I read the first book a few years ago for Brown Bag and Book at our school and all the kids enjoyed it. They were so angry with the villain and felt attached to the main characters. Roland Smith is a good author for middle grade and middle school aged students. His stories have a lot of action, contain humor, and have good character development. He creates a lot of tension in the stories, which will keep you turning pages.
In the Marty and Grace series, the story begins with a thirteen-year-old set of twins finding out their parents' helicopter has crashed and they are missing. They go to live with their Uncle, Travis, who hunts cryptids (animals who are thought to not exist). He hunts them to try to preserve their lives. Unfortunately, another cryptid hunter tries to catch them to kill them.
Marty and Grace are both very smart and Marty is an excellent cook. In Cryptid Hunters, Travis is on the trail of a dinosaur, and Noah Blackwood - the villain of the story is close behind him. Travis wants to leave the twins behind, but they find a way to crash the party.
As you can see, the covers of these books are appealing.
In the second book, Tentacles, Travis is trying to be the first to catch a giant squid and bring it in alive. The trio set sail to find the squid. Blurb from the back: "But their huge freighter may be haunted, and someone on board seems determined to sabotage the mission. If Grace and Marty follow the clues, will they get to the bottom of all this fishy business or end up at the bottom of the sea?"
The third book is called Chupacabra and things in this story get pretty scary. Grace has been kidnapped by Noah Blackwood. Marty and his friend Luther are determined to rescue her, but Noah is conducting evil experiments in the basement of his animal "sanctuary". If he can't find a real cryptid, he is not opposed to using genetic experiments to create his own. In this installment we learn just how dangerous Noah really is.
The fourth book is Mutation, and the threads from the first three books find resolution in this one. The danger is greater than ever as Marty, Grace, and Travis are on the trail of Marty's parents in Brazil. When all technology is blocked in their area, they must use their ingenuity to rescue their friends and loved ones from Noah Blackwood''s evil ways. They will face creatures unknown in the real world, and real evil in Blackwood and his henchmen.
All of these books combine adventure, science, technology, and a bit of the fantastic to create a fast paced fun series for the reader. These books have a little larger type size and more white space which make them perfect as Hi/Lo books. Roland Smith is one of my go to authors when recommending books for the 10 to 18 age group.
Read to a child today even if that child is you.
Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit.