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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Hunting for Creatures Thought Extinct

Smith, Roland (2005) Cryptid Hunters.  New York:  Hyperion.

This was a fun novel.  No deep themes here, just a fast-moving story about an orphaned brother and sister who go to live with their uncle, who happens to be a cryptid hunter -- and get drawn into his deadly rivalry with another, less scrupulous cryptid hunter.  So what is a cryptid then?  A cryptid is an animal who existence has not yet been proved scientifically -- in this case, that could mean anything from bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster to a species of dinosaur that has been living in an isolated area of Africa. 
     Part of the fun of the book is that Uncle Wolfe has been pretty successful in his chosen profession and has a lot of fancy gear and equipment that the kids get to use.  Before long, they are on their own, in a race against the semi-evil Dr. Blackwood and his henchmen to be the first to fink a dinosaur egg (and possibly a dinosaur sitting atop it).  On the way there are plenty of twists and turns and even a revelation or two. 
     I am thinking third or fourth and up for this one.  Your students will not discover any deep awareness of who  they are as a person -- but they will like this story -- and since Smith ahs a couple of sequels to it, you'll be able to keep them busy for at least a couple of days. 


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