Bailey’s mum had always said that being by the creek with Bailey and her dad was as good as it gets. She had shown Bailey sap glistening on tree trunks. They had crouched together to nudge a beetle onto a leaf. They had sat on the creek’s edge with their bare feet in the water.
It’s one year since Bailey’s mum died. And her dad doesn’t seem to care much about anything. But Bailey still spends afternoons by the creek with her dog, Sheba.
Until Sheba gets sick – very sick – from something she must have swallowed while swimming in the creek. And Bailey notices all the rubbish polluting the waterway.
Between visits to Sheba in the vet hospital, Bailey tries to find a way to make the creek safe for Sheba and other animals. And through her unexpected friendship with Israel, a quiet boy who knows about endangered species, Bailey Finch finds the courage to take a stand.
Ingrid Laguna is a middle-grade author and a teacher. Laguna has written four books, including Songbird, Sunflower, and Bailey Finch Takes a Stand.
This novel was just the dose of hope I need right now. It’s raw, real and promotes change in a distinctly unique way. But change starts from within. Bailey Finch Takes a Stand made me shed some tears – the happy kind – as I went on Bailey’s heroic journey. I admire the way Laguna showcases Bailey learning to navigate mixed feelings of love and grief, all while making a difference. Anyone can be a hero.
Bailey’s desire for change stems from sentiment: the creek where she’d spend time with her parents, and her dog’s sickness from that same creek. If we all started to initiate the change needed in the places we regularly interact with, we can collectively make a difference – and Israel and Bailey’s friendship is a testament to this.
Bailey Finch Takes a Stand is a moving story about love and loss, about caring for the environment and standing up to make change happen. It’s important that middle-grade readers aged 8+ realise that they are capable of making a real difference in their own lives, their surroundings, and their future.