Review from Booklist, an American Library Association reviewing publication. March 1, 2018.

“A STEM-filled adventure that helps introduce readers to creatures from all around the world. Hand to animal-lovers, aspiring environmentalists, and fans of the series.” Booklist


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I thought this was a fun novel to read. I liked the idea of the unknown and how the group themselves didn’t know all the answers before they set out on their trip. What would they find in Costa Rica? There are poisonous spiders in that area, would they be ready for that?

This was an adventurous, entertaining read about saving wildlife and I think young readers will enjoy it.

Review from CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 23. . . .February 16, 2018

Hood-Caddy’s strength lies in her vivid descriptions of the various animal rescues Robin and her family undertake. Whether they are redirecting a goose who seems determined to peck dents into a police officer’s car, releasing a bear whose head is stuck in a honey bucket, or saving leatherback turtles from criminals who sell the turtle eggs, Hood-Caddy’s lively story demonstrates her knowledge of the problems faced by animals who suffer for their interactions with humans.

The characters—particularly Robin—are also well-honed and multi-faceted. Robin can be fearless and forceful when she needs to save an animal, and yet the scars remaining from her mother’s recent death still affect her daily life.

Leatherback Blues is a good choice for animal lovers and fans of the earlier books in this series.

Highly Recommended.

Kay Weisman is a former youth services librarian at West Vancouver Memorial Library.


Review from Sallie Onely, Retired Teacher

Karen has the great gift of helping us readers get to know each of her characters and grow very close to them.  They became part of my life.   I know this book is meant for a younger audience, but as a mature adult, I truly couldn’t put Leatherback Blues down…as it is full of suspense and exciting adventure!! 

As in Karen’s other books, this novel is very informative and educational, as I learned a lot about the life of these enormous turtles in Central America.  As a retired elementary school teacher, I highly recommend this series to all teachers and most of all to their students!! 

– Sallie Onley, Bracebridge, ON.



Review of The Truth About Brave: from NetGalley

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Full Text: Robin loves animals and she will do anything to help them, but she also doesn’t like to break any laws. Zo-Zo, Robin’s best friend, isn’t as hesitant over breaking a few laws here and there if it means helping animals. Robin was satisfied with just helping animals in any way she could, until she discoveries a chicken farm is actually a factory farm where the chickens were put in horrible conditions.

Robin now has to decide if it’s okay to break the law if she’s standing up for what she believes in. Even though everyone thinks that Robin is wrong, Robin can’t decide if she should give up or if she should get noticed. Except getting noticed might bring attention to what Robin and Zo-Zo did to acquire the information they got.

This book tackles some pretty heavy topics and I love how Hood-Caddy executed writing about them. She was informative without being too heavy on the details. She both horrified and intrigued the readers into wanting to learn more about these factory farms and how they could be stopped. Hood-Caddy focused on what someone should do when they want to fight for something they believe in. Robin had to make a hard decision over if it’s right to break a law to help someone. So many important figures in history fought for what they believed in, even though it was considered illegal.

Rosa Parks disobeyed the rules when she sat in the front of the bus. Robin felt as if she should protect these animals no matter what, even if she got in a lot of trouble and could possibly go to jail. Hood-Caddy expressed what happens when you fight for what you believe in and the consequences of fighting back. She sends a strong message that you should fight using words and reason instead of breaking and entering. The pen is mightier than the sword, so to speak. Instead of trying to expose the factory farm, Robin tried to bring attention to the problem and how people should buy free-range eggs. Instead of breaking laws, Robin created a smart alternative that wasn’t illegal and was much more effective than doing something wrong. Talking things out created a solution that worked for everyone.

As well as dealing with the topic of animal cruelty, Hood-Caddy introduced the topic of eating disorders. Instead of taking this topic lightly, Hood-Caddy brought awareness to the dangers of having an eating disorder and what you should do if you suspect someone has one.

This was a very informative and influential book. It teaches multiple lessons that will help teens learn what to fight for and to learn the difference between right and wrong. These heavy topics weren’t taken lightly and they were discussed in a way that didn’t feel boring and didn’t feel as if they consumed the whole book.

I also loved all the characters and the personality of Robin. She suffered through so much and yet she always managed to be positive, especially when she was able to help an animal. I especially loved Robin’s grandmother, Griff. Griff helped Robin learn what she should believe in and what brave really means. Being brave doesn’t mean breaking laws. Brave means fighting for what you believe in, no matter what, but in a way that helps everyone and not just yourself.