Dactyl Hill Squad by Daniel Jose Older
**We picked up a copy of this at BookCon this year and want to thank DJ and Scholastic for the opportunity to read and review early. This book comes out on September 11th and you can get it here**
What I drank prior: A bottle and a half of wine. I’m gonna hate myself tomorrow. (Editor’s Note: I do hate myself today)
Spoiler-free Overview: A MIDDLE GRADE NOVEL SET IN THE CIVIL WAR BUT WITH DINOSAURS!!! This is not a joke. It’s legit, and I LOVED IT. Magdalys is an orphan, a Cuban colored orphan, in NYC, in the middle of the civil war. Black folk, including children, ad being kidnapped. Mags figures out she can sorta kinda maybe telepathicaly speak to dinos. She and her squad get tangled up in some serious shit.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: THIS WAS SO GREAT! I ate it up.
Characters: For a middle grade single POV story, the characters were pretty well rounded. We’re reminded regularly that these are children and they’re going to have a child’s reaction to certain things. Magdalys is a fiesty thing and i love it.
Plot: Really fast actualy. I think thw whole book takes place over the course of three days? Literally had no chance to drag. There were some confusing parts I had to read a couple times to get it, but that’s because I wasn’t paying attention and I’m dumb.
Writing Style: What I loved about DJ’s writing style is that he explains what we need to know without sounding condescending. As a late-(SUPER LATE)-20-something, I know nothing about dinosaurs, and I am embarrassingly undereducated about what happened in NYC to people of color during the Civil War. DJ educated me without making me feel like an idiot.
World Building: DINOS!!!
What to pair it with: Boozie egg nog =) Cause… they hatch from eggs. GET IT?!
Rating: 4.5/5 Shots
Until next time, we remain forever drunkenly yours,