Last of the Sandwalkers

Jay Hosler. Roaring Brook/First Second, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-62672-024-4
A journey of discovery for a family of scientist-beetles becomes a journey of survival in Hosler’s entomological adventure, an intriguing look at life from only a few millimeters off the ground. Leading the team is Lucy, a resourceful “sandwalker,” and a keen, curious observer of the world, which she discovers is much larger than she previously thought after she and her team are betrayed and left for dead, far from their colony. Along the way home they encounter unfamiliar plants and animals that enthrall Lucy (even the ones trying to make a meal out of her). It takes the group’s combined will and wit to make it back home in one piece and share their findings (specifically the bones of what they call a “hue-mon”) with their intellectually isolated brethren. Hosler (Evolution: The Story of Life on Earth) peppers real-world facts throughout the story, showcasing the wild and wonderful ways bugs have adapted to nature. With that he mingles themes of family, forgiveness, and freedom of ideas, and even manages to make big-eyed, mandibled crawlers emotive without getting too cartoony. Ages 10–up. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/23/2015
Release date: 04/07/2015
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