselves to lunch. Zo-Zo ate both a sandwich and some salad, but Robin had no appetite at all. She felt as if she had a heavy ceramic bowl full of squirming fish careening around in her stomach. Kim gave her some ginger tea and she sipped it slowly, hoping it was going to help.

“Keep your eyes on the horizon,” Kim said. So Robin trudged up to the deck where she thought she’d be able to see it better. The water, which had been calm as a mill pond a few hours ago, was now a rollicking mass of rolling swells. Every few moments, one of them smashed into the side of the ship, sending spumes of water high into the air. Afraid, Robin went back downstairs, holding firmly onto the hand rails as she went.

When she got to her cabin, she crawled into bed, hoping she would feel more stable there, but she didn’t. And now that she was focussing on it, the pitching seemed worse than ever. She tried to distract herself by getting on the computer, then reading, but after a while, she realized they were both just making her feel nauseous, so she stopped. All she could do was wait for the winds to blow themselves out. But the winds got worse and were soon whistling and screaming like some kind of tortured animal.

Finally, she fell into an anxious sleep. When she awoke, the boat was rising and falling in an ominous way. Her heart began to pound. What if the boat capsized? Hundreds of tons of freezing water would come plunging into the ship, drowning them all. Should she go up on deck and get into a life boat? At least then, if the worst happened, she’d be ready. But she’d get soaked out there. Gripped with fear, she remained where she was.


Saving Crazy
Audio Excerpt:

In this excerpt Robin and Zo-zo are on a ship in the Southern Ocean saving whales. A huge storm is about to turn the ocean into a blender.

Nominations/Awards/Reviews for Saving Crazy:

“Saving Crazy is a great young adult read. I love the environmental theme in this book. It’s expressed in so many ways throughout the story.” – P. Benton, on Goodreads.com

 

“My teenager has found a new favorite book/series! This is a great one for her to love because it is really entertaining, but also has great information and a strong message about the environment!” – Heather, on Goodreads.com

 

“This series never ceases to amaze me. I love everything about tit. I love that the author is making the reader aware of issues in the world without ramming it down your throat.” – Justine, on Goodreads.com