Ecomasters is an exciting adventure that grabs you from page one. Donna Goodman has a unique way of allowing you to fall in love with thirteen-year-old Coral and her ‘bear of a dog’ Peeve. Perhaps it is her first-person narrative. I have always personally stayed away from them, but with Ecomasters, the style fits perfectly. Within this story, you get to see how Coral feels about her relationships with her father, her missing mother, her mountain of a dog, and the friends she makes along the way.
Ecomasters is set in present-day and takes the view of what happens when we neglect our environment. The story addresses issues like Global Warming and Industrial Pollution. While these terms are not directly mentioned, they are strongly seasoned throughout the story, and readers can easily read between the lines. They are addressed because Coral’s father is the owner of a construction business and he is holding secret meetings with individuals in his home. A friend of Coral’s is sick because of the pollution in the neighborhood from the construction. They are also address because of the perpetual heatwave across the world.
The story’s secondary plot is Coral is tired of being cooped up in the home and seeks refuge outdoors every moment she can. She is ignored by her father, saying it is unsafe outdoors but never giving a reason why. She starts to sneak out, making her way past her father, the building’s doorman, and eventually a bodyguard. But after a package arrives at her doorstep, her life changes forever. It is a compass, but not an ordinary compass. It holds magical powers and takes her anywhere she wishes. Coral becomes an Ecomaster, The Pathfinder. This gift guides her on an adventure across the world to find others like her to save the planet.
Along her way, she finds three others who possess a gift like her own. The three of them are led by Miriam, their guide to a Iluminada, where they are tasked with saving the environment. They all have unique gifts that, when used together, provide the means to communicate with nature. Book One ends with them all together in New York when Peeve bumps into a mysterious woman in blue in a park. She tells them to be careful. Apologizing, thinking the woman is speaking of Peeve getting in the way of her running, she says she was not talking to the dog, then disappears. Moments later, a bright blue flash ends the book.
Goodman made this book exciting. It was a thrilling ride from page one. As I read through it, it had the feel of A Wrinkle in Time. I haven’t had a book be that much of a page-turner in a long time, this had me flipping pages all day. I loved how inventive Coral was with how she traveled back and forth, each time was better than the last—poor Miriam. I will be looking for Book Two to continue this series and see how Coral and her friends resume their adventure.
Ecomasters A Planet in Peril: Book One The Pathfinder
an eco-friendly young adult book
Urgently needing to join their unique elemental powers, four girls from four continents fight evil forces and use to get to a hidden island in Amazonia to hone their skills.
On this blistering day in the midst of a record-breaking heat wave in NY, deeply held secrets of the past are disclosed to Coral, breaking open the shell of her cloistered upper class Manhattan reality, to reveal the mysterious truth of her mother Sophia’s disappearance so many years ago, dissolving into time as if it were only yesterday. A gift, neatly wrapped, at her doorstep becomes the first clue in an unfolding breathtaking global adventure transporting Coral to find her new teammates in some of the more remote corners of the world to fulfill her destiny. As ‘pathfinder’, Coral’s quest to find the others, will lead her to experience colorful cultural settings, perils and opportunities for inspiration all over the world.
Coral is full of brilliance and courage and she instinctively understands that the Ecomasters hold the key to the future of humankind on our planet, but, she does not always know how to engage with her peers and has very limited travel experience, resulting in a number of lighthearted blunders and cultural snafus along the way. The challenges faced by Coral, Hope, Angoori and Phonepasit are similar to the challenges of every reader. Girls, and boys all over the world today have a deep inner understanding for why they are here, but can use ‘real-life’ role models who make mistakes and get messy while getting the job done is key!