Menace in the Mist
Juvenile fiction, adventure
A mystery adventure for young environmentalists!
12-year-old Cally and her new step-cousin, Giles, must take on Big Oil and Gas as they search for the cause of a poisoned water supply in this environmental mystery set in a small Maine community.
In the Pages & More
“When her mom said, a week at the beach, Cally had imagined sun and sand and sea and ice cream and rock pools and splashing in the waves. She had not thought, fog. Certainly not the dripping kind that makes your hair stick to your head and your skin pucker up with cold....”
Cally and Giles meet over family illness and loss at the oceanside town of Penzance, Maine. Together, they discover a mysterious haze that leads to a suspenseful mission to decipher what is behind the mist that clouds the otherwise beautiful landscape. Menace in the Mist poignantly examines life and discovery for two young people while they explore their relationship to their physical environment and their power to make a difference.
Genre: Juvenile fiction
Page Count: 175
Pub Date: 02/01/2022
Key Words: mist
Q&A with Janet Wylie
What is the main theme of Menace in the Mist?
There are two themes in Menace in the Mist. The first is the struggle for Cally, age 12, and Giles, age 14, to take some control of their lives made difficult by middle school stressors and family tragedy. The second is the protagonists’ outrage over their discovery of a toxic waste dump and the possibility that it is poisoning the environment and making people sick. The themes intersect as the investigation of a poisoned landscape brings Cally and Giles together and gives them agency to have fun while finding answers.
What inspired you to write Menace in the Mist?
The story draws from my daughter’s work on the environmental health concerns surrounding the oil and gas extraction industry. Sara has written an award-winning book about the chemicals used in fracking and their impact on citizens and the environment, called Fractivism, Corporate Bodies and Chemical Bonds. www.dukepress.edu/fractivism
Why do you want kids to read Menace in the Mist?
First, to enjoy the story! Secondly, today’s kids like Cally and Giles have tough environmental problems to face. I wanted these characters to embody the feelings of responsibility and the strength of purpose in youth—to reflect that kids use their brains to tackle hard issues with speed, confidence, and success while still having fun.