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Manatee Summer

Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection ● Indie Regional Bestseller ● Kirkus and Booklist Starred Reviews ● Bank Street’s Best Children’s Books of the Year Pick ● Vermont Golden Dome Book Award Nominee ● William Allen White Children's Book Award Nominee ● Sunshine State Young Readers Award Pick

In this poignant middle grade contemporary debut that New York Times bestselling author Katherine Applegate calls “by turns heartbreaking and heart-healing,” Evan Griffith beautifully captures all the tenderness and uncertainty that come with caring for family, friends, and the natural world.


Peter and his best friend, Tommy, have a goal for their last summer before middle school: finish their Discovery Journal, a catalog of the wildlife around their Florida town. When they spot a manatee in a canal, Peter knows they’ve found something special—and when the manatee is injured by a boat, something to protect!

As Peter joins the fight to save Florida manatees, he also finds himself taking care of his ailing grandfather and facing an unwelcome surprise that jeopardizes his friendship with Tommy. Soon Peter is adrift, navigating shifting tides and realizing that he has as much to discover about himself as he does about the world around him.

Praise for Manatee Summer

★ "A boy balances weighty responsibilities and complicated emotions in a poignant and reflective debut novel perfect for budding conservationists . . . Hand this charming ecological tale—a terrific pick for libraries—to readers who appreciate having their heartstrings tugged by books like Carl Hiaasen’s Hoot."—Booklist starred review


Downloadable MANATEE SUMMER Discussion Guide (Coming Soon!)

MANATEE SUMMER Spotify Playlist

I love making playlists based on my stories. To me, these songs capture the book's themes and feelings.

featured on Kid Lit Six

Media & Interviews

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Book an Author Visit

I love connecting with kids and educators! I offer virtual and in-person school and library visits, and I have a presentation on MANATEE SUMMER. *Discounted rates are available for classes that have read MANATEE SUMMER together or have already purchased classroom sets of the book.*

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