Lewis Tucker


In this exciting and inspiring children’s chapter book aimed mainly at middle-schoolers, Ayira and her family are moving. Her beloved stuffed animals are on the moving truck, which overturns on a wet road. Ayira is distraught when her animals are lost in the wreckage. In her mind, each animal symbolizes a different part of her proud mixed heritage-a puma from Mexico, a chipmunk from Japan, a red fox from her home state. As a shooting star passes her window, she makes a fervent wish to be reunited with them. Because of her devotion, the toys magically become real animals, with the ability to speak, and begin a search for the little girl who loves them. When they find Ayira in her new home, they all decide the animals will be safer in the nearby mountains. Ayira visits almost every weekend. One weekend she is being tested to become a Junior Ranger. Part of the test is surviving a night alone in the mountains. At her campfire, she holds a special egg and makes a pact with her animal friends to be together forever. The fire blazes high and the animals are turned to smoke, which Ayira inhales and passes out. The next day while looking for a lost Junior Ranger, she discovers she has been given all the special abilities of her different animal friends. After a daring rescue, on the bus ride home Ayira whispers a silent thank you to her dear animals as she contemplates what her exciting new life will be like with the unique mixture of talents she now holds within her.


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