The Arm of the Starfish

When Adam Eddington, a gifted marine biology student, makes the acquaintance of blond and beautiful Kali Cutter at Kennedy International Airport on his way to Portugal to spend the summer working for the renowned scientist Dr. O’Keefe, he has no idea that this seemingly chance meeting will set into motion a chain of events he will be unable to stop. Caught between Kali’s seductive wiles and the trusting adoration of Dr. O’Keefe’s daughter, Poly, Adam finds himself enmeshed in a deadly power struggle between two groups of people, only one of which can have right on its side. As the danger escalates, Adam must make a decision that could affect the entire world—which side is he on?

Originally published in 1965.

Genre: Middle grade

Other Books in the Series

The Arm of the Starfish

Audio Excerpt


“Tense, tricky, well-plotted, The Arm of the Starfish has all the stuff of which adult spy novels are made.”
―The New York Times Book Review

“What [Adam Eddington] expects to be a quiet but interesting summer of work with the famous marine biologist Dr. O’Keefe becomes a time of intrigue, with Adam playing a leading role in the struggle to extract information on the doctor’s experiments with regeneration of starfish.”
―School Library Journal

“One of the wonderful qualities about Madeleine L’Engle’s writing is that her books feel timeless. This story could be happening now. On the surface it is a mystery/science fiction/suspense novel for young adults. Yet the reader is led to consider how do we do Good, and for whom.”
―J. Sexton, Amazon, 2015


“Late L’Engle: The Wrinkles of Time, Redeemed”
Jonathan Alexander, 2015 / LA Review of Books

“Book 429: The Arm of the Starfish”
Geoff Whaley, 2016 / The Oddness of Moving Things Blog

“The Storyteller”
Cynthia Zarin, 2004 / The New Yorker

“Espionage and Morality: The Arm of the Starfish”
Mari Ness, 2012 / TOR