Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green

Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green

Featured
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
1324   0
Write Review
Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green
Age Range
10+
Release Date
November 13, 2012
ISBN
9780375990564
Buy This Book
      
Mad's dad is the Bird Guy. He'll go anywhere to study birds. So when he's offered a bird-tracking job in Central America, his bags are packed and he's jungle bound.

But going bird tracking in the jungle and disappearing completely are very different things, and when the Very Strange and Incredibly Creepy Letter arrives, Mad can't shake the terrible feeling that her father is in trouble.

Roo, Mad's younger sister, is convinced that the letter is a coded message. And their mom is worried, because the letter doesn't sound like Dad at all. But Mad is sure it's a sign of something sinister.

The only way to get to the bottom of it is to go to Lava Bird Volcano and find their dad themselves. Though they never could have imagined what they're about to discover.

From new talent Helen Phillips, Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green is the story of what can happen when two sisters make some unusual friends, trust in each other, and bravely face a jungle of trouble all to bring their family back together.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0  (1)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A  (0)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

As Beautiful and Adventurous as the Cover

What I Loved:
For those who like to indulge wanderlust with fiction, Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green is a real treat. Set in the jungles of Central America, the descriptions are as lush and verdant as the landscape being described. Phillips captures both the beauty and the danger inherent in such a setting, from the poisonous bright-colored tree frogs to the daily monsoon-like rains. The descriptions bring this Central American jungle to life.

Using this setting, Phillips conveys important messages about modern society's treatment of the environment and extinction of natural species. In Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green, the two young heroines and Kyle, a new (cute) friend, team up to save a species of bird, the Lava-Throated Volcano Trogon, from final extinction. A Lazarus species, the LTVTs were already thought extinct once, but now they are being hunted to death for sinister purposes, and, for some reason, their father, a bird expert and lover, is involved. Phillips manages to get her environmental messages across organically, without any preaching.

My very favorite aspect of the story is the dose of magical realism that Helen Phillips added into the mix. La Lava, the plush resort Madeline and Ruby's father works for, is located next to an active volcano, one not believed to blow for another hundred years. However, this volcano's explosive tendencies correlate with the health of the LTVTs. If they die out, the volcano will explode. There are also these giant flowers that can be used as umbrellas if you push the right spot, and glowing mushrooms. These little magical touches really brought the story to life, adding a cinematic touch that middle graders will love.

What Left Me Wanting More:
Mad makes a rather unique heroine. Middle grade MCs tend to be funny and plucky kids, adventurous and brave. Mad, on the other hand, fears pretty much everything and envies the confidence and talents of her younger sister. Mad's jealousy of Roo does wear a bit thin, but I was so happy when Mad finally realized her own strengths. Roo does seem a little bit too magical and clever, though, so Mad's inferiority complex does make a bit of sense. For example, Roo picks up Spanish in just a couple days.

The plot follows pretty standard middle grade lines. Ruby and Mad's parents, while ordinarily loving and pleasant, have been made to act not like themselves. To restore their parents, Roo and Mad have to complete a quest, using ingenuity and determination. Along the way, Roo has a first crush. It's all very cute and empowering, if not anything out of the ordinary.

The Final Verdict:
Helen Phillips transports you to another place and takes you on a journey through the jungles. Her skill at description and timely message make Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green a wonderful choice for middle grade readers (and older ones too).

Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Children of Exile
Rosi must decide what she’s willing to risk to save...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Teeth of the Gods
Chained to an enemy general. Determined to be free....
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Vampire Trick (Dark World: The Vampire Wish 3)
In a kingdom full of secrets, no one can...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
I Am Alfonso Jones
Alfonso Jones can't wait to play the role of...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Unearthed
From the New York Times best-selling author duo Amie...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
The Boyfriend Agreement
Fake boyfriends are hard work. When 16-year-old Bella’s dream...
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)
You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone
Eighteen-year-old twins Adina and Tovah have little in common...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Believarexic
Asking for help is only the first step. ...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Graveyard Shakes
Katia and Victoria are sisters and scholarship students at a...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Black Star Renegades
In the tradition of Star Wars, a galaxy-hopping space adventure...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
This Tiny Perfect World
The big-hearted story of a small-town girl who discovers how...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Last to Let Go
A twisted tragedy leaves Brooke and her siblings on their...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Pretty Dead Girls
Beautiful. Perfect. Dead. In the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
By a Charm and a Curse
A kiss is never just a kiss. ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Naondel (The Red Abbey Chronicles #2)
Booklist called Maresi “utterly satisfying and completely different from standard...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Blood Water Paint
Her mother died when she was twelve, and suddenly Artemisia...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Graveyard Shakes
 
4.0
"All Victoria wants to do is fit in, but instead, her and her sister Katia are always being teased. It..."
InterWorld (InterWorld #1)
 
3.5
"A solid sci-fi/urban fantasy adventure premise, ideally targeting the mid-to-upper Middle Grade demographic. It’s a quick read—overall fun and fast-paced...."
Roar of the Thunder Dragon: A Branches Book (Dragon Masters #8)
 
5.0
"Carlos's dragon Lalo has been take by Eko, a Dragon Master who uses her powers for causing trouble. When King..."
In The Snow
 
5.0
"IN THE SNOW features a little girl and her dog doing typical snow activities like drawing pictures with a stick,..."
The Midnight Gang
 
4.0
"When Tom gets hit in the head with a ball, he earns himself a bed in Lord Funt Hospital. What..."
Mae Among the Stars
 
5.0
"A beautiful story with a beautiful message. Mae is a young girl with a big dream. She wants..."
Rabbit Moon
 
4.0
"A very cute bedtime story. Rabbit lives on the moon. Each night, children make wishes and they travel to..."
Tiny and the Big Dig
 
4.0
"An adorable little dog with a huge drive. Tiny smells a bone. He's sure it's there, somewhere beneath his..."
Princess Truly in My Magical, Sparkling Curls
 
5.0
"There is not one thing to dislike about this book. Princess Truly has magical sparkling curls and that..."
Three Little Monkeys
 
4.0
"A great looking story. Three little monkeys are left alone when the lady of the house leaves each day...."
Thank you Earth
 
5.0
"A beautiful and well-done love letter to our planet. Gosh, what can I say about this one? I loved..."
Pignic
 
4.0
"A cute adventure with a family of pigs. As you can guess by the title, the pigs decide..."
Grace For Gus
 
4.0
"A cute adventure through New York City. Grace is a spunky girl with many hidden talents. Gus is the..."
Marlo and the Dinosaurs
 
4.0
"A gorgeous seek and find. The images are the true star of this book. Marlo falls asleep and goes..."
Molly's Story
 
5.0
"Molly is panting, her tail wagging happily as she retrieves the long stick that CJ had thrown for her. Molly..."
Two's a Crowd (Pug Pals #1)
 
5.0
"Sunny is an older pug who has a comfortable life with her human and her stuffed animals. When Rosy, a..."
Dangerous Jane
 
4.0
"Following Jane Addams life from her well-to-do but uncomfortable childhood, we see that she was interested in helping the underprivileged..."
Silent Days, Silent Dreams
 
4.0
"Artist James Castle was born with many problems right before the turn of the last century. Raised on a farm,..."
Midnight in the Piazza
 
4.0
"Thirteen-year-old Beatrice Archer isn't too excited when her professor father is offered a job far away from Boston. When she..."
I Want to be a Doctor
 
4.5
"A cute and informative look inside hospitals for children. The story tells of a family visit to the hospital..."