I know this book is in the children's section, but I couldn't help myself from buying (once again, a NEW) book. I have been a fan of Starkid since middle school, so when they posted videos of Eric Kahn Gale and three of my favorite members from Starkid reading excerpts from the book, I knew I had to get it as soon as it came out. And I did.
This book follows Marlin, a boy with a severe stutter, around his father's zoo for a week following the capture of a jaguar. The jaguar is the newest addition to the zoo, but not on good terms. And this jaguar is not just any jaguar, he is a jaguar with magical powers. He gives Marlin the ability to talk to animals, which isn't as wonderful as it sounds all the time. Sure, he helps solve problems around the zoo with his new-found ability, but he has trouble sleeping and carrying out tasks he normally wouldn't have a problem doing. Gale shows us that, sure, the power to talk to animals is cool but it's not all it's cracked up to be.
The climax to the story is very clear and very exhilarating. However, the ending wasn't the best. This is, however, a children's story and they might think the ending is cool, but I can't help but wonder why a parent is (SPOILERS) letting their youngest child ride off into the South American jungle on the back of a magical jaguar.
But maybe that's just me.
However, this book is a wonderful read for younger teens (middle school aged) because there are some themes that might be harder for the elementary aged kids to grasp. I did thoroughly enjoy this book, and it was a nice escape from growing-up world.