Written by Jonathan Zimmerman, with cartoons by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Signe Wilkinson.
Across the political spectrum, Americans have demanded the suppression of ideas and images that allegedly threaten our nation. But the biggest danger to America comes not from speech but from censorship, which prevents us from freely governing ourselves.
In this brief but bracing book, historian Jonathan Zimmerman and Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Signe Wilkinson tell the story of free speech in America: who established it, who has denounced it, and who has risen to its defense.
It all begins one mid-summer day. First, the Cayuga Island Kids rescue a mallard caught in the plastic rings from six-pack of cans. Litter. Moments later, a girl on a bike carelessly tosses a plastic bottle in the creek. The Cayuga Island Kids successfully retrieve it, but then they notice all the litter in the park. That’s when they decide it’s time for action. But moving from knowing something has to be done to getting it done takes determination, teamwork, and sometimes, looking in a new direction. How the Cayuga Island Kids go from fishing a plastic bottle out of the creek to bringing the community together to build a recycling bin big enough to hold plenty of plastic makes for a lively adventure. Best of all, readers will cheer on the Cayuga Island Kids as they come to realize that although we are each just one person, together we can make a BIG difference.
The Cayuga Island Kids series features a diverse group of big-hearted friends who work together to solve mysteries, have adventures, and organize community projects. They are fact detectives who think, brainstorm, research, and collaborate to uncover answers and puzzle out solutions. Above all, they are kind, helpful, smart, and resourceful kids who have lots of fun together.
These chapter books are perfect for 7- to 10-year-olds in 1st through 4th grade.
“Any book that begins with a map of an island is my kind of story. Enliven that setting with a diverse group of characters who are consistently kind—and bursting with curiosity—and you’ve got all the elements of a series that is alive with adventure, friendship, and mystery.” ~ James Preller, author of the Jigsaw Jones mystery series
Book 1: The Mystery of the Barking Branches and the Sunken Ship
This entertaining mystery-history adventure is based on real events surrounding one of the biggest puzzles of the Great Lakes! The Cayuga Island Kids set off on a hunt for a certain kind of tree and instead unearth a cannonball thought to be from a treasure ship built right on their island that sank in 1679 and was never recovered. As they hunt for clues and follow leads, they discover that the island they live on is home to a whole lot of history. And, it turns out, a whole lot of mystery, too. We all have history in our own backyards, just waiting to be discovered by inquisitive, adventurous, and fun-loving fact detectives!
Book 2: The Adventure of the Big Fish By the Small Creek
Moving from knowing something has to be done to getting it done takes determination, teamwork, and sometimes, looking in a new direction. In this award-winning second book in the series, the Cayuga Island Kids rescue a mallard caught in the plastic rings from six-pack of cans. Moments later, a girl on a bike carelessly tosses a plastic bottle in the creek. That’s when they decide it’s time for action. How the Cayuga Island Kids go from fishing a plastic bottle out of the creek to bringing the community together to build a recycling bin big enough to hold plenty of plastic makes for a lively adventure. Young readers will be entertained as they come to realize the importance of brainstorming ideas, teamwork, the value of community effort, recycling, and the promise of new friendships. Best of all, readers will cheer on the Cayuga Island Kids as they come to realize that, although we are each just one person, together we can make a BIG difference.
Book 3: The Case of the Messy Message and the Missing Facts
It’s fall as Book 3 of the Cayuga Island Kids chapter book series opens. Julian explores food science as he experiments with recipes for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Being a cookie sampler takes Mac’s mind off his troubles with fractions. Yoko practices for the school play tryouts, and Maya helps Ms. Choi with the Make-and-Take-Club. Lacey, of course, is searching for the next mystery to solve. And then two of Ms. Choi’s glitter pens go missing. The clues and evidence point to a suspect, but are the Cayuga Island Kids jumping to conclusions? When a classmate jumps to conclusions and shares false information about Julian’s cookies, the kids join forces to set the facts straight. And while researching explorers for a school project, the kids uncover misinformation that blurs the truth, and makes the reasons for being a fact detective crystal clear. Sorting through clues and evidence—just like research—means making sure you have all the facts, and not just a fraction of the truth. Young readers will cheer for the Cayuga Island Kids as they embark on this adventure involving misinformation, faulty assumptions, flour bugs, glitter pens, and chocolate chip cookies.