Thursday, November 10, 2016

Leonard, M. G. Beetle Boy.

Leonard, M. G.  Beetle Boy.  Scholastic/Chicken House  2016  270p  $16.99  ISBN 978-0-545-85346-0  elem/ms  Fantasy  VG

Darkus Cuttle’s father, Director of Science at the National History Museum in England, has gone missing. Since his mother died previously, Darkus moves in with his eccentric Uncle Max.  In his new school, he meets new friends Virginia and Bertolt. Pondering his father’s disappearance, Darkus meets a mysterious and personable beetle. As he and his uncle investigate his father’s disappearance, Darkus becomes convinced that the beetle and his father’s vanishing have a connection. When he and Uncle Max encounter the wicked Lucretia Cutter, Darkus and his friends embark on a mission to save the newly discovered, exceptional beetles living next door and to find Darkus’s father.

This fast-paced adventure-fantasy novel will engage and delight young readers. Suspense builds on every page, and the reader will root for Darkus and his friends as they search for Darkus’s dad and for answers about the mysterious beetles they have found. As the first book in a trilogy, the novel has a satisfying ending; however, it leaves the door open for successive novels. It is a fun and carefree read that peaks curiosity. Leonard has done excellent research about beetles and offers a challenging vocabulary related to the jargon of “coleopteran” studies.

Summary: Darkus Cuttle’s father, Director of Science at the National History Museum in England, is missing; and, when Darkus moves into his eccentric Uncle Max’s home he meets new friends Virginia and Bertolt, who recognize his connection with beetles and make a pact to find Darkus’s dad and save the mysterious beetles.

Beetles-Fiction, Mystery-Fiction          --Virginia McGarvey

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