24 August 2015


The content of this promo post was provided by Lone Star Literary Life Blog Tours.
If you're a Texas blogger interested in joining the ranks of Lone Star Book Blog Tours, contact Tabatha Pope.

(sequel to the award-winning The Neptune Project)
Polly Holyoke


neptune-challenge-225 (1).jpgGenetically engineered to survive in the ocean, Nere and her friends are recovering from their long, treacherous journey to refuge and settling in at Safety Harbor. Despite its name, plenty of dangers still lurk just outside the colony's boundaries. When two among them are kidnapped, the remaining Neptune kids and their loyal dolphins must set out on a mission even more perilous than their first: infiltrate the kidnapper's fortress to save their friends and steal away a vital scientific secret that may save the world and its oceans. Fighting terrifying mutated creatures and teens, will the Neptune kids find a way to save their friends, themselves, and their underwater world? The stakes couldn't be higher in this thrilling sequel to the award-winning The Neptune Project.

Buy Links:


Our Safety Harbor inlet is calm this morning. Small swells lift and lower me gently. Already the sky overhead is starting to gray, and clouds along the horizon blush pink and red. I can just make out the hardy spruce trees that cling to sharp outcroppings along the shore. The morning is quiet except for the rush of the nearby surf and the cry of a gull winging its way across the dawn sky.

Mariah, the leader of my family’s dolphin pod, finds me bobbing on the swells. Her little calf, Tisi, swims a tight circle around me while her daughter Sokya rushes up and flips water in my face.

“What worries you this morning?” Mariah asks as she cranes her head out of the water so she can see me better. At forty, Mariah is a grandmother several times over. Her teeth are a little worn, and her right side is scarred by an old shark bite, but her eyes are still bright with intelligence. Mariah is also amazing at reading my moods.

“There’re so many people at Safety Harbor,” I try to explain while I rub Sokya’s favorite spot, in front of her dorsal. The slick, rubbery feel of her skin is familiar and comforting. “And they all think Dad’s awesome and great at running things. I’m afraid they expect me to be just like him. That Janni girl wants me to join her Sea Rangers and help fight the Marine Guard and sharks, but I just want to work with dolphins.”

“You led us safely here through many fights and many miles of sea,” Mariah reminds me.

I wince, remembering the dangerous journey my friends and I had to make from the southern sector to reach my father’s colony. I hadn’t really led everyone here safely. Two of our group died on our trip to Safety Harbor, and we lost sweet Pani, one of Mariah’s granddaughters, all killed by Marine Guard divers sent by the Western Collective to capture or eliminate us.

“We never would have made it here without your help,” I say to Mariah.

“I helped the most,” Sokya declares. She leaps out of the water and lands on her side, dousing me with a wave.


aboutmediveshot.JPGPolly Holyoke is a former teacher and loves reading, camping, skiing, scuba diving and hiking in the desert. She lives in Plano, TX with three rescue dogs, two spoiled cats and a nice husband who tolerates piles of books all over their house. Her debut middle-grade novel,The Neptune Project, was published by Disney/Hyperion and was selected to the 2014-15 Texas Bluebonnet Master List along with state reading lists in Maryland and Ohio. It was also named one of Bank Street’s Best Children’s Books of 2014. Her second children’s book, The Neptune Challenge, was released May, 2015.

Using The Neptune Project and The Neptune Challenge in Schools

     When I started working on The Neptune Project, I just wanted to write the kind of adventure story I loved to read when I was a girl. I had no idea that a book about a group of kids who had to survive in the sea would resonate with so many young readers or appeal so strongly to librarians and teachers all over the United States and other countries.
     A former middle school teacher, I did know that I wanted to create a website where my readers could go and learn more about the ocean and the fascinating sea creatures that my heroine Nere and her friends encounter every day. So in the “cool stuff” section on my website, I have a gallery of marine life pictures which kids can download and use. I posted several links to cool dolphin and shark websites and developed a fun ocean Internet scavenger hunt and quiz.
     After a Canadian teacher told me that she had taught a whole unit on The Neptune Project full of cross–curriculum activities, I decided I had to post educational materials for the book on my website. I worked with English and science teachers to create Common Core and Texas teachers’ guides for The Neptune Project. These include language arts, geography, math and science activities. Because both of my Neptune books are predicated on climate change, they can serve as good vehicles for discussions about global warming. I’m in the process of creating a teachers’ guide for The Neptune Challenge, and I hope to have it posted on my website sometime this fall.
     My Neptune books are truly page turners, and their readability keeps surprising librarians. After I visit a school and talk about characters who can talk to dolphins and fight sharks and giant squid, librarians sell plenty of books during and after my visit. Even better, their students
actually read their books. I know junior high schools have used The Neptune Project successfully with boy reluctant readers, and I’ve met several ESL teachers who swear The Neptune Project was one of the most popular read alouds they’ve ever tried with their students.
     I also love to visit schools. In my author assembly, I share with students the story of how I became I writer, and I encourage students to READ, WRITE, UNPLUG, and DAYDREAM. Because of my background in education, I’m also comfortable teaching writing workshops to students in third through eighth grades. These workshops are designed to help students do better on their state writing assessments. I also recently put together a program entitled “All About Dolphins,” that covers some basic science concepts like predator/prey relationships, habitat and characteristics of mammals for K-2 students. You can read more about my teaching materials and workshops at: www.pollyholyoke.com.

     Although I originally meant to write a fun adventure story about a shy girl who becomes a hero, I’m thrilled that The Neptune Project is proving to be so useful in schools!


Here you can find a treasure box of information about the series, the sea, and writing. There is information for school/group visits, use in the classroom (including curriculum guides), and links for extended research.
You can contact Polly, and her publicist via the “contact” page.


blog tour services provided by

LoneStarBookBlogTours sm.png

Y'all, I can tell you first-hand that these books are awesome! I'm reading The Neptune Project even as we speak. Holyoke's gift of storytelling is captivating! So, leave a comment and let me know what you think. Will you be picking up a copy of The Neptune Project or The Neptune Challenge?

No comments:

Post a Comment