SPINELESS is available now from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, & Bookshop!
“This exceptionally well-written story gives a nod to the era's fascination with creepy hauntings and dastardly secrets as it expertly transports readers into the atmosphere of 19th-century Florida, uniting well-drawn, nuanced characters with imaginative and tension-building plot twists.” — Kirkus, Starred Review
“San Miguel concocts a comical and exciting tale that leads to a wild, suspenseful, storm-tossed climax while weaving in thoughtful ruminations on the necessity of giving science, people, and nature their just dues, too.” — Booklist, Starred Review
“Samantha San Miguel's debut, Spineless, is a spirited and imaginative middle-grade adventure that tracks the triumphs and mishaps of an aspiring young naturalist in Gilded Age Florida... Algie's heroism in times of uncertainty reminds us that empathy, not knowledge, is the greatest good of all.” — Shelf Awareness
This exciting middle-grade adventure is Hoot for the Gilded Age—with scientific discoveries, secret plots, and surprisingly enormous fauna.
When his asthma lands him at a health resort in the wilds of Gilded Age South Florida, twelve-year-old Algie Emsworth is over the moon. The scientific treasure trove of unexplored swamps may launch his dream career as a naturalist. But even Algie is startled when he happens upon a brand-new species and her brood in the karst springs surrounding the resort. Algie quickly realizes he must keep his discovery a secret: a famous collector of exotic animals is also staying at the hotel, and the new species is threatened by his very presence. An apparent curse has also descended upon the hotel, bringing with it a deadly red tide. But when the pool starts filling with ink and guests start getting mysterious, sucker-shaped wounds, Algie must pluck up his courage to find the truth about the goings-on at the Grand Hotel—and save the new species from destruction.