Monday, May 30, 2016

The Extincts by Veronica Cossanteli - ADVISABLE

Cossanteli, Veronica   The Extincts  Illustrated by Roman Muradov. 230 pages. Henry Holt Co., 2016. $16.99. Language: G; Mature Content: G ; Violence: PG

When his bike is stolen, and he realizes that he must earn the money himself if he wants to replace it, George Drake sees a curious green-penned Help Wanted sign in the Candy Shop window and feels confident he is the right person for the job. He's interested in wildlife, like the sign requests, and though he doesn't know what a squamophobe is, he's pretty certain he is not one, like the sign requests. Thus begins his time at Wormestall Farms where the most unusual animals reside. It turns out, though, that he is not the only right person for the job. The new girl from school, Prudence, also follows the Help Wanted sign to the farm. Unfortunately, her stepmom is a crazed taxidermist who is determined to stuff the most amazing creature ever, even if she has to steal rare animals to do so.

This story has three main plot strands: the work at the farm, learning about and caring for the unusual animals (which are thought by others to be either extinct or mythological); George's home and school life, including a budding friendship with Prudence; and thwarting the stepmother's evil schemes. A British import, this is a quirky, imaginative book with lots to recommend it.

EL - ADVISABLE. Reviewed by P.K.Foster, teacher- librarian

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