Flying Up the Mountain

Norton. Oct. 2023. 240p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781324052678.
Gr 5-7–In an exciting companion novel to Crossing the Stream, Ato and his friends, Dzifa and Leslie, are trying to earn their way into becoming Afaso—the guardians of an island preserve that Ato’s dad was also trying help before he died. The path to becoming an Afaso is difficult, both mentally and physically, but Ato is determined to make his father proud and find the message that his father hid for him so long ago. Ato and his friends have many tasks to complete and lessons to learn, like photographing wild animals at night and hiking to the top of a mountain. However, dark forces seem to be gathering, and when the owner of the island, Eyra, seems like a completely different person in her speech and actions, the friends hatch a plan to figure out if she’s been poisoned. This is a fast-paced mystery with themes of friendship and conservation set in Ghana. It will appeal to activists as well as mystery buffs.
VERDICT A good follow-up to the first book, this also works as a standalone. Both are fine additions to middle grade collections.

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