Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Tuesday (MG) Reviews: The Mysterious Abductions by Tracey Hecht

Title: The Mysterious Abductions (The Nocturnals #1)
Author: Tracey Hecht
Publisher: Fabled Films Press
Release Date: August 19, 2016
Format Read: Hardback
Rating: 4 stars

Description from Goodreads: A flabbergastifying adventure under the stars!

"The characters are delightful and the nighttime landscape is captivating. It was just as I expected-- because the best stories always take place in the dark!"-- R.L Stine, author of GOOSEBUMPS.

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 an 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.

It's not often that I read a Middle Grade novel, but after having spoken to a lovely lady at Fabled Films about The Nocturnals, my curiosity was piqued. So of course, I picked up a copy and went to see what it was all about-- and what I found was that THE MYSTERIOUS ABDUCTIONS is a pretty stellar book for kids.

Not only is this one a quick read, but it had illustrations on each chapter heading, and loveable characters, which makes it a triple-threat in the world of MG. Tobin the pangolin had my heart from page one, but I loved how each of the characters were so diverse. Each one had specific traits that made them distinctly their own, (i.e. Dawn was quiet and thoughtful, Bismark tended to speak a little French) and that was one of the things that made this book good.

When it comes to plot, THE MYSTERIOUS ABDUCTIONS is pretty solid. There were a couple times when it lost me and I felt like I just wanted the story to move on, but looking at it from a MG point of view, I probably wouldn't have felt that way. 

And like the best of Middle Grade, there's a moral to the story: Everyone Deserves a Second Chance.
Which is a lesson that should always be reinforced, especially in children. Second chances are some of the things that we struggle with the most as humans.

The first book in The Nocturnals Series, THE MYSTERIOUS ABDUCTIONS is a four star MG story that is sure to become one of those beloved childhood sets. If you know any kids that love animals, this is the story for them! Not only does it teach about second chances, but you learn facts about many different animals as the story goes on, which was one of my favorite things about the book. This is a perfect summer read for the Middle Grader in your life.


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