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What Kids Say About Carole Marsh Mysteries . . . “I love the real locations! Reading the book always makes me want to go and visit them all on our next family vacation. My Mom says maybe, but I can’t wait!” “One day, I want to be a real kid in one of Ms. Marsh’s mystery books. I think it would be fun, and I think I am a real character anyway. I filled out the application and sent it in and am keeping my fingers crossed!” “History was not my favorite subject till I starting reading Carole Marsh Mysteries. Ms. Marsh really brings history to life. Also, she leaves room for the scary and fun.” “I think Christina is so smart and brave. She is lucky to be in the mystery books because she gets to go to a lot of places. I always wonder just how much of the book is true and what is made up. Trying to figure that out is fun!” “Grant is cool and funny! He makes me laugh a lot!!” “I like that there are boys and girls in the story of different ages. Some mysteries I outgrow, but I can always find a favorite character to identify with in these books.” “They are scary, but not too scary. They are funny. I learn a lot. There is always food which makes me hungry. I feel like I am there.”


What Parents and Teachers Say About Carole Marsh Mysteries . . . “I think kids love these books because they have such a wealth of detail. I know I learn a lot reading them! It’s an engaging way to look at the history of any place or event. I always say I’m only going to read one chapter to the kids, but that never happens—it’s always two or three, at least!” —Librarian “Reading the mystery and going on the field trip—Scavenger Hunt in hand—was the most fun our class ever had! It really brought the place and its history to life. They loved the real kids characters and all the humor. I loved seeing them learn that reading is an experience to enjoy!” —4th grade teacher “Carole Marsh is really on to something with these unique mysteries. They are so clever; kids want to read them all. The Teacher’s Guides are chock full of activities, recipes, and additional fascinating information. My kids thought I was an expert on the subject—and with this tool, I felt like it!” —3rd grade teacher “My students loved writing their own Real Kids/Real Places mystery book! Ms. Marsh’s reproducible guidelines are a real jewel. They learned about copyright and more & ended up with their own book they were so proud of!” —Reading/Writing Teacher “The kids seem very realistic—my children seemed to relate to the characters. Also, it is educational by expanding their knowledge about the famous places in the books.” “They are what children like: mysteries and adventures with children they can relate to.” “Encourages reading for pleasure.” “This series is great. It can be used for reluctant readers, and as a history supplement.”


The Mystery on the

Great Barrier Reef Sydney, Australia by Carole Marsh


Copyright ©2006 Carole Marsh/ Gallopade International Second Printing September 2007 Ebook edition Copyright ©2011 All rights reserved.

Carole Marsh Mysteries™ and its skull colophon are the property of Carole Marsh and Gallopade International. Published by Gallopade International/Carole Marsh Books. Printed in the United States of America. Managing Editor: Sherry Moss Cover Design: Michele Winkelman Content Design: Steven St. Laurent, Line Creek Creative Picture Credits: The publisher would like to thank the following for their kind permission to reproduce the cover photographs. © Carmen Martínez Banús Fishhook; © 2006 JupiterImages Corporation Sydney Opera House, Kangaroo, Uluru; © David Mckee, Dili, East Timor | Dreamstime.com Blue Water, Coral Reef

Gallopade International is introducing SAT words that kids need to know in each new book we publish. The SAT words are bold in the story. Look for this special logo beside each word in the glossary. Happy Learning! This book is a complete work of fiction. All events are fictionalized, and although the names of real people are used, their characterization in this book is fiction. Dedicated to Steve Irwin, Crocodile Hunter, and his family. Gallopade is proud to be a member and supporter of these educational organizations and associations: American Booksellers Association International Reading Association National Association for Gifted Children The National School Supply and Equipment Association The National Council for the Social Studies Museum Store Association Association of Partners for Public Lands Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book. The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrightable materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.


30 Years Ago . . . As a mother and an author, one of the fondest periods of my life was when I decided to write mystery books for children. At this time (1979) kids were pretty much glued to the TV, something parents and teachers complained about the way they do about web surfing and blogging today. I decided to set each mystery in a real place—a place kids could go and visit for themselves after reading the book. And I also used real children as characters. Usually a couple of my own children served as characters, and I had no trouble recruiting kids from the book’s location to also be characters. Also, I wanted all the kids—boys and girls of all ages—to participate in solving the mystery. And, I wanted kids to learn something as they read. Something about the history of the location. And I wanted the stories to be funny. That formula of real+scary+smart+fun served me well. I love getting letters from teachers and parents who say they read the book with their class or child, then visited the historic site and saw all the places in the mystery for themselves. What’s so great about that? What’s great is that you and your children have an experience that bonds you together forever. Something you shared. Something you both cared about at the time. Something that crossed all age levels—a good story, a good scare, a good laugh! 30 years later,

Carole Marsh


About the Characters Christina, age 10: Mysterious things really do happen to her! Hobbies: soccer, Girl Scouts, anything crafty, hanging out with Mimi, and going on new adventures.

Grant, age 7: Always manages to fall off boats, back into cactuses, and find strange clues—even in real life! Hobbies: camping, baseball, computer games, math, and hanging out with Papa.

Mimi is Carole Marsh, children’s book author and creator of Carole Marsh Mysteries, Around the World in 80 Mysteries, Three Amigos Mysteries, Criss, Cross, Applesauce Detective Agency Mysteries, and many others. Papa is Bob Longmeyer, the author’s real-life husband, who really does wear a tuxedo, cowboy boots and hat, fly an airplane, captain a boat, speak in a booming voice, and laugh a lot! Travel around the world with Christina and Grant as they visit famous places in 80 countries, and experience the mysterious happenings that always seem to follow them!


Hey, kids! As you see—here we are ready to embark on another of our exciting Carole Marsh Mystery adventures! You know, in "real life," I keep very close tabs on Christina, Grant, and their friends when we travel. However, in the mystery books, they always seem to slip away from Papa and me so that they can try to solve the mystery on their own! I hope you will go to www.carolemarshmysteries.com and apply to be a character in a future mystery book! Well, the Mystery Girl is all tuned up and ready for "take-off!" Gotta go...Papa says so! Wonder what I've forgotten this time? Happy "Armchair Travel" Reading, Mimi


Table of Contents 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

Boomerang, Dingo… . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Trouble in Paradise? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 A Mystery? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Clues!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Down Under Opal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Off to the Outback! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Code Red . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Alice Springs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Hot to Trot in Camelot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Uluru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 A Thorny Devil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 The Devil’s Marbles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Outback Jack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 The Great Barrier Reef . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Coral Reefers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Just What I’m Afraid Of! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Scuba, Dooba, Doo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 Vanished! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 Thunder Down Under . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 Sydneysaurus. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 Run! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 The Sydney Opera House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113 A Boomerang or a Bust! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 Crikey! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123 About the Author. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127 Built-In Book Club: Talk About It!. . . . . . . . . . . . 128 Built-In Book Club: Bring it to Life! . . . . . . . . . . 130 Glossary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132


1

1 Boomerang, Dingo… “Boomerang…dingo…kangaroo…” Grant stared out into space, muttering slowly to himself. “Crikey, sheila, croc…” “Grant?” said his grandmother, Mimi, “what are you doing?” They were standing in the airport in Sydney, Australia waiting for a taxicab. “Practicing my Australian,” said Grant, nonchalantly. “Your Australian?” Mimi repeated, confused. “Yes ma’am,” said her grandson, age seven. “I know a lot of Australian words: outback, didgeridoo, koala…I know a lot of Aussie words.”


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The Mystery on the Great Barrier Reef

Mimi laughed. “You do know that Australians speak English?” Grant looked at his grandmother like she was crazy. “Then why do they sound so funny?” “It’s their accent,” said Mimi, looking all around for Papa and Christina. She wondered where they could be and how long it could take to get a taxi in a busy airport like Sydney, which was bustling this morning. “I think the Australians have a wonderful accent. And, the Australians are so friendly. And, yes, they do have their own Aussie jargon.” Grant grinned. “They must be friendly,” he said. “They’re always saying ‘G’day, mate’ to me. But Australia is a mystery to me already.” Again Mimi was puzzled. “Why is that?” Grant made a list: “Their seasons are backwards, they spell funny, have funny money, have weird measurements, and stuff like that.” Once more Mimi laughed. “Grant, this is a foreign country, you know. We’re in a different hemisphere, that’s why their seasons are opposite from ours in the United States. And they spell the English way, like colour instead of color. You’ll get used to the currency. And they use the metric system.”


Boomerang, Dingo…

3

Grant shook his head. “I still think it’s mysterious here. I just feel it in the air.” He waved his arms slowly through the air as if he really could feel mystery in the air. “Oh, Grant,” said Mimi. “Don’t be silly.” Suddenly Papa and Christina came running toward them, dodging other tourists loaded with luggage. Christina’s face was red; she looked like she might be going to cry. Papa’s face was red; he looked very angry. “What’s wrong?” asked Mimi. Papa huffed and puffed. “This place is a mystery to me!” Christina grabbed Mimi around her waist. “Oh, Mimi,” she wailed. “They say all our paperwork is messed up. They say we can’t stay in the country. And we just got here!” Now Mimi’s face got red. “Who says? Why? I know our passports and immigration papers are in order. Who says we can’t stay?” Mimi was not the kind of person who took “NO” graciously. Suddenly, they all turned to see a tall gentleman in a snappy blue, double-breasted suit with shiny brass buttons. The man sported brilliant white hair, more or less stuffed beneath


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The Mystery on the Great Barrier Reef

a billed cap, and a matching white walrus-style moustache. He looked like a ship captain from time past. In a deep, booming voice, he announced: “I DO!�


5

2 Trouble in Paradise? “Are you Captain Kangaroo?” Grant asked the bespectacled, moustachioed man. Everyone else was momentarily speechless, waiting for the mysterious man’s answer. For a moment, the man (who looked a lot like Mark Twain to Christina) looked like he was angry. Or at least his cheeks turned an even brighter red and his glacier blue eyes narrowed beneath his bushy white eyebrows. He pursed his lips. Christina thought he looked like a person about to “blow their top.” But suddenly, he let out a whoosh of air so loud that it made a shrill whistle. Then the man broke into a roar of laughter so loud that many


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passing travelers stopped to stare. “Just look at this motley crew!” he bellowed. In turn, he stared at each of them: Mimi in her smart black and white suit; Papa in his usual neatly starched and pressed jeans and shirt, leather vest, cowboy boots and ten gallon hat; Christina, carrying her American Girl dolls, Savannah and Juliette, beneath her arms; and Grant, wearing cargo shorts and a bush jacket with toy dinosaurs sticking out of every pocket. The man laughed once more. “You all must have jet lag not to know a joke when you hear it! Don’t you know me?” he bellowed again, this time followed by a big grin and outstretched arms. “Jervis?” Mimi inquired at last. “Dr. Jervis Rottnest?” The man bowed deeply. “At your service, madam,” he replied. Mimi turned to the others. “Dr. Rottnest is a world-famous marine biologist,” she explained. “His specialty is Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. He’s helped me before with research for some of my mystery books, but we have never actually met—until now.” She beamed at the professor who looked plum tickled to be “found out” and gave Mimi a bear hug.


Trouble In Paradise?

7

Grant looked puzzled. “So if you have never met, then how did you know him?” he asked his grandmother. “Because,” said Mimi, “he talks just like he writes in his e-mails and letters!” “Nice to meet you,” said Papa, shaking hands. Following his grandfather’s lead, Grant shook hands with Dr. Rottnest too. Since Christina’s arms were filled with dolls, she just gave a little curtsey. Dr. Rottnest laughed. “I hope your dollies brought their swimsuits and snorkeling gear?” Then he turned to Mimi. “Why don’t we have a spot of tea and I’ll tell your delightful family a little about what they are going to see while they are in Australia?” “Wonderful!” said Mimi, looking around for a convenient café. But that was not what Dr. Rottnest had in mind. For the next thing they knew, he waved his arms and porters appeared and carted their luggage to a waiting town car. Grant and Christina grinned when Dr. Rottnest directed the driver to take them to Woolloomooloo where they sat down to tea in a pretty outdoor café overlooking the famous and beautiful Sydney Opera House.


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The Mystery on the Great Barrier Reef

As they settled into their seats, Mimi asked, “Dr. Rottnest, it is wonderful that you met us, but such a surprise. I know we have corresponded frequently when I had research questions for one of my books, but what prompted you to show us such hospitality? It’s quite appreciated, but I know you are a busy man and we would not want to infringe on your schedule.” Christina knew her grandmother well. She could tell that Mimi was being extremely polite, but a little suspicious. However, Dr. Rottnest answered Mimi’s question with no hesitation. “I thought you could use some assistance while you are visiting here in Australia,” Dr. Rottnest said, then confessed. “And, I thought that perhaps if I helped you, then you might help me.” Mimi looked confused. “With what?” she asked. Dr. Rottnest lowered his head, lifted his bushy white eyebrows, and twitched his wooly, white moustache. “With a mystery!”


9

3 A Mystery! “Uh, excuse me,” Grant interrupted, as Mimi caught her breath at the unexpected request. “Mimi doesn’t really like to do mystery stuff when she’s on vacation,” he warned Dr. Rottnest. Next Christina interrupted. “But she always does.” Christina really wanted to know what the mysterious mystery was. After all, what fun was a vacation without a mystery? She and Grant traveled with their grandparents often, especially when Mimi was doing research for one of her mystery books. But this was supposed to be a vacation; a break from mystery for Mimi. “Well,” said Dr. Rottnest in a serious voice. “I hope she will make an exception this time.” He looked at Mimi entreatingly. “It is life or death.”


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For a moment there was stunned silence at the table. Finally, Mimi asked in a soft voice. “Life or death for whom?” Dr. Rottnest lowered his head even further. Unconsciously, the others did too, until they were all sitting hunkered over the table as if in a huddle. When he had their full attention, Dr. Rottnest explained. “Life and death for the creatures of the Great Barrier Reef—one of Australia’s most famous and beloved places. And, life or death for my career.” He frowned. “And I, a marine biologist, not a master detective, have been charged with solving the mystery post haste.” Dr. Rottnest rared back and folded his arms across his broad chest in a “how do you like them apples?” stance. He was clearly waiting for Mimi’s response. Finally, Papa saved the day—sort of. “You know that my wife writes children’s mystery books,” he began. “She is not a master detective either. And, she’s on vacation to get away from her writing chores for a while.” Giving a grave bow of his head, Dr. Rottnest responded apologetically. “I understand,” he said in great earnestness. “I’m


A Mystery!

11

fearfully sorrowful to even broach the subject. But under the circumstances I feel compelled to seek all the expert help I can possibly muster. Time is of the essence. And with all my head and heart I believe that the solution to this curious, curious mystery can only be solved by a person with a pure mind and a pure heart…someone who sees with clarity and simplicity…who is creative…and caring.” Papa began to cough. Christina knew her grandfather well. If it would not be impolite, she thought he would say that Dr. Rottnest was full of hot air and just trying to bamboozle Mimi with false praise. Even Christina thought this could be the case, but she was still curious to at least learn what the mystery was, no matter what Mimi decided to do—or not do—about it. Mimi cleared her throat. “Well you know, Dr. Rottnest…”she began. He interrupted. “Jervis, please,” he insisted. “Call me Jervis.” Mimi cleared her throat again. “Jervis. It would help to know exactly what this mystery is.” Christina and Grant exchanged a grin. Good for Mimi, Christina thought. Make him put up or shut up. Mimi did not mess around


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with mystery. She was surprised to see Dr. Rottnest look very uncomfortable. He sighed several times. Almost as if it pained him, he finally nodded. “So be it,” he said and began to pull small cards from his vest pocket. He laid them gently in a fan before them. “And these are…?” Mimi asked. Dr. Rottnest said one word: “Clues!”

The Mystery on the Great Barrier Reef - Australia  

It’s a trip “Down Under” for Christina, 10, Grant, 7, and their mystery-writing grandmother Mimi! Lots of surprises and mysterious activitie...

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