Title: Secrets of Tamarind
Author: Nadia Aguiar
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Concepts: natural resources, rents, profit
Review: Simon and his sisters had returned home four years ago after their adventures on the lost island of Tamarind. The experience had influenced them tremendously, and Simon especially had difficultly letting go of that longing to see Tamarind's people, wildlife, and natural beauty once again. That opportunity came quite unexpectedly, along with more dangerous exploits, when their friend Helix told them that Tamarind was in trouble and needed their help.
A greedy corporate group named the Red Coral -- who had been harassing their parents for sensitive information about Tamarind's secret natural barrier -- had reached Tamarind with an enormous steel ship loaded with ammunition. Once the children made their way back to Tamarind, they discovered that the Red Coral had begun extensive operations mining the island of its valuable ophalla, a mineral with magical properties that could bring the Red Coral large profits. How would a small band of children manage to stop this group from destroying Tamarind's main source of livelihood and existence?
Although this book comes as a sequel, the author explains enough of the key events and characters from the first installment that readers can wander seamlessly into this new magical journey. Motivating the entire plot is an economics lesson that revolves around the incentive to earn rents from natural resources. The book will appeal to middle grade readers who enjoy books heavy on fantasy and adventure.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children