Menace from the Deep
Spradlin, Michael. New York: Scholastic, 2013. 9780545506717
Quantitative Reading Level: Reading Level 5.2, Lexile 770
Qualitative Reading Analysis:
I would rate this as Middle Low on the “Text Complexity: Qualitative Measure Rubric for Literary Text”. The structure of the book is quite straightforward and has a single level of complex meaning. There is some shifting of point of view from Emmett to Dr. Catalyst but it is done through chapters and is very clear. The story is contemporary and is primarily familiar language. Dr. Catalyst does speak about some cloning and genetic engineering but it is explained well in the text. The theme is easily understandable and there is not a lot of cultural or literary knowledge expected of the reader.
Emmett is not very happy when his dad’s job moves them from Montana to the Everglades. What is worse, it doesn’t make any sense. Why do they need his dad who specializes in raptors in the Everglades? What they soon discover is that there is a terrible new species on the loose in the Everglades. This species seems to be a combination of an alligator but with better eyes, the ability to climb trees, and the ability to glide. What is this new species? Dr. Catalyst, the creator of the species, wants his “pets” to get rid of invasive snakes in the Everglades so it can be restored but at what cost? What if his “pets” get out of control?
Author’s Website: http://michaelspradlin.com/index.php
Preview video is on this page: http://michaelspradlin.com/books/killer-species/index.php
This was a fun book. It had a lot of action, suspense, and danger with some science and mystery added it. I enjoyed it.
Subjects/Themes: Man against Nature, Manipulation, Environmentalism
Series Information: This is the first book in the Killer Species series. The second book is called Feeding Frenzy.
High Interest Annotation: Dr. Catalyst wants to protect the Everglades from invasive species of snakes by creating his own species of that combines alligators and raptors. But what if they get out of control?