Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cryptid Hunters by Roland Smith

Premise: When their parents are lost in an accident, thirteen-year old twins Marty and Grace are whisked away to live with their Uncle Wolfe - an uncle they didn't even know they had! The intimidating Uncle Wolfe is an anthropologist who has dedicated his life to finding cryptids, mysterious creatures believed to be long extinct. (from Goodreads)
Title: Cryptid Hunters
Author: Roland Smith
Length: 352 pages
Genre: Science Fiction
Series or Stand-Alone: Book 1 of 3 in the Marty and Grace series
Content appropriate for: Grades 4-7
4 stars

3 adjectives that describe this book: engaging, easy-to-read, captivating

This book made me think about starting a list of Awesome, But Little-Known Middle Grades Books. Cryptid Hunters would be near the top of that list! This book was packed with lots of action, deliciously vicious villains, and fabulous settings. There were several things I really loved about this book. Just for fun, I think I'll share them in list form:
* Cool technology
* A sweet treehouse
* A boy who's an artist
* A girl who's really smart
* Some surprising twists
* Villains and heroes tracking each other in the jungle
* An awesome library
* Scientists in the field

At the start of this book I thought it would, certainly, qualify as 5 stars. However, I deducted a star because the actual creature at the center of the story doesn't make much of an appearance. I had hoped we would get to spend time with mythical beasties. Still, I am already reading the second book in the series, Tentacles, which follows a hunt for the Kraken. Hopefully there will be more beastiness!

Update - My fifth graders LOVE both Cryptid Hunters and Tentacles. They are being passed around my classroom joyously. Tentacles DID, indeed, include more beasties. I actually liked it better than the first book. Feel free to read my review of Tentacles.

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