The Nocturnals: The Mysterious Abductions by Tracey Hecht

51ml2d8fsrl       The Nocturnals: The Mysterious Abductions by Tracey Hecht, Illustrated by Kate Liebman, Fabled Films Press, 2016, 9781944020002

Format:  hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a starred review) 4

Genre: animal fantasy

What did you like about the book? Three nocturnal animals-a sugar glider, a fox, and a pangolin-become friends and decide to band together for friendship and adventures. Their first project is to try to solve the mystery of why animals are disappearing throughout the forest without a trace. This brings them into contact with an entertaining series of animal friends including a wombat, a trio of bats and a pair of kiwis. The vocabulary is fairly sophisticated, particularly from the rather grandiose sugar glider, Bismark. And children who are not quite sure what a sugar glider or a pangolin look like will want to do a bit of research which, of course, is a good thing. There is color artwork at the beginning of each chapter which is very attractive, and not typically found in chapter books.  Overall, this is an interesting story for readers who like their animal adventures on the exotic side.

Anything you didn’t like about it? Although the black cover makes sense considering the name of the series, I do not think it is likely to attract young readers. It’s a treat to see different artwork on the book cover under the dust jacket, but unfortunately this will be lost on library readers who will not be able to remove the dust jacket to see it.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Read Alikes? This is an interesting and unique series. Hand it to animal-loving readers looking for something out of the ordinary.

  1. Also recommend other, more lighthearted animal adventures such as Gooseberry Park by Cynthia Rylant.

Who should buy this book? Elementary schools and public libraries may want to consider purchasing this book.

Where would you shelve it ?  Middle-grade fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  No.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Renée Wheeler, Leominster Public Library, Leominster, MA

Date of review: January 23, 2017

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