Hope is Here!

First Lady of the Virgin Islands, Mrs. Cecile Galiber de Jongh and Cristina




Award-winning author and St. John resident Cristina Kessler was contacted by first lady Cecile de Jongh’s office to write a book to give away to the territory’s children during her annual Christmas party. Kessler was allowed to write what ever she chose, and she knew right away that she would tell Hope’s story.

“I think it’s a great story of science with a heart,” she said. “I found it very inspiring and I thought maybe kids would too.”

A whimbrel is a small, brown, speckled shorebird that flies thousands of miles at a single stretch. The birds find wetland areas to feed – called staging grounds – in between very long migratory flights.

Hope was one of seven whimbrels tagged in 2008 and 2009 as part of a joint project between the Nature Conservancy and the Center for Conservation Biology at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. She is the only one of her group that is still alive and – until last year – was transmitting data.

I m bored! I m tired! I m thirsty! That is all Miss B. hears from her students during a field trip to Great Pond to look for a bird called Hope. Little do the kids know that the amazing story of this whimbrel, a species of shorebird, will not only take their breath away, but by the end of the day nothing will be more important than to see Hope for themselves.

Based on the true story of a bird s annual journey that even scientists knew little about, Hope Is Here! will teach, entertain, and leave the reader with a deeper appreciation of just how incredible nature really is.

Released in the Virgin Islands. I was asked by the First Lady of the Virgin Islands, Mrs. Cecile de Jongh, to write the book that she will give to all K-3 graders in the Virgin Islands for her Christmas book give-away program. Mrs. De Jongh is a strong supporter of children’s literacy in the islands.