The Endangereds

HarperCollins/Harper. Sept. 2020. 352p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062894168.
Gr 4-7–Can you imagine an orangutan that can program a plane to fly, a narwhal that can hack computer systems, and a pangolin that can invent almost anything electronic? After being captured by animal conservationists, a polar bear named Nukilik finds herself among this hyperintelligent animal crew, The Endangereds. While Nukilik oscillates between finding her mother and joining The Endangereds, she is quickly swept into a mission involving programmed prairie dogs, two trusted ferrets, and a kooky farmer. Will Nukilik fight to support all animals or seek solace in finding her own way back to her arctic home? Cousteau’s theme of animal conservation roars loudly in this fact-filled science fiction and adventure hybrid. This first book in a potential series attempts to weave together a multilayered plot, which lags at times, but readers will surely cheer on the courageous Endangereds as they work to protect their wild counterparts. Small tidbits of facts and characteristics of the different endangered species are sprinkled through the text, instigating further research from young animal enthusiasts. Some tween readers may dismiss the fantastical elements such as animals going “hyper” and exhibiting human traits like talking, while others will quickly get sucked into this alternate reality. With chapters alternating perspectives among animal members of The Endangereds, the action is divided, providing readers a glimpse of what each animal is facing during the action-packed mission.
VERDICT Recommended for purchase, and will attract animal lovers and techies alike.

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