Stingray City (Tristan Hunt and the Sea Guardians)

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9781938063701: Stingray City (Tristan Hunt and the Sea Guardians)
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Being a teenager is never easy. Especially when you can talk to sharks! Tristan Hunt has enough to worry about with girl troubles, his parents, and trying to keep his extraordinary abilities a secret. But when Tristan and his friends are called upon to investigate the disappearance of stingrays and other ocean life in the waters off Grand Cayman, the stakes are higher than they’ve ever been before. Can Tristan solve the mystery of the missing stingrays and save them from a horrible fate? Or will he and his friends become the stingray-napper’s next victims?

Join Tristan Hunt and the Sea Guardian on their most dangerous adventure yet.

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About the Author:

Dr. Ellen Prager is a marine scientist and author, formerly the chief scientist at the world’s only undersea research station in the Florida Keys. With her ability to make science fun and understandable for people of all ages, she has built a national reputation as a spokesperson on earth and ocean science issues. She has appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, CBS, NPR, The Discovery Channel, and more. Dr. Prager has participated in research expeditions to locations such as the Galapagos Islands, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and throughout the Caribbean. She now acts as the science advisor to the Celebrity Cruise ship Xpedition in the Galapagos. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, where she spends her days writing, consulting, and spending as much time on and in the ocean as possible.

Antonio Javier Caparo is an illustrator, comic artist, and graphic designer. His works have been published in children's books, middle grade books, and magazines in North America, South America, and Europe. He lives in Montreal, Quebec.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter 1: Hiding in Plain Sight

The five young teens stood horrified, staring at the creatures on exhibit. Trailing behind the animals’ glowing orangey-gold bells were white, ruffled feeding arms and tentacles seven feet long! The tentacles reminded Tristan of giant strands of dark-red spaghetti. With one big difference mega-long pasta wouldn’t sting the bejesus out of you.

No way!” Tristan announced. I’m not going in there.”

Like, dude, me either,” Ryder agreed.

Not a chance,” Hugh added.

Come on, you guys,” Sam chastised. One of us has to go in and do it.”

If you think so, then you go in,” Rosina snarled.

Sam shook her head. Are you nuts? I’m not going in there.”

If you could ignore their potential to pack a terribly painful sting, the sea nettles in the display were actually quite beautiful. Lit up and drifting against a brilliant blue background, the jellyfish looked like slow-motion dancers costumed in long, crimson streamers and pale ruffles. At the center of the tank, things were not so pretty. Ongoing collisions had created a jumbled twisted mess a massive floating tangle of stinging jellyfish. And it was growing larger by the
minute.

It was nighttime at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the teens from Sea Camp were on untangling duty. Since arriving at the aquarium, Tristan Hunt and his friends had been regular volunteers during the day and on special assignment after dark. But this was an assignment absolutely no one wanted.

Tristan flicked back the strands of brown hair that constantly fell over his face. He leaned his tall, gangly body closer to the tank, staring at the snarl of sea nettles. His best friends and camp mates, Sam Marten and Hugh Haverford, stood beside him. They each wore jeans and a light-blue polo shirt with the aquarium logo on it, indicating they were volunteers. Hugh’s slightly pudgy face looked even paler than usual, especially against his short and neatly combed dark hair. Sam fidgeted nervously, twisting her long, sun-flecked, wheat-colored ponytail with her fingers. Tristan’s other camp mates, Rosina Gonzales and Ryder Jones, had stepped back as if the lengthy tentacles could somehow wiggle their way through the thick, acrylic viewing window.

The aquarium’s senior jellyfish curator was with the teens. He stood nearby, watching. So who’s going in?”

No one volunteered.

Figured that would be the case,” the man said. You’ll be pretty covered up, so the stinging won’t be too bad. No one’s ever died from it or anything.”

Tristan couldn’t tell if he was joking.

The jellyfish curator held out a hand curled around five straws. Whoever draws the short one is the lucky or should I say unlucky detangler.”

Sam closed her gray-blue eyes and chose first a long straw. Ryder went next. As he stepped forward, his wild, blond surfer hair shook ever so slightly. He came away smiling, holding a similarly lengthy straw. Hugh then nervously grabbed a straw long. That left Rosina and Tristan. Rosina remained where she was, so Tristan stepped up. Silently praying, he chose. Relief washed over Tristan as he stared at the long straw in his hand.

Rosina promptly turned the color of cottage cheese gone bad. Shaking her mop of perpetually disheveled brown hair, she muttered, I . . . I can’t go in there.”

The man took Rosina’s arm. This way, young lady. We’ll get you suited right up.”

The others watched as the young teen was led, shell-shocked and mumbling, to the door that led
behind the jellies exhibit.

Hugh, I thought you could speak jelly,” Sam whispered. Maybe you could help. You know, just direct them to untie themselves or something.”

Hugh shook his head. No, thanks. I may have done some pretty crazy things earlier this summer, like
riding that shark. But I was under duress, probably in shock, and that was crazy this is just plain stupid.”

Tristan nodded, very glad he wasn’t the one going into the tank. He had enough problems just untying his shoelaces or doing anything that took even a small amount of dexterity. On land he was still pretty much a klutz.

The teens could see Rosina and the curator moving around behind the giant twenty-foot-long exhibit. Tristan decided to check out some of the other jellyfish in the gallery while they waited for her to get ready.

Famous for figuring out how to keep jellyfish alive and on display, Monterey Bay Aquarium had one of the best collections of both common and exotic species. The first tank Tristan came to was a five-foot-high, transparent cylinder filled with flying saucer-shaped pink moon jellies. Each was about a foot across. He’d seen this species in the Bahamas and Florida. Supposedly, their sting is pretty weak. Tristan preferred not to be the fact checker on that one. Next to the moon jelly display was another cylindrical tank. This one held dozens of small white-spotted jellyfish. They were yellowy- brown, mini-cupcake-sized, polka-dotted creatures with clusters of short, frilly feeding arms. Next to the tank a small speaker blared fast-paced disco music. Tristan leaned closer to the tank. He could swear the white-spotted jellies moved in short, rapid bursts, perfectly in beat with the music. He moved to the next tank. It contained small, plum-colored blubber jellies pulsing to a different tune. Their bells resembled dark-purple, sideways bouncing, blubbery rubber balls trailing clusters of weird, triangular-shaped arms. Tristan then moved to a darkened corner of the exhibit, where perhaps the strangest of the bunch were on display jellyfish that lay on the bottom of the tank with bioluminescent pearls of light atop their flattened bells. After staring at the seemingly starlit creatures for a few minutes, Tristan hurried back. He definitely didn’t want to miss any of the action at the big sea-nettle tank. On the way, he passed displays with upsidedown, egg-yolk, and lion’s mane jellyfish.

Here she goes,” Sam announced.

Tristan made it just in time to see Rosina climb up a ladder to the top of the sea-nettle tank. A wetsuit top and hood covered all but her hands and face. The hood gave her chipmunk cheeks and emphasized her big fearful eyes. The jellyfish curator stood beside the ladder and urged her on. Rosina paused, looking around. Tristan figured she was probably searching for the nearest exit. Rosina then took a there’s-no-wayout-of-this deep breath and tentatively stuck a hand
into the sea-nettle tank. She reached cautiously toward the huge, drifting knot of jellyfish. One of the free floating jellies bumped her hand. Rosina drew back so fast Tristan thought she might fall off the ladder.

It was then that Tristan noticed the strands of transparent goo flowing from Rosina’s fingers. Nice slime,” he said, referring to the mucus that regularly oozed from Rosina’s hands when she was in seawater. When it came to their special ocean talents, she was the only
one in the group who had developed mucus-deployment skills.

Rosina slowly reached back into the tank and gently touched the jelly’s bell, pushing it out of the way. Her hand trembled as she then nudged the jelly’s tentacles and feeding arms away from the massive tangle. The look on her face was not what Tristan expected pukeinspiring pain. Instead, Rosina appeared pleasantly surprised.

Rosina reached more confidently into the tank and undid a twist of tentacles and feeding arms. She then leaned over and submerged her entire head and upper body. Using both hands, she began to swiftly untangle the sea nettles. Rosina came up for a breath and then
leaned back in. Soon the massive snarl was undone and all the jellies were once again drifting about the tank.

The other teens stood stunned in front of the exhibit. Deep in thought, Hugh pondered the scene.

It must be the mucus.”

What must be the mucus?” Sam asked.

It’s like how clownfish coat themselves in mucus so they don’t get stung by the sea anemones they live in.”

Oh, I get it,” Tristan said. It’s her slime. It’s protecting her from the stinging.”

Sam smiled. Sweet!”

Like, she can have it,” Ryder said.

Rosina popped up from the water grinning. She reached back into the tank and stroked one of the jellyfish like it was a cuddly pet. She looked up and waved with a slow-motion, I’m-the-queen wave. Tristan swore she was looking and smiling specifically at him. It was a bit disturbing. Rosina was usually not the most pleasant of people and she rarely smiled. But then again, ever since he’d saved her from drowning in the boulder pool and helped her escape from the psycho spa in the British Virgin Islands, she’d been acting strangely nice to him.

A little while later, Rosina rejoined the group. Hugh and Sam high-fived her. Ryder gave her a cool head nod. Rosina then stepped toward Tristan as if she was about to hug him. He shuffled backward awkwardly, nearly tripped, and held out a fist. Rosina fist-bumped Tristan, all the while staring kind of dopily at him. Sam rolled her eyes and Hugh grinned knowingly.

The jellyfish curator joined the group and gave Rosina a hearty pat on the back. Well done, young
lady. That was quite impressive.”

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Book Description Mighty Media Kids, United States, 2016. Paperback. Condition: New. Antonio Javier Caparo (illustrator). Language: English . Brand New Book. Being a teenager is never easy. Especially when you can talk to sharks! Tristan Hunt has enough to worry about with girl troubles, his parents, and trying to keep his extraordinary abilities a secret. But when Tristan and his friends are called upon to investigate the disappearance of stingrays and other ocean life in the waters off Grand Cayman, the stakes are higher than they ve ever been before. Can Tristan solve the mystery of the missing stingrays and save them from a horrible fate? Or will he and his friends become the stingray-napper s next victims? Join Tristan Hunt and the Sea Guardian on their most dangerous adventure yet. Seller Inventory # AAS9781938063701

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