I Did It for Brian. Teens: Save Our Oceans, Save the World by Kathleen Boucher
“Tied to the ocean by the tragic accident of her older brother, Tina discovers the chains around her heart are woven into the fabric of the sea water.” Fourteen-year-old Tina Armstrong records in her diary the various activities that unfold during the week leading up to her class science project. It was around this time three years earlier that her older brother Brian died in a freak surfing accident. Knowing that Brian loved the ocean, Tina chooses environmental issues dealing with water for her project topic. But since the issues are too broad, Tina turns to her younger brother Steven and Thomas, a boy who she really likes, for help. The collaborative research pays off, especially when Tina and Thomas realize that they have a lot in common.
Boucher’s latest read spurs teen readers to care for the environment. Written in first person, Boucher’s narrative covers an assortment of themes in a few chapters. Top on the theme list is environmental issues (i.e., water, plastic, pollution). Tina’s research includes a flurry of information, such as websites and videos, as well as a “call to action” Facebook page titled Helping the Ecosystem. By providing these links, Boucher offers her teen audience an interactive component and an opportunity for them to not only peruse the material, but also to seriously contemplate their involvement with the environment. Obviously, Tina and her family have experienced loss. Not shying away from the topic of death, Boucher presents a wholesome approach to loss and recovery. Lastly, as with good teen literature, there is teenage romance. Boucher keeps her plot moving by incorporating the above mentioned themes within chapters that shift from Tina’s narrative and diary accounts replete with engaging dialogue, helpful resources, and light romance. I Did It for Brian is an educational and fun read.
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