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Cryptid Hunters Hardcover – Bargain Price, December 27, 2004
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8–When their parents disappear, twins Marty and Grace, 13, are taken in by their Uncle Travis, who searches the world for supposedly mythical creatures. After a parachute fall from an airplane, the kids find themselves in the middle of the Congo, where a surviving dinosaur may still exist. While their conservationist uncle tries to rescue the children, an evil cryptid hunter who kills species rather than saving them pursues the creature. Marty and Grace each have distinct, if not terribly complex personalities, and their adventures are quite absorbing. The first part of the story moves fairly slowly as the characters and the concept of cryptozoology are introduced. Once the twins hit the jungle, though, things get exciting. Along with the atmospheric setting, narrow escapes, and ruthless villains, a couple of neat personal revelations are woven into the tale, affecting nearly everybody involved. Both kids show courage and ingenuity as they try to survive the wild and avoid being captured. Marty's photographic memory provides a vehicle for presenting many facts about the environment without detracting from the tale. Grace is more introverted as she conquers her fears and discovers a life-changing revelation about her past. With the intriguing plot and plenty of well-paced action, this novel has fine booktalk potential and makes a good choice for adventure fans.–Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gr. 5-8. When twins Marty and Grace O'Hara discover that their adventurous parents have gone missing, they leave their Swiss boarding school and join their mysterious uncle, Travis Wolfe, on his island in Washington State. They soon learn that their uncle is one of the world's foremost authorities on cryptids (think Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster). Wolfe is scheduled to look for dinosaurs in the African jungle, and he plans to leave Marty and Grace in Europe before the expedition starts. Things go awry, however, when an accident plunges Marty and Grace into the middle of the Congolese jungle. Soon the henchmen of the evil Noah Blackwood are pursuing the twins. The action is nonstop in this well-paced jungle adventure, and Smith adds a deeper layer in scenes of Marty and Grace discovering truths about their complicated family relationships. Several loose ends suggest more cryptid-recovery expeditions to come. Todd Morning
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Then they find out that their parents have been lost in a plane crash. No, really lost, Sylvia and Timothy O'Hara's globetrotting and adventuring parent's bodies are missing from the crash site. And since their parent's bodies can't be found, and they aren't paying the tuition, Grace and Marty are eventually dismissed from the Omega Opportunity Prepatory School to be sent t to live with their new legal guardian Travis Wolfe, cryptid hunter and founder of eWolfe. Marty can't wait to go, while Grace just plain doesn't want to go.
Travis is in a rush to go on an expedition to the Congolese jungle to look for the remnants of a dinosaur species long since thought to be extinct, and he doesn't want to take the two thirteen year olds along with him. Long story short, the kids end up going, and they end up lost, through some unbelievable circumstances that could only happen in a novel, in the Congolese jungle.
We are also introduced in short order to Travis's arch nemeses and this series' bad guy, the ruthless and hypocritical Noah Blackwood, his pet Caspian tiger Natasha, and his bloodthirsty thug and enforcer Butch McCall. They are on the hunt for the same dinosaur that Travis is, and they are just as interested in seeing that Travis and his party die in the process. Unfortunately, Noah Blackwood is just a shallow, hypocritical bad guy, think Dick Cheney, but without any of the good parts, who's upset that Travis married his daughter, and who died on one of Travis' expedition, and Butch, well, Butch is just a thug.
Out of Smith's hands is that a great deal of this novel revolves around outdated DNA science. Not out of Smith's hands is that the first half of this novel is very slow and that Travis is a goody two-shoes. On the other hand the last half pretty much rockets along giving the impression that this would make a pretty good tv movie. This is an adventure on the level of a Walt Disney romp that I think that younger kids, rather than older kids, will like more as this book lacks the punch that somebody who's in high school would expect from a book like this.
Good cover, but it has nothing to do with the novel.
For this site I have also reviewed the following young people's books:
Alfred Hitchcock's Solve-Them-Yourself Mysteries by Robert Arthur.
bigfoot by Hal G. Evarts.
The Case of the Somerville Secret by Robert Newman.
Cryptid Hunters #2: Tentacles by Roland Smith.
The Ghost of Windy Hill by Clyde Robert Bulla.
Gray Ghosts of Taylor Ridge by Mary Francis Shura.
More Tales to Tremble By: A Second Collection of Great Stories of Haunting and Suspense edited by Stephen P. Sutton.
Mystery Of Mordach Castle by William MacKellar.
Reef of Death by Paul Zindel.
Skull Island (Usborne Adventure) by Lesley Sims.
Surprise attack! by John Clagett.
A Ufo Has Landed by Milton Dank & Gloria Dank.