Review Detail

Kids Fiction 190
Big Foot Has Been Sighted in YOUR Neighborhood!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
This was a completely fresh and engaging novel! There are very few books about cryptids out there (Savage's Lemons, Smith's Cryptid Hunters and Aldredge and DuBois-Shaw' s Sasquatch, Love, and Other Imaginary Things are the only ones I can think of), but the idea that since cryptid hunting isn't lucrative, the family has turned to inventing cryptid sightings was brilliant. I loved how the author just set out all of this information and expected me to believe that the MacNeil clan was involved in the Loch Ness sightings in Scotland, hunted cryptids for years, and that the boys' father, when things became tight financially, decided to stage sightings! The family log book, the years' worth of antique equipment, and the habit of mayors of towns wanting to hire the family to ramp up tourism were all details that made me nod my head and say "Huh. That could work."


Grayson MacNeil would really like to be able to pay attention in school, get his application essay for a private school written, and get a scholarship so he can pursue a career in photography, but his family is holding him back. His father and grandfather are cryptid hunters and hoax masters who travel the globe fabricating Big Foot and sea creature sightings. Grayson and his brother Curtis often have to accompany them, and when the family gets a big contract to pull off four sea creature sightings in a short amount of time, they end up pulling a successful hoax themselves. This comes at a price-- Grayson is told that if he misses one more day of school, his scholarship application is in jeopardy. Since family finances are tight and his mother has passed away, Grayson feels like he needs to put his own needs on hold. This includes socializing with the fun and friendly Clare from his class. When he finally agrees to meet her at a bonfire party (and even buys the name brand marshmallows for s'mores), things are going great... until he hears a recording of a monster that he himself did! The teens panic and run away, but Curtis and Grayson end up in jail. The people behind the hoax? The only other big hoax masters, the Gerhard family from Germany. Clive and Axel are angry that their family didn't get the big contract, so they have decided to pull out all the stops to sabotage the MacNeils. Not only have they detained the father in Scotland and sent the grandfather off on a wild goose chase to save him, but they break into the MacNeil's property and steal all of the newest and best hoax equipment. With the adults out of the picture, it falls to the boys to pull off the one last hoax in Vermont, with less than optimal equipment. It will be a tough task, but help comes from an unlikely source. Will they be able to pull off this scam, or will the Gerhard family finally win?
Good Points
This was a completely fresh and engaging novel! There are very few books about cryptids out there (Savage's Lemons, Smith's Cryptid Hunters and Aldredge and DuBois-Shaw' s Sasquatch, Love, and Other Imaginary Things are the only ones I can think of), but the idea that since cryptid hunting isn't lucrative, the family has turned to inventing cryptid sightings was brilliant. I loved how the author just set out all of this information and expected me to believe that the MacNeil clan was involved in the Loch Ness sightings in Scotland, hunted cryptids for years, and that the boys' father, when things became tight financially, decided to stage sightings! The family log book, the years' worth of antique equipment, and the habit of mayors of towns wanting to hire the family to ramp up tourism were all details that made me nod my head and say "Huh. That could work."


Grayson was a great character, with his passion for learning and doing well in school. Curtis, whose love of the family business makes his less than enthusiastic about attending classes, is a great foil for him. The fact that the boys do okay on their own, cooking meals, successfully setting up sea monsters, and even getting out of jail by themselves, will appeal to young readers. I would have preferred that their mother were off setting up a hoax to get her out of the way, but the grandfather is such an appealing character that I am glad that he is there, trying to fill the mom sized hole with a tornado of his own energy!

I wasn't sure how I felt about the Gerhards, but I was surprised when they showed up. They are quite evil, and aren't fooling around in their attempts to take down the MacNeils. This took the novel in a direction I wasn't quite expecting, which I loved! This is the sort of book that I can always use-- it's funny, a little dark, and has plenty of unexpected adventure. Hand this to any middle grade reader who isn't quite sure what they want, other than a fantastic read!
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

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

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A teen rockstar has to navigate family, love, coming out,...
IMG_4918.jpg
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The black X of the Aramach Rebels marks the...
City of Beasts
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
"If you see a beast, and you have the...
The Grace Year
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden....
The Fractured Empire
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Ceithren Empire is finally at peace, but for...
The Survival List
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sloane Weber is devastated when her older sister dies...
To Kill a Kingdom
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This action-packed YA debut pits a deadly siren princess and...
Into the Crooked Place (Into the Crooked Place, #1)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Into the Crooked Place begins a gritty two-book YA fantasy...
Kingdom of Souls
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Magic has a price—if you’re willing to pay. The...
A Warm Friendship
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
"This heartwarming story deals with friendship, empathy, caring, nurturing and...
The Rift
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
As corporate greed is pitted against supernatural forces, two young...
Abraham Lincoln: The Making of America #3
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
The third installment of the Making of America series, Abraham...
Tiger Queen
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
From Annie Sullivan, author of A Touch of Gold,...
A Match Made in Mehendi
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
For fans of When Dimple Met Rishi comes a...
Cold Day in the Sun
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Holland Delviss wants to be known for her talent...
Perfectly You
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Ivy Nixon is the student body Vice President at...

Latest Member Reviews

The Beautiful (The Beautiful, #1)
 
3.3
"THE BEAUTIFUL takes place in New Orleans, primarily following a young woman, Celine. Celine fled France after a terrible event..."
Butterfly Yellow
 
3.3
"BUTTERFLY YELLOW is a heartfelt and engrossing historical fiction. Hang is in the US, searching for her younger brother. After..."
The Lady Rogue
 
5.0
"THE LADY ROGUE is an absolutely thrilling historical fiction/fantasy. In the vein of THE MUMMY but in Romania and with..."
Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black
 
3.3
"VOYAGES IN THE UNDERWORLD OF ORPHEUS BLACK is a story about brotherhood, war, and the power of art. Harry is..."
The Madman of Piney Woods
 
4.0
"THE MADMAN OF PINEY WOODS follows two young boys in Canada as their lives are changing and intersecting. Benji Alston..."
The Beholder
 
4.0
"When Selah's proposal to her childhood crush is rejected, she is sent away on a boat to meet possible suitors...."
Remember Me
 
3.7
"REMEMBER ME is an engaging mystery/thriller that goes back and forth through time. We follow Lea in the past when..."
Moon Water: A Novel
 
3.3
"MOON WATER follows Nettie in the summer of 1969 when her life is in turmoil. Nettie is 16 years old..."
A Dress for the Wicked
 
5.0
"A DRESS FOR THE WICKED is a lush and enthralling YA historical fiction that feels anything but historical! Emmaline (Emmy)..."
Professor Renoir’s Collection of Oddities, Curiosities, and Delights
 
4.0
"PROFESSOR RENOIR'S COLLECTION OF ODDITIES, CURIOSITIES, AND DELIGHTS primarily follows Babe, a fourteen-year-old girl who has gigantism. She already stands..."
The Season
 
4.3
"THE SEASON by Sarah MacLean is a YA historical fiction novel that centers around seventeen-year-old Alex, who is coming of..."
Night of Soldiers and Spies (Ranger in Time #10)
 
4.0
"Ranger travels back in time via a magical first aid kit, and must stay until he figures out how to..."
Planet Earth is Blue
 
4.0
"Nova is severely autistic and verbally unintelligible, although she can manage simple things like "yes", "no", and some names. She..."
This Is Just A Test
 
5.0
"THIS IS JUST A TEST takes readers back to the year 1983. It follows David who is both Jewish and..."
With the Might of Angels (Dear America)
 
5.0
"Scholastic is bringing us new editions of the Dear America series and I couldn't be happier. I loved this series..."
Castle of Concrete
 
5.0
"What an amazing debut novel - it weaves together fascinating characters, political upheaval, anti-Semitism, and conflicted love interests into a..."
Stone River Crossing
 
4.0
"Martha Tom lives in a town in the Choctaw Nation in 1804, right across the Bok Chitto River from a..."
The Summer of '69
 
5.0
"Lucas' summer is ruined when his girlfriend Robin decides to be a camp counselor some distance from their Long Island..."
Unconventional Warfare (Special Forces, Book 1)
 
5.0
"Danny has a violent streak, frequently pounding on his younger brother for pounding on another brother. His single father has..."
An Assassin's Guide to Love & Treason
 
4.0
"AN ASSASSIN’S GUIDE TO LOVE & TREASON by Virginia Boecker is such a breath of fresh air. It’s a YA..."