Tyrannosaurus Wrecks  – Stuart Gibbs


  Tyrannosaurus Wrecks – Stuart Gibbs.  Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2020. 9781534443754

Format: hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3.5

Genre:  Adventure/Mystery

What did you like about the book?  Teddy Fitzroy and friends are back for another fast-paced FunJungle adventure, this time going outside the confines of the world’s most famous zoo.  A tyrannosaurus skull has been unearthed on Teddy’s friend Sage’s family ranch, and the skull goes missing during a torrential rainstorm, shortly after an archaeological dig is set up.  The local police have limited interest in solving the case, and try to pin the theft on J.J. McCracken, the billionaire owner of FunJungle, and father of Teddy’s girlfriend Summer. Teddy and Summer have other theories, and in the course of pursuing these, they also become involved in exposing an exotic reptile smuggling ring at Snakes Alive!, a nearby park that bills itself as “More fun than FunJungle – and a whole lot Cheaper!” There are chase scenes galore (both on foot and in a variety of vehicles), undercover sting operations, and all sorts of confrontation, all building frenetically to a violent and chaotic conclusion involving a U-Haul truck and a convenience store specializing in souvenirs and countless varieties of jerky.

As with previous series entries, there is never a dull moment in Tyrannosaurus Wrecks.  Gibbs is an expert at making these unbelievable scenarios seem commonplace by crafting realistic dialog and lively characters, and including topical issues of local politics and environmental awareness.  He also weaves important science lessons and fun animal facts throughout the narrative, and introduces the reader to several interesting species such as fainting goats and emerald tree boas.  An author’s note at the end provides solid advice for those who might wish to legitimately adopt a reptile as a pet.

Anything you didn’t like about it? no – I just kind of missed the FunJungle setting.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Upper elementary or middle school readers of Carl Hiaasen’s eco-mysteries, and other mystery adventure series like Treasure Hunters or Genius Files; fans of the author and particularly the FunJungle series.  However, it is worth noting that readers could pick up this book without having read the previous books in the series and be able to catch on right away

Who should buy this book?  Public, elementary and middle school libraries

Where would you shelve it?  Fiction

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

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Leigh King, Lincoln St. Elementary School, Northborough, Mass.

Date of review:  5/26/2020

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