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Reviewed by Shrabastee Chakraborty for Readers' Favorite
The Three Tamaracks camp near the Orenda lake is an unusual place. The air is full of magic for those who can perceive it, and the area is teeming with talking wildlife if only you can hear them. When Martin spends the summers there with his adoptive parents, Cyrus and Nonnie, he feels lonely without a person around his age. That is until he befriends a small Painted Turtle and names her Myra. To his surprise, Myra can talk to him. She also brings her other friends, Cheevis the otter and Florelle the goose, with her. Together, they embark upon a wondrous journey that changes Martin’s life forever. In Tamarack Summers by Marc Douglass Smith, you will be a part of this unforgettable adventure.
Marc Douglass Smith’s novel brings the reader closer to nature in a most intimate way. The vivid descriptions of the picturesque camp enable us to appreciate its beauty alongside Martin. The prose has a soothing, healing effect that transports us from the hubbub of a busy urban life. Cyrus and Nonnie’s profound love for each other and their adopted son makes everything more pleasant. Martin’s unusual friendships with wild creatures and daring adventures make for a wholesome read. Smith’s book lets us know about many wonders of the animal kingdom and introduces us to conservation approaches. The book delivers a very subtle message to the young audience: in choosing their path in life, they should always follow their heart. I would recommend Tamarack Summers as a perfect middle-grade read.