Middle grade books with animals often have humans sharing the pages. Not so here. With this new story it’s all about the animals and specifically ones that choose nighttime to roam. The main characters are a fox, a sugar glider, and a pangolin. Wolves, bats, alligators and many more creatures of the night are also a part of this adventuresome undertaking.
THE MYSTERIOUS ABDUCTIONS is the first release of a planned series (Book two, THE OMINOUS EYE, is scheduled for September, 2016). What you will find tucked away on these pages is a huge mystery about animals vanishing, lots of humor, and a plot that zips its way to a satisfying conclusion. The short chapters (33 in all) would make a great read-aloud.
If you have an animal loving reader searching for a fun story, they won’t be disappointed by this unique tale.
PUBLICATION DATE: 2016 PAGE COUNT: 220
FULL PLOT (From THE NOCTURNALS WEBSITE ) The Nocturnals features three unlikely friends: Dawn, a serious fox, Tobin, a sweet pangolin and Bismark, the loud mouthed, pint sized sugar glider. The stories all play out in their nighttime world with teamwork, friendship and humor in every adventure.
In The Mysterious Abductions, the animals form a brigade of the night after a random encounter with a blood-thirsty snake, and just in time because something is threatening their night realm. Animals are disappearing without a trace. Together with the help of a wombat, a band of coyotes and many others, Dawn, Tobin and Bismark journey to the depths of the earth in a wacky, high stakes game that will determine all of their survival.
FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT: THE NOCTURNALS: THE MYSTERIOUS ABDUCTIONS by Tracey Hecht
- After reading the tale you will have learned many characteristics of animals and their unique behavior. It’s not a listing of facts but instead are woven into the story. I now feel like an expert on animal behavior.
- The importance of friendship and family is a super theme evident throughout.
- A strong core group of characters, each with distinct personalities, should keep this series interesting especially for the intended audience.
- The book jacket hides the cover with only ‘The’ carried over. An extra bit of fun that had me smiling at the creativity.
- Surprises pop up at unexpected times. You’ll find a nocturnal brigade and a life or death hockey match as an example. There’s also a fun twist when the animals speak short foreign phrases.
FAVORITE LINES: “Since I am the bravest soul of us all,” said the sugar glider, “I shall gallantly remain in this tree – in its precarious limbs, at its most perilous pinnacle – while the two of you resolve that, um, teensy trouble down below.” He cleared his throat and stood tall. “Farethewell!”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR and ILLUSTRATOR:
Tracey Hecht is a writer and entrepreneur who has written, directed and produced for film. 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. This is her first middle grade series.
Kate Liebman is an artist who lives and works in New York City. She graduated from Yale University, contributes to the Brooklyn Rail, and has shown her work at multiple galleries. She grew up in Santa Monica, California. This is her first children’s book.
Make a comment if you have time. I enjoy reading all of them. Just click on the Comments word below.
Check the links to other Middle Grade novels over at Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.