Parents' Guide to

Dactyl Hill Squad

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Civil War-era kids ride dinos in New York in curious mashup.

Dactyl Hill Squad Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 2+

Based on 1 parent review

age 2+

This title has:

Too much consumerism

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

It's a shame that a book with so fascinating a premise -- African American kids astride dinos in Civil War-era NYC -- is so poorly set up and executed. The many glossaries in the back of the book may hold more interest for readers, mostly because the writing is clear, the way it should be for middle graders. It seems like the story begins three chapters in. We know just a little about Magdalys and almost nothing about the kids that will be the Dactyl Hill Squad. And when the big rescue scene jumps hastily to "we're chimney sweep spies now" there will be more head-scratching. So much doesn't get developed. It allows for more action -- there's a whole lot of that -- but it's grounded in very little and, again, hard to follow, like a sketch instead of play-by-play.

Kids may still take a lot away from Dactyl Hill Squad, though. They'll get a new perspective on the Civil War era, a few dinosaur facts, and a great heroine who learns to embrace her talents and take pride in them like all kids should. Here's hoping the writing in the sequel gets a much finer polish.

Book Details

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