Middle Grade Book Review: Dactyl Hill Squad by Daniel José Older

Hiya everyone, it’s Sarah!

I received this as an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

38276982. sy475 Title: Dactyl Hill Squad (Dactyl Hill Squad 1) (1)

Author: Daniel José Older

Book Summary:

It is 1863 in America, the horrific institution of slavery still exists and the Civil War is in full swing. While it looks very similar to our own history, there is one major difference….DINOSAURS! In the skies, on the streets, and in the waters, dinosaurs help humans in their daily life. Magdalys and her fellow orphans, who are African Americans, ride a dinosaur to the local theater. Along the way, Magdalys finds out that her brother has been injured while fighting in the war and she is determined to travel south to find and help her brother. Before she has a chance to form a plan to get to her brother, riots breakout in the streets and Magdalys and her friends must flee to a safe house. As they are fighting for their lives, Magdalys realizes that she has a mental connection with the dinosaurs around her and she is able to give them commands that they follow. Before Magdalys can leave to get her brother, she is determined to save all of her fellow orphans from being kidnapped and sent down into slavery. Starting a new dinosquad, Magdlys is going to get to the bottom of the mystery of where the orphans are and the missing pieces of her past.

Book Review:

This felt like a fantastical/middle grade version of Dread Nation. The writing was great. I loved the characters. I didn’t think I would be interested in dinosaurs in a historical fiction novel like this, but it totally worked and had me completely invested. I will certainly be recommending this book to young readers. It perfectly blends adventure/fantasy/and our problematic past. This is a great start to a new series.



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