Readers’ Favorite Five Star Award
Award of Literary Excellence Reader’s House London
Gold Award Recipient Mom’s Choice Awards

At the Edge of the Ice 

In Children's Mammal Books and Children’s Polar Regions Books


Sydney Cabella talks to animals. Big animals. Wild animals. Endangered animals. They never talk back. Until one day, they do.

A polar bear.
That’s what eleven-year-old Sydney sees the moment she and her family land in the Svalbard airport. He’s hungry and desperate and wearing a tracking collar that looks way too tight. Usually, Sydney loves seeing animals with her photojournalist parents and twin sister, Sierra but this time, the sight is just so sad. She wants to do something, but what?

As the family explores the amazing Arctic ecosystem, Sydney accidentally hits her head and when she wakes up, the impossible has happened: she can talk to animals and the animals can finally talk back! And the first animal who speaks up is a ringed seal named Ringo who needs her help big time.

With just 72 hours before she leaves the Arctic, Sydney, and her brainiac sister must join forces and put their squabbles aside to decipher Ringo’s clues, messages, and sea ice antics. When he leads them back to the elusive polar bear, Sydney realizes just how interconnected their lives really are. One depends on the other. And both are depending on her.

A heartfelt, eco-adventure about the complexities of how habitats are affected by climate change and that small steps can make a big difference.

Chris, a 12-year-old African American boy from Chicago, never expected to find himself in the remote western Serengeti of Africa. 

So when he moves there with his parents to help them run a tented safari camp, he has a hard time adjusting. Where once school and friends were the norm, Chris’s new reality includes unpredictable Internet service and wild animals running through the camp. 

Then Chris meets Khalid, a young Maasai warrior who teaches him not just the Swahili language but also all about the land, the animals and the very heart of the Serengeti. When a local elephant is illegally hunted for its ivory tusks, Chris fights to save the majestic animal and the fantastic new place he now calls home.

Staff Recommendation
HIDDEN GEMS for youth fiction
— Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District
Spring March-May 2021

Because of Khalid 

About Carolyn Armstrong 

Carolyn Armstrong is the author of Earth-friendly middle grade fiction. A former educator and an imperfect environmentalist, she blends her love of travel and animal well-being into her stories. Featured in Bloomberg for her sustainability efforts, Carolyn encourages everyone to become eco warriors for Planet Earth. It’s as easy as picking up trash and refusing a plastic drinking straw!


Find out more about the real-life situations in Because of Khalid