cover image The Monarchs of Winghaven

The Monarchs of Winghaven

Naila Moreira. Walker US, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1830-5

Every day, 11-year-old aspiring naturalist Samantha Tabitha Smith visits the Field, an overrun patch of wilderness where nature flourishes. There she works on her journal, observing and studying the local flora and fauna. When she meets budding nature photographer Bram Layton, who’s a year ahead of her in school, she initially resents his presence in her space, but the two swiftly bond over their love of science and the Field, which they name Winghaven. To showcase Winghaven’s importance, they spend the summer studying the resident monarch butterflies and their relationship to the ecosystem. But when it looks as if they’ll lose their space to encroaching property developers, they must fight for what they love. In this gently passionate tribute to natural spaces, a children’s debut, Moreira adeptly brings the setting to life via detailed descriptions of wildlife and foliage alongside pen illustrations from Sammie’s journal. Grounding environmental awareness and deforestation worries with Sammie’s personal struggles surrounding dealing with bullies and managing her temper, Moreira delivers a fulfilling tale. Major characters cue as white. Notes for young naturalists conclude. Ages 8–12. Agent: Allison Hellegers, Stimola Literary. (May)