Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 14 to 18
- Grade: 9 to 12
Romeo and Juliet meets Indiana Jones in this epic tale that combines the hunt for a dinosaur skeleton, a mysterious legend, bitter rivalries and a forbidden romance
Somewhere in the Badlands, embedded deep in ancient rock and sand, lies the skeleton of a massive dinosaur, larger than anything the late nineteenth-century world has ever seen. Some legends call it the Black Beauty, with its bones as black as ebony, but to seventeen-year-old Samuel Bolt, it’s the “rex,” the king dinosaur that could put him and his struggling paleontologist father in the history books.
But Samuel and his father aren’t the only ones after the rex. For Rachel Cartland this find could be her ticket to a different life, one where her love of science and adventure isn’t just relegated to books. And if she can’t prove herself on this expedition with her professor father, the only adventures she may have to look forward to are marriage or spinsterhood.
As their paths cross and the rivalry between their fathers becomes more intense, Samuel and Rachel are pushed closer together. Their flourishing romance is one that will never be allowed. And with both eyeing the same prize, it’s a romance that seems destined for failure. Can they join forces to find their quarry, and with it a new life together, or will old enmities and prejudices keep them from both the rex and each other?
About the author
KENNETH OPPEL is the author of numerous books for young readers. His award-winning Silverwing trilogy has sold over a million copies worldwide and was adapted into an animated TV series and stage play. Airborn won a Michael L. Printz Honor Book Award and the Governor General’s Literary Award; its sequel, Skybreaker, was a New York Times bestseller and was named Children’s Novel of the Year by The Times (London). He is also the author of Half Brother, This Dark Endeavor, Such Wicked Intent and The Boundless. Born on Vancouver Island, he has lived in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, and in England and Ireland, and now resides in Toronto with his wife and children.
JON KLASSEN is the author-illustrator of This Is Not My Hat, winner of the Caldecott Medal and the Kate Greenaway Medal, and I Want My Hat Back, a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book. He is also the illustrator of Cats' Night Out, which won the Governor General’s Award; The Dark, a finalist for the same award; House Held Up by Trees, a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book; Extra Yarn, a Caldecott Honor Book; and Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, also a Caldecott Honor Book. He created the concept art for Coraline, the stop-motion animated film based on the book by Neil Gaiman. Originally from Niagara Falls, he now lives in Los Angeles.
- Unknown, Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People Finalist
- Unknown, OLA Best Bets
- Unknown, CBC Best Book of the Year
- Unknown, White Pine Award Finalist
Praise for THE NEST “This quiet yet emotionally haunting book thoughtfully explores themes of safety, anxiety, and the beauty of the imperfect . . . [An] affecting middle grade psychological thriller.” — School Library Journal (starred review)
Praise for THE NEST “A masterpiece, and deeply heartening proof that two of our country’s best artists are continuing to take risks and grow artistically, even at the height of their careers.” - Globe and Mail — The Globe and Mail
Praise for THE NEST “A tight and focused story about the dangers of wishing things back to normal at any cost . . . the emotional resonance is deep, and Steve’s precarious interactions with the honey-voiced queen make one’s skin crawl.” — Horn Book (starred review)
“Oppel offers an exciting and nuanced portrait of an era when great discoveries were lit by the desert sun, not the glow of a computer screen. A time ‘where everything was being broken down, and built anew.’” — New York Times
“Kenneth Oppel ventures into a new territory with his latest work, but does so with all the elegance and artistry that he has brought to each work in his oeuvre.” — Canadian Children's Book News
“A spirit of adventure permeates this fast-paced novel by the award-winning Oppel. ... Suspense, romance, and the excitement of discovery make this Western thoroughly enjoyable.” — Kirkus Reviews
“The narrative is driven by themes of boundless scientific curiosity and competitiveness, which envelopes even the young lovers. ... a novel of discovery, both scientific and personal.” — Quill & Quire
“A thrilling adventure as well as a tender love story, Every Hidden Thing uses history and romance to stir the hearts of a new generation.” — CM Magazine
“Oppel’s plot pulls readers along breathlessly and his style perfectly straddles readable and literary….it’s a solid, original adventure. Reign on, King Ken.” — The Globe and Mail
“An entertaining, thoughtful - and sometimes downright funny - yarn.” — Toronto Star