Dactyl Hill Squad
Dactyl Hill Squad

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Series: Dactyl Hill Squad Vol. 1   

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Annotation: In this historical fantasy set in the summer of 1863, the Civil War rages between dinosaur-mounted armies in the South, while a group of black and brown orphans learn to fly on dactylback as they fight injustice in New York City.
Catalog Number: #170449
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 256 p.
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 1-338-26881-3 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-2935-4
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-338-26881-2 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-2935-2
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018016850
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
Magdalys Roca and her fellow orphans ride dinosaurs and solve mysteries in Civil War-era New York City.It's Manhattan, July 1863, and dinosaurs are a part of everyday life. While a group of children from the Colored Orphan Asylum are seeing a play, riots break out on the streets. Their orphanage is burned down and the other orphans kidnapped. The children find refuge in Brooklyn, learn how to ride pterodactyls, and, as the Dactyl Hill Squad, work with the Vigilance Committee to save their asylum mates from being sold South as slaves. Afro-Cuban Magdalys also has personal mysteries to solve, but nothing is easy when it involves Richard Riker, the evil, white city magistrate behind the kidnappings. Magdalys, used to fending for herself, finds it difficult to be a team player, but her newly discovered ability to communicate telepathically with dinosaurs makes her invaluable. In the end, not only does Magdalys save the day, but she eventually grows to appreciate being a part of a team. Pertinent historical social issues—still very much relevant—are woven into the story. Useful notes explain much, including the use of some modern language. Though the pacing is uneven at times and development of side characters is minimal, this action-packed historical-fantasy adventure should have wide appeal, leaving fans eager for the next installment. Dino-fueled fun with depth. (Historical fantasy. 8-14)
Publishers Weekly
In this delightful historical fantasy set in a Civil War-era New York City in which dinosaurs never went extinct, a diverse band of orphans fight to save their friends from slavers and corrupt authorities. When the Colored Orphan Asylum is burned down during the Draft Riots of 1863, Cuban-born Magdalys Roja and her friends must escape the clutches of Magistrate Richard Riker. They soon find refuge in the Dactyl Hill community of Brooklyn, where they join a growing resistance against racism and oppression. Magdalys has a secret talent: she can communicate with dinosaurs, giving her team the edge they need to rescue their fellow orphans from Riker-s plan to sell them into slavery. In this series opener, Older (Shadowshaper) weaves historical fact with dinosaur-inspired fancy to create a society in which people fly on the backs of pterodactyls, conduct naval warfare with mosasaurs, and use tyrannosaurs as destructive weapons. Rooted in real events and attitudes, and appended with facts about the time, this fast-paced adventure makes for a memorable tale in which numerous characters of color take the lead. Ages 8-12. Agent: Eddie Schneider, JABberwocky Literary Agency. (Sept.)
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 47 This epic, alt-history fantasy, set during the U.S. Civil War in July 1863, opens with a disgruntled Magdalys Roca, angry that the Colored Orphan Asylum matron demands she answer to the name Margaret Rocheford. Her immediate dilemma: Should she continue to resist the woman and miss the all-black cast performing a Shakespearean show, or should she attend with the rest of her friends? This is readers' first glimpse of the brave Afro-Cuban protagonist who lives in a dinosaur-filled world, where living in the North does not assure safety due to a booming international slave trade with the South. Unable to resist the lure of the show, Magdalys rushes to join the group, suddenly discovering a new power: the ability to communicate telepathically with the dinosaur pulling the wagon. This skill, combined with quick thinking, help her save several of the children when the theater and orphanage burn down, and to ensure they escape to the safe haven of Brooklyn. The children immediately become involved with the Vigilance Committee, serving as spies and watching Manhattan Kidnapping Club members who supply the slave trade. This first book in a series takes place within a few action-packed days, ending as the Squad prepares to leave on new mission to locate Magdalys's older brother, a Union soldier wounded in dangerous New Orleans. VERDICT This high-energy title is perfect for middle graders, with its strong female protagonist, a fresh perspective on history, helpful notes and resources, and an honest portrayal of the complex topics of race and gender. Ruth Quiroa, National Louis University, Lisle, IL
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
School Library Journal Starred Review (Wed Aug 01 00:00:00 CDT 2018)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Reading Level: 3.0
Interest Level: 3-6
"This book is true fire. It is everything I didn't even know I needed." -- Jacqueline Woodson

"This is the story that would've made me fall in love with reading when I was a kid." -- Tomi Adeyemi

It's 1863 and dinosaurs roam the streets of New York as the Civil War rages between raptor-mounted armies down South. Magdalys Roca and her friends from the Colored Orphan Asylum are on a field trip when the Draft Riots break out, and a number of their fellow orphans are kidnapped by an evil magistrate, Richard Riker.

Magdalys and her friends flee to Brooklyn and settle in the Dactyl Hill neighborhood, where black and brown New Yorkers have set up an independent community--a safe haven from the threats of Manhattan. Together with the Vigilance Committee, they train to fly on dactylback, discover new friends and amazing dinosaurs, and plot to take down Riker. Can Magdalys and the squad rescue the rest of their friends before it's too late?

Excerpted from Dactyl Hill Squad by Daniel José Older
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

"This book is true fire. It is everything I didn't even know I needed." -- Jacqueline Woodson

"This is the story that would've made me fall in love with reading when I was a kid." -- Tomi Adeyemi

It's 1863 and dinosaurs roam the streets of New York as the Civil War rages between raptor-mounted armies down South. Magdalys Roca and her friends from the Colored Orphan Asylum are on a field trip when the Draft Riots break out, and a number of their fellow orphans are kidnapped by an evil magistrate, Richard Riker.

Magdalys and her friends flee to Brooklyn and settle in the Dactyl Hill neighborhood, where black and brown New Yorkers have set up an independent community--a safe haven from the threats of Manhattan. Together with the Vigilance Committee, they train to fly on dactylback, discover new friends and amazing dinosaurs, and plot to take down Riker. Can Magdalys and the squad rescue the rest of their friends before it's too late?


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