Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 970
Cryptids in the Florida Swamps
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Adam is found on the side of the road after a car crash near a Florida swamp. He's injured, but his parents are missing. After some time in the hospital, his Uncle John picks him up and takes him home, giving him a little time to adjust to his new circumstances before going to school. It's hard, because not only are his parents gone, but Adam is pretty sure where-- right before the crash, he saw a shadowy figure that looked like a Sasquatch, and has a feeling that the creatures have his parents. He's so sure of this that he runs away from John's to find someone mentioned in a newspaper article as having seen a Bigfoot earlier. He manages to get to Travis Stanley's run down house, only to find that the man is in a wheelchair, bitter about his experiences, and perhaps even a bit deranged. After hearing all the man has to say, Adam decides to travel into the swamp to try to locate his parents. He takes supplies from Mr. Stanley's barn and head out, only to lose his boat to an aggressive sturgeon right away. Stranded, Adam starts to live off raw fish that he catches, his brain swirling from brief glimpses of an entire Sasquatch family. Stanley had talked about the fact that the creatures give off brain altering waves, and Adam certainly feels this. He also gets up close and personal with the creatures, comes to learn a bit about them, and gets some insight on what happened to his parents. He is eventually found injured gain, and tells his uncle about his experiences. Whether or not his uncle believes him, Adam's quest in the woods helps him to heal, and he also reaches out to Stanley and spends time with the man when he resumes his new life with his uncle.
Good Points
Like Martin's Hoax for Hire, this is a nice twist on the subject of cryptids. The idea that the creatures could scramble human thought with their sound was a good one. The big draw for this one is surviving in the wilderness, but Key always does interesting relationships, and Stanley is an intriguing character. I always love Key's notes about what inspired his writing. This had a little bit of a 1970s vibe to it, but that just might be because I remember Bigfoot being a big deal when I was growing up.

Cryptids are fascinating and not covered much in YA literature. There's Smith's Cryptid Hunters (2005), Zindel's Loch (1994)and Savage's new Nessie Quest, but there is room for many more titles like this.

Thanks to Key's powerfully descriptive language, I never, ever want to spend time in Florida swamps, but his books are HUGELY popular in my library and have a stalwart band of followers who read everything he has written. The fact that his books are all stand alones is fantastic. Every time I see a new one is being published, I feel a wave of relief that I have a new book to hand to students that doesn't require them to commit to eight books!
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 2 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Secondhand Dogs
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A heartwarming—and heart-tugging—middle grade novel about love, loyalty, and what...
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series: The Road Trip
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Join everyone's favorite Wildcats from the Disney+ smash hit original...
I'll Meet You in Your Dreams
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A heartwarming text honoring the ever-evolving relationship of a parent...
Colors of Habitats
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The brand-new sequel to a well-reviewed bestseller that has been...
Noble Thief (Fantasy and Fairytales Book 6)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A prince of two kingdoms. A woman fighting against the...
10 Truths and a Dare
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
It's Senior Party Week, that magical in-between time after classes...
All These Bodies
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen bloodless bodies. Two teenagers. One impossible explanation. ...
The Beautiful Ones
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
They are the Beautiful Ones, Loisail’s most notable socialites, and...
I Am the Shark
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
What makes the great white shark (one of) the greatest...
Made in Korea
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Frankly in Love meets Shark Tank in this feel-good romantic...
Take Me Home Tonight
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off meets Nick and Nora’s Infinite...
The People We Choose
 
3.3
 
5.0 (1)
When 17-year-old Calliope meets her new neighbor Max, their...
Hurricane Summer
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
In this sweeping debut, Asha Bromfield takes readers to...
Slingshot
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
An exciting debut contemporary young adult novel perfect for...
The Keeper of Night
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
Death is her destiny. Half...
The Girls are Never Gone
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Conjuring meets Sadie when seventeen-year-old podcaster Dare takes an...

Latest Member Reviews

Secondhand Dogs
 
5.0
"Gus is the pack leader at Miss Lottie's house, and has kept the peace well with excitable Roo, loyal and..."
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series: The Road Trip
 
4.0
"HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL: THE MUSICAL: THE SERIES: THE ROAD TRIP is a fun book that compliments the show by diving..."
I'll Meet You in Your Dreams
 
5.0
"I'LL MEET YOU IN YOUR DREAMS is a gorgeously illustrated picture book about parental love that spans space and time...."
No Adults Allowed (Super Sidekicks #1)
 
4.5
"This is a cute read! No Adults Allowed is the first book in a new series from author Gavin Aung..."
The Last Fallen Star (Gifted Clans, #1)
 
5.0
"THE LAST FALLEN STAR is a thrilling epic fantasy. Riley Oh is a saram, a person without magic, adopted by..."
I Don't Want to Go to School
 
3.5
"I DON'T WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL features Dinosaur and Mouse, who are both scared of their first day of..."
The Mother of Monsters
 
4.5
"‘The Mother of Monsters’ by Fran Parnell, illustrated by Sophie Fatus, tells the story of Ntombi, the chief's daughter. She..."
Grim, Grunt and Grizzle-Tail: A Story from Chile
 
4.5
"‘Grim, Grunt and Grizzle-Tail’ by Fran Parnell, illustrated by Sophie Fatus, is great for younger elementary readers and anyone who..."
Baseball Baby
 
5.0
"BASEBALL BABY is a delightful board book about baseball. The book begins with heading to the park to play baseball..."
I Am Not a Penguin
 
4.0
"I AM NOT A PENGUIN is a silly picture book that manages to teach young readers about pangolins. A pangolin..."
Sam Can't Sleep
 
4.5
"SAM CAN'T SLEEP is a fun picture book read that introduces the concept of nocturnal animals. It's nighttime, and all..."
Welcome to California
 
4.0
"WELCOME TO CALIFORNIA is a fun picture book of facts about the state. It covers topics from the state capitol..."
Zoom: Dinosaur Adventure
 
4.5
"ZOOM: DINOSAUR ADVENTURE takes the reader on a journey to the time of the dinosaurs. Jamie and Jasmine are going..."
Let's Pretend Fire Station
 
5.0
"LET'S PRETEND FIRE STATION is a delightful peek-through board book about firefighters. The book features pictures of children, firetrucks, and..."
Rosa Loves Dinosaurs / A Rosa Le Encantan Los Dinosaurios
 
3.5
"ROSA LOVES DINOSAURS/ A ROSA LE ENCANTAN LOS DINOSAURIOS is a fun bilingual board book about a love of dinosaurs...."
Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch
 
5.0
"Eva Evergreen is a young witch about to embark on her Novice Quest. As the daughter of one of the..."
Homer on the Case
 
4.5
"HOMER ON THE CASE is a delightful middle grade mystery, featuring unlikely detectives. Homer, a homing pigeon, and Lulu, a..."
The Thingity-Jig
 
5.0
"THE THINGITY-JIG is a fun picture book read about invention and friendship. Although all his friends are asleep, Bear feels..."
Bridge of Souls (City of Ghosts #3)
 
4.0
"What worked: This is a satisfying conclusion to City of Ghosts series. Engaging characters, fast-paced plot, and spooky magic woven..."
This is Your World
 
5.0
"THIS IS YOUR WORLD is a lovely picture book that introduces the world and the importance of taking care of..."