Cape Cod, MA – Sara Hoagland Hunter, author of The Unbreakable Code and The Lighthouse Santa has written a new book that mixes cold hard science with autism. The book is called Every Turtle Counts and stars Mimi, a young child with autism, who discovers a nearly dead Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle on the Cape Cod beach.
Hunter usually likes to mix in a dose of reality with each story she writes. As she told Radio Boston:
“I gravitate toward realistic fiction, true stories of unsung heroes.”
Read a little of her previous work and it’s easy to see she’s done just that. The Unbreakable Code is about Navajo Code Talkers of World War II and The Lighthouse Santa is about man who arthropod gifts to lighthouse workers.
Hunter’s recent story was inspired by her now 24-year-old sister of same name and learning difference. But instead of having the story revolve mostly around Mimi like most stories with autism would have, she instead puts the learning difference in the background as she writes about a more serious issue.
Apparently Kemp Ridley turtles, one of the rarest kinds, gets lost on their way to Florida’s warmer waters around Thanksgiving and Christmas and somehow wind up in the cape’s cool waters. Mimi takes her discovery to Bob Prescott, director of the Massachusetts Audubon Societies Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and he directs her to Mass Autubons Turtle rescue in Wellfleet. Through the story the once thought to be dead tortoise slowly recovers as Mimi comes into her own alongside it.
“Because Mimi, when she was growing up, as many special education kids or any of us, doesn’t particularly like reading about her issues. I mean, who does? It’s a story about hope that we can looking for ways to support people who are different.”
The original article on the Radio Boston website can be read here