Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Bella and Britt love to explore along the beach and at more remote places like Manatee Key as well. It is there that they discover a manatee smuggling ring.
The manatees have already been netted, so the girls must act fast! But a kidnapper snatches Bella, hustling her into their hideout. When Britt sneaks a look in the window, she discovers that the ranger is being held, too. Now it’s up to Britt. But what can a single girl do?
A dark animal circled slowly in the shallow water of Manatee Key. Walking closer, Bella whispered. “A baby manatee. And it has a patch of white near its snout.” Britt frowned. “But where’s the mother? It must be hungry. We should tell the ranger.”
“Yeah,” Bella said. “This one’s too young to be without her mom. Let’s go.”
The friends worked their way through the jungle-like brush back to their bicycles. Britt took the lead. “It’s really hot, but we gotta make time.”
After a twenty minute ride down dusty paths leading to the main road in their coastal town, they reached the ranger station. “It’s quiet in here today,” Bella said.
The ranger’s assistant glanced up from his reading. “Hi, girls. Can I help you?”
“We need to see the ranger and report an orphaned manatee,” Bella said.
He frowned. “She hasn’t come in today, and that’s not like her. I’ve called her phones. Nobody answered. And no one’s seen her. Have you by any chance?”
“No,” they answered at the same time.
“Well, it’s a mystery,” he said. “I won’t call the police yet. But I’m getting worried. Now, about that manatee. Can you take me to it?”
“Sure,” Britt said. “If you can bring us back to town. We rode our bikes here.” He nodded. “Of course.”
About the Author
Nancy Stewart has been an elementary school teacher and a professor of education. Having lived in London for ten years, she was a consultant to the University of Cambridge. She is the author of the Bella and Britt series picture books and the authorized biography of Katrina Simpkins, a young girl whose life was forever changed by Winter, the dolphin (Guardian Angel Publishing.) Her writing of One Pelican at a Time was featured on the PBS special, GulfWatch in 2011. Nancy’s YA-LGBT novel will be published by Interlude Press autumn of 2017. She is a member of the Rate Your Story organization as a critique judge.