The Aquanaut

Publisher: Scholastic

Ever since Sophia Revoy’s dad was lost at sea, her scientist uncle Paul has been her only family. Uncle Paul is committed to preserving the work that he and Sophia’s father Michel began many years ago, but the only way he can get funding is to work for the sinister Mr Lula at Aqualand, a marine park that exploits sea creatures.

When a strange man wearing an old-fashioned diving helmet breaks into the research lab, Sophia discovers that the aquanaut is in fact a robot controlled by four sea creatures: Sodapop the hermit crab, Antonio, a male blanket octopus, Jobim, a Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle, and Carlos – also an octopus. The creatures in the aquanaut are looking for a safe haven, but when they discover what’s going on at Aqualand, they decide to free the Orca who is kept in a tiny tank and made to do tricks.

Yet, a strange creature lurks in a secret part of Aqualand. What connection does it have to Sophia’s father Michel, and what can the aquanaut do to confound the evil intentions of Mr Lula?

Dan Santat’s artwork in this fun and gripping graphic novel is stunning, whether it’s his moody under-sea spreads or the comic pages featuring the adorable aquanaut crew. This is a story about family, loss and friendship, but it’s also got an important message about conservation and the perils of keeping noble wild animals in captivity.

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