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YA Eco Mysteries, Memoirs, Novels & Travel

Piping Plover Conservation

Search for the Piping Plovers (Charadrius melodus)

Book Cover Piping Plover Eco Mystery

The inspiration for the eighth Eco mystery in the series,
The Adventures of the Sizzling Six:The Case of the Missing Piping Plovers began with Walker Golder’s presentation to the Birmingham Audubon Society. Golder is the National Audubon Society’s director of Audubon’s Atlantic Flyway Coast Initiative. His compelling account of the search for the Piping plover’s wintering hot spot on the remote Joulter Cays launched my own journey to write The Case of the Missing Piping Plovers.

I weaved the plot around the actual long and arduous search that Walker and his team of researchers carried out to find the Piping Plovers’ wintering grounds:

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When the Sizzling Six host a group of lively teens from the Chickcharney  Eco Club, they plunge into to another exciting adventure—this time on remote island cays in the Bahamas. During the visit, an unusual friendship develops between Sophie Price from Alabama, and Abbie Roller from the Bahamas. Their friendship uncovers a clue to a mystery that's puzzled scientist for years. The clue is hidden in a picture of a tiny, endangered shorebirds. Their discovery sets off an incredible chain of events, and a race against time. Can the Sizzling Six, their Bahamian friends, and an ace team of scientists rescue the birds and their beautiful island habitat from destruction?

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Here are a few early reviews of The Case of the Missing Piping Plovers:
Who doesn't love a mystery—especially one based on a true discovery! I loved getting to know these young citizen scientists who, although fictional, are undoubtedly typical of many environmentally aware students of today. On so many levels, the reader is drawn into the adventure in such a skillful way that readers become engrossed in the plot and the characters while on the way to a substantial learning experience. A delightfully readable adventure. Sharon Bounds, PhD Early Childhood Education. Reading Specialist.


I like how Claire Datnow has taken the reader from Alabama to the Bahamas and back, and I think it's neat she has incorporated email and text messaging into the flow of the story. The dialogue flows nicely and it's easy to recognize the different personalities of each character. I like that the author has incorporated actual environmental issues into the plot. I like that author has incorporated different threads into the plot: the kids' interpersonal relationships, the search for the Piping plover hot spot, the local bird conservation work, the fight to save the birds’ habitat, and the travel between locations, which all flows so well!
Tim Gels, Regional Coordinator for the Environmental Education Association of Alabama, third grade teacher, M.Ed. in Elementary Reading Curriculum and Instruction

The Sizzling Six are back in action in this new eco mystery, this time traveling all the way to the Bahamas in hopes of discovering the wintering place of the endangered Piping Plover. With the help of their Andros Island counterparts, the spunky Chickcharnies, two teams of scientists, and the local residents, the Sizzling Six battle to stop a sand mining operation and save the plovers’ winter home. Claire Datnow has done an excellent job of making this book seem real, with the addition of lots of Bahamian cultural flavor and interesting characters.”
Max Stefanescue, 8th grader.

The Piping Plover Mystery is now available from Amazon in Kindle format. The printed version is slated to be published on July 1, 2017. Advanced print copies can be ordered from: For more information:
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