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Publisher's Note:

After their parents are lost in an accident, thirteen-year old twins Grace and Marty are whisked away to live with their Uncle Wolfe-an uncle that they didn't even know they had! The intimidating Uncle Wolfe is an anthropologist who has dedicated his life to finding cryptids, mysterious creatures believed to be long extinct.…

Cryptid Hunters

by Roland Smith

Overall Book Review:

Marty and Grace, unlikely twins, are thirteen, but they don’t look or act like each other. Marty is a practical joker and a mischief maker; Grace is fearful and scholarly.

When their parents are lost in the Amazon rain forest, they’re sent to live with an uncle they didn’t even know they had.

He’s a cryptid hunter, someone who searches for rare species like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster. Grace thinks he’s a lunatic, until she and Marty end up alone in the African jungle.

Marty and Grace don’t just discover the truth about the legendary creature Mokélé-mbembé, they’ll learn the truth about themselves, their uncle Wolfe, and about the source of Grace’s nightmares.

The book has a lengthy set up, so readers must become intrigued by Marty and Grace and their new life with their mysterious uncle Wolfe. But at page 138, the story becomes much more exciting as Marty and Grace are accidentally dropped from a plane into the Congo.

They’ll encounter bad guys intent on kidnapping Grace, blood-sucking leeches, crocodiles, and most exciting of all, they’ll find the remains of Mokélé-mbembé and some of its eggs that may hatch out live dinosaurs.

If you have a reluctant reader, you may want to read the first 138 pages and just tell your reader the story up to that point, so they can jump in at the exciting part and read the rest of the book.

Reading Level: 5.6, range 3.7-7.0. 

Also good for reluctant readers.

Of interest to boys and girls.

This review has been acquired and adapted from

Content Analysis:

 This review was acquired from on May 15, 2014 and was not completed using Compass Book Ratings’ standardized checklist.  Nevertheless, it contains useful content information which is included here.  The overall number ratings have been approximated based on this information.

3 G*d

Marty and Grace’s parents go missing after helicopter crash in Amazon, helicopter burned, pilot dead; as five-year-olds, caught mother in a pit they dug to catch bear; Marty thinks he’s being attacked by Bigfoot, sharks, giant squid—not true; fear that’s Marty’s drowning; anthropologist’s mother an acrobat who died from a fall, not graphic; claim that someone knows “106 ways to kill a man with her bare hands”; Grace fears broken bones, being pushed down an escalator, smothering; Marty and Grace fall from airplane with cargo drop, not hurt; Marty remembers that crocodiles keep their victims underwater till they can “tear off and gulp” their meat; Marty slaps Grace to wake her up from faint; crocodile chases Marty, doesn’t catch him; mention of revolution in Congo; Grace tells Marty he could die if his wounds from leeches turn septic; mention of Wolfe losing his leg; mention of leopard with dead prey “still dripping blood”; gorilla goes berserk in bad guys’ camp, slams man into tree, one man severely injured, another bad guy wants to kill him, so he won’t have to listen to him moaning anymore; Marty cuts off snake’s head; mention that dinosaur killed Wolfe’s wife; implication that Wolfe’s going to be murdered; Grace remembers people screaming, explosion, someone “yelling in agony,” then remembers events in more detail—her mother being killed by dinosaur, her father’s leg bitten off, quite graphic, dinosaurs killed, incident mentioned three times; man threatens to kill dog; details of injured man—”infected lacerations,” swollen head, ear almost off, right foot swollen and likely broken; bad guy threatens he’ll kill others; Grace hears bad guys planning to kill Wolfe and anthropologist, mentioned twice, Marty warns Wolfe; Marty hits bad guy on the head, Marty shot at, threatened, Wolfe shot at; Marty covers dinosaur carcass with fuel, sets it on fire, it explodes; grandfather claims Wolfe killed his daughter; Wolfe threatens bad guys with gun, Pygmy threatens them with arrow; woman threatens them with automatic weapon, throws bad guy to the ground, handcuffs him, tosses pilot out of helicopter (when it’s on the ground).

Marty says he’d still be sweating in the jungle even if he were stark naked; question of whether dinosaur eggs have been fertilized.

Mature Subject Matter:


Alcohol / Drug Use:

Mention of men smoking cigars, some disapproval; Grace uses sleeping pills to put bad guys to sleep; Wolfe uses tranquilizer gun on bad guys; mention of cigarette smoke, accepted.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

On May 15, 2014 Compass Book Ratings acquired Many reviews were acquired from and these reviews were not completed using Compass Book Ratings’ standardized checklist. Nevertheless, the reviews contain useful content information which is included.