The Monarchs of Winghaven

by Naila Moreira. Sammie, a budding naturalist, knows of a secret and wonderful place: Winghaven, an abandoned lot in the middle of the suburbs where wildlife flourishes. She spends hours making notes and drawings in her meticulous field journal. When Bram, a new boy, turns up with his camera, Sammie worries he’ll give away her hidden haven--after all, the other boys at school bully her. But Bram is a scientist like Sammie, and together they observe tiny pond creatures, a pileated woodpecker with a red crest like a pirate’s bandana, and thriving monarch butterflies whose habitats are becoming scarce. When Sammie and Bram discover bright flagging tape encircling the trees, they learn Winghaven is in danger from a local developer--and it’s going to take courage, spirit, and science to save it. This beautifully written story, full of details about the natural world, includes Sammie’s field illustrations as well as real-life notes on keeping a nature journal, studying monarchs, and bird-watching.