Title: Eco Rangers: Wildfire Rescue
Author: Candice Lemon-Scott
Publisher: New Frontier Publishing
Published: 1st January 2020
Synopsis: There’s been a devastating wildfire in the bushland and Ebony and Jay, our Eco Rangers, are doing their best to find injured animals. As they rescue a cute little possum with burned paws, they also discover that some people have been camping in the area that was devastated by the fire. What were they doing there? This is a mystery for the Eco Rangers!
Eco Rangers is an action-packed series centred around two best friends, who rescue and rehabilitate sick and injured wildlife through their local conservation centre. Ebony and Jay love helping others and looking after the environment. In each story, they meet new animal friends, solve mysteries and learn more about nature. Meet the Eco Rangers and dive into their brand-new adventures!
The latest Eco Rangers book was released amidst the fires that ravaged Australia over the summer of 2019/2020 – an unplanned yet extremely uncanny coincidence. In this story, Ebony and Jay are helping the vets at the conservation centre care for and find animals injured in a bushfire in the nearby campgrounds – and are determined to find out what caused it.
One day they are there, searching for injured wildlife, and find not only a ringtail possum who needs lots of help, but two missing kids who got separated from a camping group. Ebony and Jay are determined to help them as well and find out what happened. Together, the kids will face something that the Eco Rangers have never faced before.
As I said at the beginning of my review, this was eerily released amidst some of the worst bushfires that Australia has seen, ravaging so much bushland, so many properties and so many lives across the eastern seaboard, when so many people were on high alert for evacuation, some with cars constantly packed as the fire inched closer to homes. Kids who follow the adventures of the Eco Rangers will have possibly been reading this at the time, or just after. It is a stark reminder that we need to be careful of fires in the bush and do more to make sure we don’t let fires get away from us.
It is hopeful and joyous, a comfort in these hard times. Jay and Ebony are heroes, and they are the kind of hero we all need to look up to. It is a powerful story that shows that hope is at the heart of everything in this book. It touches on friendship, the environment, animals, climate and ways we can help. I think this is the final book in the series – based on my interview a few months ago with Candice, and it works as a finale, but could also be a great entry into a new story.
It is an inspirational series that shows kids can help, even if it is in small ways, to improve the world. We do what we can within our lives to help the environment, because not everyone can do everything. Every little bit helps, and this is one of those books that will be useful in a variety of ways – for literacy, to teach kids about friendship or to open discussions about the environment and learning about the risks of fires, oil spills or any other threats to native wildlife.
Another great book for kids of all ages!