Hoax for Hire

Harper. Aug. 2019. 320p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062803801.
Gr 3-7–Have you ever seen a Loch Ness Monster? The MacNeils see them every day because they pull off hoaxes, tricking people into thinking their creations are the real thing. A sea monster, Bigfoot, a yeti, a Bunyip, and more are all part of their “research.” Grayson’s family comes from a long line of cryptid hunters and adventure seekers. But the 12-year-old struggles with this life of lies about creatures that don’t exist. His older brother, Curtis, is all in, but Grayson wishes he could study photography and attend school full time. Just once, he would love to capture his adventures on film and write about them. Even though Curtis hurls rude comments at his brother daily—Grayson calls them “poetic”—the family’s commitment to one another is strong.
VERDICT Martin weaves a wonderful adventure of hoaxes, legendary monsters, and the importance of family connections. Children will appreciate the creative and difficult steps the family takes to accomplish each hoax and the surprises along the way

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