When Indian workers begin to disappear from an expedition into the Amazon, fifteen-year-old Jake fears that his father, a bat biologist, is in great danger. Against his dad's wishes, Jake flies to Brazil and joins his father's research team, working high in the canopy of a remote stretch of the rain forest. Unfortunately, Jake's first climb up the rope bridges and suspended walkways of the dense forest leads him to discover the mutilated bodies of the missing Indians-and triggers a terrifying, explosive attack by an unknown winged beast. For a while the biologists and workers hunt the savage beast, but when Jake's father is attacked, it becomes clear that the hunters are now the hunted. Jake realizes that it is up to him to find some way of stopping the nightmarish creature before it returns to slaughter the rest of the expedition.
Summary taken from Goodreads.com
Length: 144 pages (Hardcover)
Source: Toronto Public Library
Publication Date: July 1st 2001
Back when this book was first published I must have read it half a ddozen times and Paul Zindel has become one of my favourite childhood authors. His books were spooky enough for me to want to read over and over again without getting tired of them.
Since It's been a decade since I read this one though I really wanted to read it again. Sometimes I just get struck by the feeling that I have to read some childhood favourites every once in awhile. It's nice to sit back, relax and let nostalgia take over.
I really enjoyed reading this book again. I thought that despite all the new books out on the market that this one can still stand up to the competition though I believe it is now out of print. It's got adventure, death and a monsterously large bat that used to be a human that kills people! What more could a kid (boys especially) want in a book?
The only thing I didn't like about the book was Jake's father he really ticked me off. I didn't care for the way he spoke and treated his son. Though Jake is 15 he is still a child and I think that by not even welcoming his son or not even giving him so much as a hello hug really irked me. However I can see how this adds to the story and readers can connect to that sort of relationship if they infact have that sort of strained and forced relationship with their parent(s).
I highly recommend this as a must read for kids 10 - 12 years of age. Especially young boys because they'll really enjoy this story of one boy's triumph over the evil giant bat of the Amazon.
★ ★ ★ ★