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Poland author Tamra Wight to write new mystery


Islandport Press is pleased to announce that it has signed award-winning author Tamra Wight to write a fourth installment in her popular Cooper and Packrat middle grade eco-adventure series. Mystery of the Bear Cub is scheduled for released in October 2017.

Mystery of the Bear Cub, which includes illustrations from Massachusetts artist Carl DiRocco, takes place at the lakeside Wilder Family Campground, and this time Wight explores themes of trash dumping, black bears, divorce, homelessness, and friendship. 

“Tamra has taken the series to a new level,” says Islandport Press Editorial Director Melissa Kim. “Cooper and his friends have to tackle some larger environmental issues, but also some intense personal ones. She has managed to slip in a lot of heart and substance yet still make it really fun for kids to read.”  

In the book, Cooper and his best friends, Packrat and Roy, are down in the dumps. Someone is dumping trash on the campground’s property. It’s bad for the campground, and bad for the wildlife there, too. When the boys find a fox in the woods with its head stuck in a jar, they know it’s time to investigate. But once the boys start digging, they stumble headlong into the path of a garbage truck and a black bear looking for its cub.

 Mystery of the Bear Cub is a follow-up to Wight’s award-winning titles, Mystery of the Missing Fox, Mystery of the Eagle’s Nest, and Mystery on Pine Lake. All three titles were Junior Library Guild selections, and Mystery on Pine Lake was both a Maine State Book Award finalist and Massachusetts State Book Award finalist. 

 The books are set at a campground much like Poland Spring Campground, which Wight has run for more than twenty years with her family. Every summer, at the campground, she meets interesting families from all over the world, and this helps inspire her to write the Cooper and Packrat books. During the school year, she works as a teaching assistant at Whittier Middle School in Poland. 

 When Tamra isn't writing, she enjoys wildlife watching, hiking, geo-caching, kayaking, power-walking, and snowshoeing. She can often be found (for those who know where to look) hiding under her “cloak of invisibility,” a huge poncho-shaped camouflage cloth that she uses to disguise herself from passing skunks, coyotes, and foxes.

Author photo by Kevin Bennett