The Monster Hypothesis

Disney-Hyperion. Dec. 2019. 304p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781368028554.
Gr 3-7–Kick Winter is used to being the new girl at school. Her intense love of science does not endear her to her new classmates nor does it seem to garner the attention of her globe-trotting, scientist parents as she’d hoped. Even her outcast cousin keeps her distance. She’s been dumped in Bohring, population 453, to stay with her Grandma Missouri at the Hollows. The Hollows sits on stilts way out in the swamps where Figgis the alligator patrols the waters. Grandma Missouri is one of the town’s two psychics and widely known to be a fake. So what possesses Kick to claim to be a psychic when introduced to her new classmates? Everyone in town is worried about the Bohring Curse, said to recur every hundred years. Kick knows there’s a scientific explanation behind this so-called curse; but she’s hard-pressed to prove it once kids start disappearing and mysterious glowing creatures start growling in the swamps. Kick is an endearing misfit prone to blowing things up and making droll observations. Four real science experiments from the story are outlined at the end.
VERDICT A rollicking, atmospheric STEM mystery.

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