From School Library Journal
Grade 3-4-When their basketball court is vandalized, Ziggy and his three friends form the Black Dinosaurs to solve the mystery. Obviously intended to present positive role models and to create African American pride, the 11 short chapters are packed with black heritage. "Tuskeegee" and "Nigeria" become secret passwords, slave history is revealed by old Mr. Greene (who serves as the red herring), Jerome's grandmother furnishes African musical heritage, and Ziggy provides the Jamaican influence. Unfortunately, such grand designs often degenerate into didacticism resulting in characters who are too good to be true. And Mr. Greene, who is brusque with the boys almost to the point of rudeness at their initial encounter in the library, uncharacteristically becomes their great ally and confidant. And this after they frighten him terribly with a fake police raid! A minor flaw (but one that dinosaur experts will catch)-the apatasaurus is twice illustrated as a Tyrannosaurus rex. However, the plot moves quickly, Ziggy's character provides humor, and the situations will appeal to children. Simple vocabulary and large-print text are appropriate for reluctant readers.Claudia Cooper, Ft. Stockton Independent School District, TX
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Sharon M. Draper
is a New York Times
bestselling author who has received the Coretta Scott King Award for both Copper Sun
and Forged by Fire
. Her Out of My Mind
has won multiple awards and is a New York Times
bestseller. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she taught high school English for twenty-five years and was named National Teacher of the Year. Visit her at SharonDraper.com.
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