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Project Jackalope
Chronicle Books / Raincoast Books
By Emily Ecton
256 pages
age 8-12

Synopsis from Raincoast Books:

When government agents show up at Jeremy’s house seeking the Jackalope-a supposedly mythological bunny rabbit with razor-sharp antlers-he doesn’t know whom to trust. Jeremy has little time and only one chance to save Jack-and himself.

Think science is boring? The Project Jackalope will have kids rethinking their science projects, the man walking outside the school yard in a suit, even the nice old lady who lives in the apartment across the hall. The intrigue happens from the get-go when Jeremy finds an unexpected box in his room. Its secret looks cute and fuzzy with an affinity for whiskey. A search on Wikipedia confirms Jeremy’s assumption that said surprise is a Jackalope.

Jeremy partners up with fellow classmate Agatha, who happens to live in the same apartment building, to keep the Jackalope safe from a slew of questionable people. Kids will enjoy the cloak and dagger adventure, taken on by kids. Even the adult who the kids believe have all the answers, Professor Twitchett, is unhelpful, abandoning them when the suits close in.

Some of the dialog felt repetitive and juvenile to me but young readers will glaze over this, focused on who not to trust this time or what’s the next step for Jeremy and Agatha.

Considering we’re talking about a secret organization working on top secret (and questionable) technology, there’s only one intense scene involving blood. Middle grade readers looking for a little conspiracy and intrigue will enjoy Project Jackalope.

Our young reader shares her thoughts on the book here:

Additional Reading: Templeton Twins Have an Idea.

You can find a copy of Project Jackalope from Raincoast Books or your local bookstore. Visit our Kid’s Books section for other great book recommendations.

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