The Case of the Cursed Dodo (The Endangered Files #1) by Jake G. Panda
Published Dec 15, 2014
Jake G. Panda is a private detective at The Last Resort, a hotel for endangered animals. He gets a call from his friend, the Professor (a Himalayan hare), asking for his help. The Professor has uncovered a mysterious suitcase with a jade dodo inside when he suddenly goes missing. Jake is on the case and out to find his friend. He quickly becomes involved with the Underground Resistance movement against poachers, a group of sketchy rats, and a couple of mysterious dames. Recommended for ages 9-13, 3-1/2 stars.
I rather enjoyed this quick read. I was curious how the author was going to turn classic film noir into a book for kids because the genre is kind of gritty and full of alcohol swigging, which isn’t very kid friendly, but I think he managed it with this “jungle noir”. I personally didn’t like the whole “book pretending to be a screenplay” thing, but it did its job setting the stage. While I’m not sure most kids would get all the jokes, overall, I think the book really worked and would definitely draw a child’s attention in. Plus there were all the endangered animals, most of whom I’d never heard of and found myself browsing Wikipedia whilst reading it. Maybe if it was being read by a class, you could do a nonfiction tie-in after reading it and get the kids to report on one of the endangered or extinct animals. I look forward to reading more books in the series!
I received a copy of the book from the author, in exchange for my honest review.