Reading Middle Grade is delighted to reveal the cover of Kathleen Jae’s Elanora and the Salt Marsh Mystery! Kathleen’s new middle grade novel is perfect for fans of animal stories and environmental activists. Below, she describes her inspiration for the story.
About five years ago, my family and I took a kayaking tour of Tarpon Bay off Sanibel Island, Florida. While we listened to our guide talk about the ecological importance of red mangroves, I suddenly thought of a concept for a book: a young critter discovers the red mangroves are dying, and she must find a way to save them. A few weeks after I returned home, I began to write what would eventually become Elanora and the Salt Marsh Mystery.
What about the red mangroves? After some research, I discovered that some of the animal characters I created were not naturally found in a red mangrove forest. Once I moved them to a salt marsh, everything fell into place. I revised the book five times, adding subplots and characters, before I felt comfortable offering review copies.
Synopsis: Elanora and the Salt Marsh Mystery is the story of a young chipmunk who is transported to a salt marsh in southwest Florida. She is adopted by a muskrat couple, but the rest of the colony despise her for being different. After the sea cow tells her the marsh is ill, Elanora sets out to solve the mystery of the disappearing water. When the swimming creatures become sick, Elanora knows time is running out. But is saving the marsh the answer?
Now, the cover!
Meet the Author
Elanora and the Salt Marsh Mystery is Kathleen Jae’s first novel. She has been writing in one form or another for almost twenty-five years. Her greatest success story is her daughter, Katie, whom she refers to as “my hero,” and their journey is chronicled in Kathleen’s first book, From Prompting to Shaping to Letting Go: My Love Affair With ABA and How Being a “Bad Mom” Helped My Daughter With Autism Succeed. In past lives the author has been a proofreader, editor, newspaper reporter and columnist, newsletter writer for a wildlife organization and writer of stage plays and screenplays. She considers her six-year stint as a home-based behavioral program director in the ’90s her most difficult, albeit important, job and is counting the days until all autism-related ABA therapy positions go the way of the dodo. Two of Kathleen’s short stories made it to the finals of the 2017 Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Award competition.