Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Young Scientifics: Return to the Dinosaur Planet by Cousin Summers

This book is a delightful one for preteen readers. It reminds me of the sci-fi books I loved to read at that age.

Peter, a precocious twelve year old, and his younger sister Pearl have been sentences to spend the summer with their father while their mother is on a dinosaur dig in Africa. They had always gone along on their mother's digs but their father thought they needed to be “regular” kids this summer.

Their father's new job is at a huge museum in Jefferson City. The kids pretty much have the run of the museum. Only it's much more than a regular museum. It had a huge park, a zoo, and buildings housing scores of exhibitions. Peter soon meets Casey. He's also spending the summer at the museum. He's staying with his zoologist aunt and entertaining a monkey on a summer break from working for NASA.

Casey has spent many summers at the museum and is on a quest to find a scientist who disappeared from the premises years ago. Peter joins him in the hunt and before long the two are having adventures they could have only imagined.

This is a fun story of secret passages, mysterious doorways, time travel, dangerous journeys, and much more. There are some science lessons in here too, tucked neatly within the story line. This book contains exactly the kinds of adventures aspiring preteen scientists enjoy.

Besides the adventures, there are also subtle learning opportunities for young readers. One is about the rules parents give, for example. Rules “are merely safeguards against disaster.” (102) Another lessons deals with honesty and being noble. And, of course, there is the model of Peter being a good older brother to his often troublesome younger sister.

I really enjoyed this novel and recommend it to preteen readers who love sci-fi adventures. You'll be entertained. And besides, you'll find a reasonable explanation for the Loch Ness Monster. Sheesh.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

Cousin Summers (the Mysterious) is a pseudonym for someone who has lived in a lighthouse on Summers Island for a long time. Summers is a shy person busy writing stories in the lighthouse. If you visit the island, you find Miss Lilly and the Captain, as well as others who live there.

Summers Island Press, 195 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through The Book Club Network for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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