Night of the Spadefoot Toads
(Peachtree Publishing Company, April 1, 2012)
A classroom favorite!An inspiring story of intergenerational friendship, activism, and how our actions can drastically impact our environment. “Harley’s appealing story shows readers that adults and children can connect in meaningful friendships, and reminds them that conservation can begin in their own backyards.” ―Kirkus ReviewsWhen his father takes a new job in Massachusetts, Ben Moroney must leave behind his best friend Tony, a western banded gecko named Lenny, and worst of all, the Arizona desert home he has loved and explored.Ben’s adjustment to his new environment is not going well until he unexpectedly finds a kindred spirit in his eccentric fifth-grade science teacher, Mrs. Tibbets. She introduces him to the rare and elusive Eastern spadefoot toads that make their home on her rural property. When Ben discovers that Mrs. Tibbets’s land may be sold to developers, he knows he has to do something. As Ben’s obsession with saving the spadefoot toads’ habitat grows, his schoolwork and his relationships with his family and new friends suffer. But just when it seems things can’t get any worse, Ben finds a way to meet his responsibilities to the people around him and demonstrates the importance of even the smallest efforts to save the earth’s rapidly disappearing habitats.A beloved exploration of important environmental themes, this appealing middle grade novel comes from renowned storyteller and two-time Grammy Award winner Bill Harley.Green Earth Book Award (Children’s Fiction) – Newton Marasco FoundationTeacher’s Guide available!