Tuesday, February 3, 2015

My Review of Dinosaur Boy

Here's a description of the book from Sourcebooks:

Everyone knows the dinosaur gene skips a generation.

So it isn’t a complete surprise when Sawyer sprouts spikes and a tail before the start of fifth grade. After all, his grandfather was part stegosaurus.

Despite the Principal’s Zero Tolerance Policy, Sawyer becomes a bully magnet, befriended only by Elliot aka “Gigantor” and the weird new girl. When the bullies start disappearing, Sawyer is relieved—until he discovers a secret about the principal that’s more shocking than Dino DNA.

The bullies are in for a galactically horrible fate…and it’s up to Sawyer and his friends to rescue them.

My Rating


My Review

Cory Putman Oakes's debut, The Veil, demonstrated a great deal of imagination and creativity. And wow - did she ever find an awesome outlet for all that promise in the MG (middle grade) category with her second release, Dinosaur Boy!

I'm the kind of girl who loves a good romance, and I prefer my stories with at least some hint of that. The age level of the main characters in Dinosaur Boy, though, means that the relationships portrayed are limited to friendships, familial ties, and teacher- and principal-student interactions. You know what? I still got completely caught up in the story and immensely enjoyed myself!

Right from the get-go, the far-out premise of a boy who finds out he's part-dinosaur when he starts growing a tail and spinal plates had me smiling and laughing. There's sort of a dry humor to Putman's style - a wryness that makes the absurd situations poor Sawyer finds himself in so hilarious and yet still relatable. Sawyer is a wonderful character who learns a great deal about confidence, loyalty, and convictions, all while navigating the start of a new school year as a salad-loving hybrid.

And that's not even the strangest part. But I'll let you discover the other out-there twists and turns for yourself...

Just know that this is an entertaining read for a wide audience. Anyone who's ever felt like a misfit could appreciate the struggles of Sawyer, his very tall friend Elliot, and the new girl who likes to hide inside her hoodie. Full of LOL moments, surprises, and just the right amount of heart, Dinosaur Boy is a brilliant sophomore story from Oakes.

*With thanks to Sourcebooks and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

About the Author

Sometime around sixth grade, Cory was forced to face the sad truth that being a heroine in a Tamora Pierce, Robin McKinley, or Madeleine L’Engle book was not, in fact, a valid future career choice. But since she thought it might be almost as much fun to grow up to be Tamora Pierce, Robin McKinley, or Madeleine L’Engle, she decided to do just that. She’s still working on it.

Cory’s path to being an author did not go in a straight line. There was the whole “maybe-I’ll-be-a-psychologist” thing (just on the side, until the writing took off) which led her to UCLA and an eventual B.A. in Psychology. Then there was the “maybe-I’ll-be-a-lawyer” thing (just on the side, until the writing took off) which led her to Cornell Law School, a J.D., and a year of working as a litigation associate at Sullivan & Cromwell. There was also a brief “maybe-I’ll-teach-law” phase (just on the . . . well, you know) where she taught business law to undergraduates at Texas State University.

But the writing thing was a bug that she just couldn’t shake, and she officially made her sixth grade dream come true in 2011, with her debut young adult novel, THE VEIL. Cory’s debut middle grade, DINOSAUR BOY, is due out from Sourcebooks in February of 2015. Its sequel (tentatively entitled DINOSAUR BOY SAVES MARS) will be out the following year.

Cory lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, Mark (who, luckily for all concerned, decided to stick with the whole “maybe-I’ll-be-a-lawyer” thing), their two kids, and their pets. In addition to writing, Cory enjoys running, cooking, and hanging out with her family. She is proud to be represented by Sarah LaPolla of Bradford Literary Agency.

Cory can often be found on Twitter and Facebook. Visit her website HERE.


Enter to win a copy of Dinosaur Boy using the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway ends February 28, 2015, and is hosted by the publisher.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Amy C said...

I guess since my son is fascinated by the TRex, I better go with that one.

Jack said...

This sounds like such a fun book!! I am going to keep my eye out for it.

Amber Stokes said...


I found this to be a really fun read, and I hope your son does, too! The main character is part stegosaurus, but all dinosaurs are still pretty cool to boys, right? :)


Amber Stokes said...


It really is! Such an enjoyable read, even for those of us who aren't really in the middle-grade audience. ;) I think you'd get a kick out of it!


Emily Ann Putzke said...

Looks like a fun read!!

Amber Stokes said...


I definitely thought it was! Just all-around cute and funny and really unique. Such a clever premise. :)

Thanks for stopping by!