Saturday, August 13, 2016

Solve the Mystery Alongside The Nocturnals

A fox, a sugar glider, and a pangolin are "The Brigade"--a group of friends pledged to stick together through thick and thin in order to protect and defend the animals of the valley in which they live. Younger readers will be enthralled by the story of friendship, bravery, and determination when the gang is called into action at the sign and mention of a great beast who's movements shake the earth and spread ash on everything. Older readers will be challenged to make inferences and piece the puzzle together as the three friends sniff out and unearth clues about the true identity of the mysterious beast terrifying the animals all around them.

I enjoyed this book immensely. I found myself coming up with all sorts of discussion questions and I think this book would make a great resource for reading groups or classroom use. Dawn, the fox, shows many examples of restraint which are worthy of further examination. Polyphema's so-called visions and proclamations (and Dawn's skepticism of them) could lead to some interesting discussion. The book asks readers to consider what makes them afraid, why someone might descriminate, the nature of loyalty and friendship, why it is important to get all the facts before jumping to conclusions, etc.

My thanks to the publisher, Fabled Films, for the ARC I received in exchange for this honest review.

From the Publisher . . .

When a violent jolt fractures the earth, the Nocturnal Brigade sets out to investigate its source. Along their journey, Dawn, Bismark, and Tobin meet an unfamiliar reptile—a tuatara—who reveals that a giant beast caused the destruction and will soon strike again. The tuatara, with her special insights, is the only one who can help them stop this fearsome predator… but can she be trusted? With help from an owl, the jerboas and a few kiwis, a trap is set since surrender is not an option against this relentless beast.

Lexile Level 580L — Fountas & Pinnell Level T

About the Author . . .

Tracey Hecht is a writer and entrepreneur who has written, directed and produced for film. When she isn’t writing she can be found hiking, reading or spending time with her family. Tracey currently splits her time between New York City and Oquossoc, Maine with her husband, four children and three pets—none of which are a sugar glider.

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