“Captain” Iggy and his little brother Oz (The Wizard) are minding their own business– or maybe not– when they discover that some old plastic dinosaurs have come to life! Just when they are wondering what to do about them, the dinos escape! Whenever the adults are around, the dinos play dead- so getting adults to believe them is useless. In the meantime, the dinos are running wild and causing them all kinds of trouble. Iggy and Oz and their friend Jenn have to navigate the cranky neighbor lady, the neighborhood bully, and all sorts of unpleasant obstacles. In the end, they will have to decide between telling the truth and lying to their parents.
In the end, they will have to decide between telling the truth and lying to their parents.
The wacky narration style of this book was delightful. They are written as Iggy’s journal entries – except that Oz sometimes sneaks in and writes in his journal to tell us what an overactive imagination Iggy has and what details he got wrong. I expected Oz to tell us the dinos aren’t real, they are just in Iggy’s imagination– well, not so much. I was wrong, hilariously wrong. Kids will relate to Iggy’s struggles, especially that pesky smart mouth little brother. One of the things that I liked the most about this book is that the adults are not stupid. Iggy’s parents are smart, involved, and hold Iggy and Oz responsible for their misdeeds, of which there are many.
One of the things that I liked the most about this book is that the adults are not stupid. Iggy’s parents are smart, involved, and hold Iggy and Oz responsible for their misdeeds, of which there are many.
Though the Christian faith is not a consistently present theme, Iggy and Oz’s parents are church-going Christians and the faith they have taught their kids is a prominent factor in the main character’s arc. The kids wrestle with the practical application of what they have been taught, and weigh it against the fear of punishment. The children’s parents, though Christian, aren’t perfect and don’t always make the right choices. I thought it was a great portrayal of what kids in Christian families regularly live. I particularly enjoyed the portrayal of Iggy’s relationship with the bully, which is complex and forces him to apply many of the things he learned in church. Like most bullies in real life, the bully has his own story and even some good qualities.
One of my regrets about this book is that I don’t consider it appropriate for children younger than ten. One of the subplots is Iggy’s crush on Jenn, a topic that Oz loves to use to embarrass him. The violence is low enough for grade school kids, and they would enjoy its wackiness, but the romance subplot puts it firmly in the middle grade section. It also was occasionally hard to follow. Overall, this was a great book that I think your middle grade kids will enjoy and read again and again.
Recommended for : Kids age 10 and up.
Heat: Iggy wonders what it would be like to kiss Jenn. Oz teases him with “Iggy and Jenn, sitting in a tree…”
Violence: Scary dinosaurs, but no one gets hurt.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book with a request for an honest review.
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