Dinosorcerers: Extinction Stinks!

If you’ve ever considered what might have happened to the dinosaurs as a result of the earth-shattering meteor that ended their lives, this book will turn all of those considerations upside down. Nine-year-old Charlie Appleday cares more about dinosaurs than school, and when he unexpectedly finds himself in the middle of a magical quest to reunite one dinosaur with his lost brethren, Charlie can’t help but accept. Humorous and well-written, this is a delightful story for newer middle grade readers with a love for all things dinosaur. Please see my full review below!

Charlie Appleday loves dinosaurs, and he knows just about everything there is to know about them. But that does not stop him from impatiently awaiting the opening of the new dinosaur exhibit as his local museum. When he discovers that the exhibit is inexplicably undergoing renovations, however, he does what any self-respecting nine year-old-boy would do: he ducks under the velvet rope to see what he will find on the other side. What he learns is more than he ever expected, and Charlie winds up on a quest that will take him both across the universe and back in time.

This lighthearted middle grade story is well-suited to newer middle grade readers with an interest in dinosaurs. Told through short chapters and a straightforward plot, independent readers will be able to easily navigate the narrative on their own. Facts about dinosaurs are incorporated throughout the story, including their scientific names and important details about them. These additions may seem inordinately specific to some readers, but dinosaur enthusiasts will appreciate the depth and breadth of information presented throughout the narrative.

While STEM facts and knowledge anchor this story in reality, it simultaneously requires a suspension of disbelief to absorb the more exciting parts of the narrative. Not only did the dinosaurs not all die out when a meteor struck the earth, but trained dinosorcerers helped some creatures escape to a hospitable planet several light years away. Though not everything is explained in the story as far as the details of the magic involved or how dinosorcerers came to be, this is nonetheless an intriguing and engaging tale for middle grade readers.

Readers who are transitioning to longer middle grade novels will appreciate the complexity of this tale relative to its length. While humor and occasional illustrations make the book more accessible than it otherwise might be, it is still filled with concepts that will leave readers considering the extinction of the dinosaurs in a completely novel way. This story has a satisfying ending on its own, but it is likewise designed to lead into subsequent installments, which readers will await with enthusiasm. Middle grade readers who love dinosaurs and magic will find much enjoyment in this delightful book.

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