When Yardley Holdsworth Cooperlick — Coop for short — moves to Seattle, he isn’t looking for trouble. But on the first day of 9th grade, he defends a classmate from a bully and soon realizes that he’s caught up in far more than just a schoolground tussle. In William J Harrigan’s Augie Sweetwater and the Dolphin’s Tale (Valentine Creek LLC), a friendship takes three friends on an unforgettable journey to protect the city they call home.
When Coop is sent to the principal’s office after his fight, he discovers that the kid he defended — Augenblick Sweetwater — is no normal 9th grader. A child prodigy, Augie is an MIT grad and world-renowned inventor at just 11 years old. But things aren’t all easy for Augie; he’s under attack from kidnappers, who want to hold him hostage and use his inventions for their own personal gain.
As Coop gets closer with Augie — visiting his house and scientific lab, as well as meeting Augie’s friend Mika — he is amazed by the incredible inventions at their disposal. But when Augie notices a suspicious pattern of maritime attacks in the nearby waters, it becomes clear that a threat is looming not only over Augie’s head, but everyone he’s connected to. Together, the three kids take on a mission to uncover an insidious plot that’s plaguing the waters of the Pacific Northwest.
DANGER IN THE OCEAN
Augie Sweetwater and the Dolphin’s Tale takes an aquatic turn with the introduction of Galileo, a dolphin that Augie helped rehabilitate after he was injured in an orca attack. Now equipped with a prosthetic tail, Leo is able to swim as good as new, but his pod still remains in danger. It seems that someone got a hold of Augie’s older inventions, and is using them to avoid detection as they smuggle drugs across the ocean. As Coop and his friends learn more, they soon realize that the dolphins aren’t the only ones at risk. With innocent lives on the line, how will the trio manage to save the day?
William Harrigan effortlessly weaves clues throughout the novel, hinting at the mystery without revealing too much of the plot. At first, the problems that the characters face seem unrelated. Soon, however, as the scale of the crime begins to reveal itself, the trio understands that they’re facing down a truly powerful organization. Harrigan takes his book from a charming tale of high school antics to a high-stakes thriller full of mystery and adventure. The technology that Augie invents is richly detailed and ingenious, like the gadgets of a James Bond film. Augie Sweetwater and the Dolphin’s Tale combines marine biology, STEM and international conspiracy to create a truly unique read. As the three main characters solve clues and race against the clock, the reader is on the edge of their seat with them.
All the while, Coop, Mika and Augie still act like kids. Their dialogue is casual and fun as they crack jokes in between their daring escapades. The trio has to juggle homework and afterschool sports with solving crime and running experiments on Augie’s latest inventions. Even with the stress of uncovering the conspiracy, Coop, Mika and Augie make sure they are all there for each other.
William Harrigan’s book shows just what kids are capable of when they’re given support and understanding. Augie Sweetwater and the Dolphin’s Tale brings out every reader’s sense of adventure and shows them just how powerful friendship can be.