The S.O.U.R.C.E.

Children - Fable
226 Pages
Reviewed on 02/22/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Suzanna L. Royse became fascinated with animals at an early age, growing up on a ranch and living along the coast of California.
With Scripps Institute of Oceanography and tide pools within walking distance, the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, and Sea World basically in her backyard, she had countless opportunities to experience, explore, and intimately learn about animals from all over the world.
Her experiences at those renowned facilities dealing with the care, study, and management of both land and sea animals formed the beginning of her awareness of the need to protect them as well as the environment.
Thirty years of breeding and training horses and instructing young riders further expanded her understanding of the deep relationships between humans and animals.
Understanding that manmade pollution presents a major threat to the ocean, the source and engine of all life, Suzanna decided to focus on what she might be able to do to increase awareness, especially with children.
Knowing how animals had profoundly influenced her own life and with over twenty years of work in children’s theater, as well as her equestrian training and teaching, she decided to use animal
characters as a means of introducing children to the importance of protecting the environment.
Her hope is young readers will be inspired by The S.O.U.R.C.E. to get involved in protecting the environment by simply recycling as the first step on a path of caring for a lifetime and making a difference.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Francis Mont for Readers' Favorite

The S.O.U.R.C.E. by Suzanna L. Royse is an inspiring story aimed at children and their parents. The target group falls between the ages of 5 and 11 and the vocabulary is aimed at that audience, but the sentiments expressed should move all readers, regardless of age. The theme of the book is the massive pollution of the world’s oceans by millions of tons of plastic garbage and abandoned fishing nets that form huge floating islands on every ocean on the planet, trapping, maiming, and killing hundreds of thousands of aquatic animals. The plot involves a group of characters that include two young children, an adult reporter, a scientist, and several animals: a sea lion, three whales, a sea otter, two dolphins, and a pelican. They are aided by two magical creatures who protect and guide them in spreading a message of awareness in the world, primarily among children and their parents. The book ends with internet links to articles containing more information.

The S.O.U.R.C.E. by Suzanna L. Royse is an educational tale in the guise of a highly entertaining adventure story that should appeal to any age group. However, the graphic description of the stark reality should bring tears to any readers’ eyes and a determination to reduce their footprint by recycling and curbing pollution. Excellent illustrations by Jo Gershman underline the message of both hope and fear over what is happening to the oceans and their wildlife denizens. It is a very well-written and timely story that will increase awareness and determination, motivating readers to monitor their behavior and reduce their contribution to the mostly unknown scope of environmental disasters happening to our oceans. I highly recommend it to all parents who want to raise their kids as conscientious citizens of the world.

Divine Zape

The S.O.U.R.C.E. by Suzanna Lou Royse is a compelling fable for children with strong themes of friendship, environmental protection, and teamwork, brilliantly illustrated by Jo Gershman and Tara Larsen Chang. The reader is introduced to a cast of interesting characters, including sea mammals that perform at the Ocean World Marine Mammal Entertainment Park, the place that Sky Ryder and his friend Silk have just recently visited. The animals, although injured, weak, and under treatment, hatch a daring escape plan from the park. Their plan is dangerous, but they follow through with the odds stacked against them. They cross paths with fun-loving kids who offer help to them and a friendly sea creature and her twin. Their daring escape quickly morphs into a mission to protect the ocean.

This is a beautifully written story with characters that children will adore. From meeting Sky Ryder, who specializes in hair-raising stunts and eye-popping maneuvers, and his friend, Silk, who is skilled in gymnastic acrobatics, to the sea creatures, the fun accompanies the exceptional writing. The author writes beautiful dialogues and gives the characters qualities that readers can relate to, even if they are sea creatures. Characters like Duster, Jaxx, and Nikki are interesting to follow, well-developed, and memorable. The author creates characters that children can sympathize with as they watch them struggling out of their natural environment. This is a book that should be taught in schools and has great material to start conversations with children on the importance of protecting the environment. The S.O.U.R.C.E. by Suzanna Lou Royse is well-plotted and beautifully told, a tale filled with adventure that shines a powerful light on the importance of teamwork and friendship, and, most importantly, the courage to protect the life around us. It is both entertaining and thought-provoking.

Shrabastee Chakraborty

After nourishing Nikki, a stranded grey whale, back to health, the Ocean World Marine Mammal Entertainment Park will release her to the wild. Nikki’s friends, Jaxx the sea lion and Duster the pelican, sneak into her enclosure. As unfortunate victims of careless human activities, Jaxx sports scars, and Duster, a broken beak. The trio meets the new arrivals, an orca, a beluga whale, and a sea otter. Garbage littering the ocean water has injured the first two, while the last one is a victim of water pollution. Jaxx plans a mass breakout for them, only to encounter a horrific sight. How can they compel humankind to conserve the ocean? Suzanna L. Royse’s book, The S.O.U.R.C.E., deftly illustrated by Jo Gershman and Tara Larsen Chang, can answer this question.

Although geared toward young readers, Royse’s book imparts valuable lessons about marine biodiversity to readers of all ages. Throughout the text, she incorporates little nuggets of statistical information regarding ocean pollution. In the guise of an entertaining tale, the book recounts how our mindlessly discarded trash can have disastrous effects on the marine community. The S.O.U.R.C.E. urges us to protect the sea, the source of all lives, at any cost. Royse also highlights possible conservation efforts for injured marine lives. The resources Royse lists in the “Amazing Facts” section will further enrich readers. The monochrome illustrations, including Gershman’s depiction of the wounded sea animals and Chang’s rendition of the human characters, add to the magical charm of the book. This exhilarating adventure story, in my opinion, is perfect for a movie adaptation.

Kristine Zimmerman

The S.O.U.R.C.E. by Suzanna L Royse is a nautical environmental tale set on the Pacific Coast of California. We are introduced to Ryder and Silk, two young skateboard champions who will get swept up into a plan to save the oceans. The main characters are two friends, Jaxx, a sea lion, and Duster, a pelican. They were both victims of the trash that pollutes the ocean and were rehabilitated by Ocean World. They still manage to infiltrate Ocean World and hatch a plan to release some new captive animals. Their plans change when they meet a mysterious sea creature who explains to them how important the S.O.U.R.C.E. is and what it stands for. The kids and animals find a way to work together with the help of a guardian sea angel.

The S.O.U.R.C.E. will enchant all ocean lovers. Jaxx and Duster make a great team. The friendship between the two is delightful and funny. Each of the animal characters has been impacted in some way by the pollution in the ocean. Even though The S.O.U.R.C.E. sheds light on the very serious problem of human-caused ocean pollution, it informs kids that they can make a difference. Suzanna L Royse’s story is also action-packed and full of characters kids will care about. I really loved little Patches, the orphan sea otter. The soft black and white illustrations by Jo Gershman and Tara Larsen Chang are captivating. The S.O.U.R.C.E. will be enjoyed by ocean lovers, animal lovers, and all those who want to make a difference in the world.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Did you know that S.O.U.R.C.E. is an acronym? It stands for: The Seas and Oceans around the world must Unite to teach people to respect their environment and Recycle, Cease polluting, and protect the Ecosystems of the SOURCE of all life.” Sky Ryder and Silk, two skateboard champions, didn’t know that. In fact, Sky Ryder was a bit of a “trashing pig” (Silk’s words). He mindlessly discarded his trash over his shoulder, allowing it to collect in the ditch and be swept away to the ocean where it would join the heaps of accumulated trash that was harming the sea life. Enjoying their winning visit to Ocean World, the two are swept away by a gigantic wave and end up with a wide selection of sea life, underneath the trashy ocean’s surface, where they must learn something very important to the survival of the entire planet. While the sea creatures are on a mission of their own, to rescue those living at Ocean World and help them find their way home, a magnificent sea creature explains the importance of the SOURCE to life on the entire planet. The skateboard champions are now on a mission of their own, with a valuable message to share with the people of the world.

Suzanna Lou Royse’s middle-grade novel, The S.O.U.R.C.E., is an interesting approach to teaching young readers about the invaluable resources in the oceans that make up most of our planet’s surface. Coupled with an adventure that includes an escape of captives at Ocean World, and two young people, skateboard champions Sky Ryder and Silk, being swept away and technically kidnapped by the sea creatures, there is a lot of excitement as the sea creatures share the dilemma affecting their ability to survive and the importance of their survival to the rest of the planet. Adventure and educational material all in one compelling story. The young people were given a message to share with the world; to protect the oceans and the life within. That was their mission and it would be their generation that stood up to make amends. Sky Ryder, once the “trashing pig,” was now a crusader for recycling. A powerful message in a fun and exciting read.