Cryptid Hunters Author(s) Roland Smith Cover artist Gail Doobinin Country United States Language English Genre(s) Fantasy, Adventure Publisher Hyperion Books Publication date 27 Dec 2004 Media type Print (Paperback) Pages 348 pp (first edition, paperback) ISBN 0-439-79923-6 OCLC Number 61772218 Followed by Tentacles
Cryptid Hunters is a 2004 novel by Roland Smith about twins living with their uncle who fall out of a plane into the Congolese jungle. Their uncle comes searching for them, but his enemy Noah Blackwood is in the same jungle, and their uncle must get to them before Blackwood does. Cryptid Hunters was on the 2007-2008 Lone Star Reading List and took 3rd Place in the Missouri Association of School Librarians' Mark Twain Readers Award. Prior to Smith's 2009 visit to the Talawanda Middle School in Oxford, Ohio, its students read Cryptid Hunters. Smith gave a lecture on the book to a literature class and signed copies.
Twins Marty and Grace O'Hara are thirteen years old. Marty is athletic, artistic, a great cook, a troublemaker, and has a photographic memory. Grace is quiet, observant and smart.
The twins were in a boarding school before they go to their uncle's island-Cryptos Island to live with him because their parents were missing in a helicopter crash. Grace does not like to go, but Marty does (he had been fed up by the school.). A Mokélé-mbembé egg found by Dr Laurel Lee was got by Blackwood when she bring to him for analyzing, but Lee was able to break in to Blackwood's GeneArk lab and steal it back, leaving no time to find her notes.
They decide that since Masalito and the Mokélé-mbembé is mentioned in her field notes, they must go to the Congo and get to Lake Télé before Blackwood does, and discuss that the children will have to go back to boarding school.
Grace looks up Mokélé-mbembé, thinking it is a rare bird, when she finds out it is actually a dinosaur. She tells Marty, leaving out the part that they'll have to go back to school.
Grace later learns that Wolfe sometimes wears a prosthesis, but will not tell her how he lost the leg. Marty wants to go to the Congo with Wolfe, but Grace doesn't.
Marty also finds out that Ted Bronson, who works at QAQ, a lab on the island, hasn't gone outside in over 3 years. The workers eventually get the engine fixed on the plane, and Wolfe and Dr. Lee decide they must go immediately, and the plane is to take them down to the Congo, and take the kids back to Switzerland.
While on the plane, Grace finds out that Marty had let Bo out of her cage. They go down the chute, and discover than Bo and PD had gone down it. As Grace tries to retrieve Bo, Marty suggests giving Bo a banana to lure Bo back up. As Grace peels a banana, Bo takes the whole bunch, and goes farther down the chute. Suddenly, the chute automatically opens, and they fall from 18,000 feet in the air towards the ground, and Grace bumps her head and faints in fear.
He grabs everyone, and the parachute deploys. He falls near a crocodile-infested lake, and Grace drifts away into the jungle. He uses his Gizmo to locate Grace, PD, and Bo. Meanwhile, the people on the plane discover that Marty, Grace, Bo, and PD are missing. His worried uncle contacts Marty on the Gizmo, and he explains what happened. His uncle explains, because of his location, that it will take at least a week to get to them.
Meanwhile, Grace wakes up, thinking that it's just a vivid dream and will be over with soon. Later, Marty and Grace meet, and Marty tells her it's not a dream. However, Grace suddenly becomes brave and calmly accepts the revelation that she had encountered her worst fears in real life. They wander across the jungle, while Marty is constantly bitten by bugs and leeches, but Grace only has a few bites. Luther and the others back at the boarding school realize Marty and Grace have not come back.
Marty emails him and explains the situation. Meanwhile, Wolfe and Dr. Laurel Lee are in a Humvee, crossing rivers, going towards Lake Télé. The twins arrive near the lake. Wolfe has a teleconversation with Marty explaining that he needs to avoid Butch McCall, Blackwood's number one guy, and how to use the molimo to call Masalito, as he always hides out of view.
Meanwhile, Butch McCall's camp is ruined by a Silverback gorilla, while it bumped into one of his men while relieving himself. The children forget what Wolfe had said about Butch and the molimo. Butch sees the children and spies on them, sending information back to Blackwood. Blackwood tells him to find the girl, and that the Mokélé-mbembé is no longer a priority. He steals the Gizmo while Marty is asleep, and Marty thinks he misplaced it. Eventually, he and Grace remember this place from her dream, and finds a key. They, along with Bo and PD, climb into the treehouse. Worried, and attempting to check on them, Uncle Wolfe sends the Gizmo an email, which is actually received by Butch. He pretends to be Marty and sends back an email. Wolfe later sends them an email, which again is received by Butch. He tells them to lock the doors, never to leave the skyhouse, and pull up the ladder. Meanwhile, Marty goes to retrieve the pack from below, and makes Grace promise not to go outside except maybe for a bath.
When Grace tries to open the door, she slips and is knocked unconscious by the knob. Butch and his men climb up to the treehouse, takes the tag off Grace, and kidnapps her. When Marty comes back, he sees no sign of Grace. When Wolfe checks back on Marty and Grace with the Bo cam, he only sees Marty and thinks Grace must be out of the range of Bo cam.
Marty blows the molimo, and Masalito comes in the treehouse. They don't understand each other, but Marty mentions the molimo and Masalito's name and draws pictures of what has happened to him and Grace. Marty realizes Butch must have kidnapped Grace. As Grace wakes up, Butch tells her half-lies and says that he is there to help her.
They both realize that Grace is actually the daughter of Rose, Blackwood's daughter, and Wolfe, and that Wolfe had handed her to her cousin Marty's parents, the O'Haras. Grace realizes her nightmare was actually a memory, and that in it, Mokele-mbembe kills Rose and tears off Wolfe's leg. This is revealed to Dr. Lee by Wolfe while outside trying to sleep. Later, Wolfe realizes that the emails didn't seem right, as Marty had never previously called the Gizmo a "pocket computer", as said in the email.
Marty and Masalito go to find Grace, and Wolfe and Laurel see a note through the Bo cam in the Treehouse. They also find out that Butch's men had been sent to kill Wolfe and Laurel. Soon, Wolfe and Laurel take off their tags and hang them in a tree, to avoid detection by Butch. After Grace gives first-aid to the man mauled by the gorilla, she drugs the food of Butch and his men. They fall asleep, and Grace escapes. Grace tries to escape but the man didn't fall asleep and wakes the other men and Butch. Butch follows Grace.
Marty attack Butch, and Marty steals his boot and takes the Gizmo, and throws the boot into a crocodile-infested swamp. Then he catches up to Grace. Later, Marty and Grace go into a tunnel in the trees and see the body of Mokélé-mbembé. Wolfe tells them to set it on fire, so that Blackwood cannot retrieve its DNA. Marty and Grace find the eggs in the nest of Mokélé-mbembé, and take them back to the Skyhouse.
Then Blackwood and Butch (who retrieved his spare boots) arrived at the cleaning right down the treehouse. Marty has gone upstairs, Grace is too tired to do so. So Marty decides to use the elevator which he has found when he was searching for Grace in the Skyhouse. Butch tied Grace up, about put her into Blackwood's helicopter, and want to get Marty and the eggs. Marty slides away after he realizes it. With one egg and throwing a faked egg (which is a ball filled with motor oil), he forced Butch and Blackwood to hand out Grace. In the meantime, Dr. Lee and Wolfe has arrived at the cleaning. With Blackwood's helicopter, they fly out of the cleaning.
The following states and organizations have placed Cryptid Hunters on their suggested reading list:
- Cryptid Hunters makes the 2008 Nene recommended reading list of Hawaii.
- 2007 - 2008 Mark Twain List
- 2007 McDaniel College "Black-Eyed Susan Books" Packet
- 2006 - 2007 Texas Lone Star List
- 2006 - 2007 Frederick County Public Schools
- 2009 - 2010 Young Hoosier Book Award
- 2007 - 2008 South Carolina Junior Book Award
- 2007 Colorado Children's Book Award
- 2006 - 2007 Sunshine State Young Readers Award winner
- 2007 Nevada Young Readers Award winner
- 2006 - 2007 Black-eyed Susan Award
- ^ a b "Lone Star Reading List". City of Austin - APL. austinlibrary.com. http://www.austinlibrary.com/reading/youth_lone_2006.cfm. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- ^ "2007-2008 Mark Twain Readers Award Winners". Missouri Association of School Librarians. maslonline.org. http://www.maslonline.org/?page=MT_200708_winners. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- ^ a b "Talawanda School District (Author Roland Smith Visits TMS section)". Talawanda School District. alawanda.net. September 29, 2009. http://www.talawanda.net/tms/. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- ^ "2008 Recommended Book List". Nēnē. nene.k12.hi.us. http://nene.k12.hi.us/booklist/booklist08.html. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- ^ "Reading Challenge". Eldon R-I School District. eldon.k12.mo.us. http://www.eldon.k12.mo.us/EMS/Media%20Center/Challenge.htm. Retrieved 15 June 2010. [dead link]
- ^ "2007 Black-Eyed Susan Books Packet". McDaniel College. mcdaniel.edu. http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGdGzk_BZMhXsAsDpXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEzOG8yZmpiBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMwRjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkA0Y3NTRfMTE2/SIG=13d802leb/EXP=1276661348/**http%3a//www2.mcdaniel.edu/slm/student/griebenowt/TGportfolio/documents/BES%2520Samples.pdf. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- ^ "WKMS Suggested 2006-2007 Reading Page". Frederick County Public Schools. fcps.org. http://schools.fcps.org/WKMS/libmedia/reading/reading0607.htm. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- ^ "Young Hoosier Book Award". Indiana Library Federation. ilfonline.org. http://www.ilfonline.org/index.php?submenu=yhba&src=gendocs&ref=YoungHoosierBookAward&category=Programs_Awards. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- ^ "South Carolina Junior Book Awards". Clover School District. clover2.k12.sc.us. http://www.clover2.k12.sc.us/teacherwebs/wrights/south_carolina_junior_book_award.htm. Retrieved 15 June 2010. [dead link]
- ^ "Hughes Academy Media Center". Greenville County Schools. greenville.k12.sc.us. http://www.greenville.k12.sc.us/hughes/depts/jnrbkawd.asp. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- ^ a b "Children's Literature Reviews". Children's Literature Comprehensive Database. clcd.odyssi.com. http://clcd.odyssi.com/cgi-bin/sirsi/search/r?dbs+child:@term+@isbn+0786851619. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- ^ "Previous Winners". Sunshine State Young Reader's Award. myssyra.org. http://myssyra.org/archive/archive.html. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
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