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Dinosaur Boy

Review

Dinosaur Boy

Everyone knows that dinosaur DNA skips a generation, or so Sawyer says.

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to be a dinosaur? Or part human and part dinosaur? Sawyer finds out what it’s like when part of his body changes --- he grows spikes down his spine and sprouts a long tail. He becomes part stegosaurus and part human.

That may sound strange, but in Sawyer’s world, it’s not out of the question. His grandfather works at Amalgam Labs, where several years ago dinosaur DNA was accidentally mixed with that of humans. Over 100 people working at the lab were infected with the mixed DNA. Some of them developed dinosaur parts; most didn’t. Sawyer’s grandfather was one of the ones who did.

This is a delightful book for kids in middle school. I enjoyed reading it; I’m sure they would enjoy it, too.

The dinosaur gene skipped Sawyer’s dad’s generation, but when Sawyer turned 11 and was about to go into fifth grade, he started changing.  Fifth grade is hard enough without being the only kid in the whole school who is part dinosaur! Of course, the kids at school, especially the ones in his class, tease and torment him. But the new school principal has a zero tolerance policy for bullying of any kind. When some of the students are caught in the act, they are expelled from the school and not heard from again.

Sawyer and his friends Elliott and Sylvie are concerned when they can’t find out what happened to the kids that were expelled. But when they discover the truth, what can they do about it?

There are a lot of things going on in this book. First, of course, is the issue of bullying. Second is the problem all kids face in one form or another --- that of self-identity. Then, there is a mystery to solve: What is going on at Sawyer’s school? Author Cory Putnam Oakes does a great job handling all these issues while making a fun storyline. Her writing is humorous and quirky.

Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin on February 11, 2015

Dinosaur Boy
(Dinosaur Boy #1)
by Cory Putman Oakes