The Predator (Animorphs Book 5)

The Predator (Animorphs Book 5)
Age Range
10+
Release Date
December 01, 2011
ISBN
978-0545291576
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Marco never wanted to be an Animorph. He didn't want the ability to change into any animal he touches. And he certainly didn't want to be one of a handful of kids that are the planet's only defense against a secret alien army. His friends know why he feels the way he does. He's worried about his dad -- the only family Marco has left. If anything happens to him, his father will be alone. But something big is about to change for Marco. Something that could finally give him a reason to fight.

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When the Child Becomes the Parent
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In the fifth Animorphs book, “The Predator,” Applegate introduces the theme of a missing parent or parents. Marco, the witty, sarcastic, comedic relief of the group, narrates for the first time, giving readers a glimpse into his difficult home life. He’s nearing the two-year anniversary of his mother’s mysterious death, putting an understandable damper on everything going on in his life, making it difficult to concentrate on helping Ax and the gang find parts needed to send an intergalactic decoy distress beacon to the Yeerks.

To make matters worse, Marco’s dad has been extremely affected by his wife and Marco’s mother’s death. This can be understandable up to a point, but Marco’s father has slipped into such a deep depression that he has quit his successful job as an engineer, taken odd jobs that provide little financial support for his son, and has become emotionally distant. In effect, it is as if both of Marco’s parents have died.

“The Predator” explores situations in which the child becomes the parent and caregiver in the family. This is clearly a strain on Marco and sheds light onto how Marco’s witty behavior is used as a defense to cover up the sadness he feels from his distraught home life. This is yet another Animorphs book that provides important lessons for young readers while also providing intergalactic entertainment at the same time.
Good Points
Explores the difficulty children face if forced to become the caregiver of the family.
Explores how parental death can affect children.
A surprising twist at the end!
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