A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
A lot of science fiction, but also real science, as the kids do a lot of online research to figure out what animals their new powers come from. Readers will pick up a lot of interesting detail about assorted creatures -- and how their particular strengths might be really useful to a human.
Strong messages of family, teamwork, and courage, as well as clever thinking, hard work, and empathy.
Positive Role Models
12-year-old protagonist Charlie has a lot to deal with, between animal superpowers and trying to rescue her kidnapped father from a mad scientist, but she rises to the challenge and also bonds with her mom and joins her to protect her little brother. Her friends Mac and Maria (with powers of their own) show a lot of support, resourcefulness, and teamwork. They don't always do the "right" thing (e.g., they sneak out of the house at night and jailbreak a phone), but adults tend to agree later that they made the right decision. Supporting adults do their best to protect the kids and rescue the kidnapped scientists.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of scary stuff, including ninja-suited monsters, adults and kids kidnapped and held prisoner, and a mad-scientist plot to destroy humanity. A kid with family issues suggests that she pretend the soccer ball she kicks is her dad's head. There's also a lot of slashing, stabbing, bashing, and other mayhem as the kids, in superpower mode, battle human-animal hybrid villains. It's pretty comic-bookish, but still might be a bit much for very sensitive readers.
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Several instances of "crap," plus references to butts and (animal) poop.
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Products & Purchases
iPad and iPhone devices and FaceTime save the day more than once, but it's more scene-setting than marketing. Likewise with other real-life brand names appearing occasionally, including Subaru.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Predator vs. Prey is the second installment in best-selling author Lisa McMann's Going Wild series. Here the 12-year-old friends suddenly have animal-related superpowers, and they're pitted against a mad scientist who has not only kidnapped the dad of one the friends, he's also got a plan to destroy humanity. As the kids use their powers in many battles against half-human monsters, there's a lot of slashing, bashing, pounding, and pouncing -- but often little permanent damage, thanks to a healing superpower. Amid all this cartoonish violence, the relatable tweens show a lot of empathy, courage, resourcefulness, and determination, and strong family values and bonds rule the day. Bonus: The ethnically, culturally, and genetically diverse cast of characters is smart, responsible, ethical, and united against a nasty villain.
Is It Any Good?
Lots of fun here, as battle action, superpowers, plot twists, middle school relationship issues, and positive messages come at readers in a wild tale that races to a cliffhanger ending. Predator vs. Prey delivers cool technology, exotic animal lore, and brain power as three tweens (plus a classmate they're not so sure about) use their new abilities. This second suspenseful Going Wild installment is sure to leave fans eager for the third.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.