cover image Every Hidden Thing

Every Hidden Thing

Kenneth Oppel. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-4814-6416-1

Samuel Bolt, son of short-fused fossil hunter Michael Bolt, dislikes school but excels as his father’s assistant. When Samuel meets Rachel Cartland, daughter of preeminent Yale paleontologist Professor Cartland, he is struck by her intelligence and directness. Both Rachel and Samuel join their fathers on digs in the Wyoming Territory, competing for fossil finds and the elusive T. rex. As their friendship develops into romance, their camps are endangered by the local Sioux tribe after Rachel and her father remove relics from a burial site. Rachel, expected to marry and become a society wife, must decide whether to obey her father or leave everything for Samuel and a life of exploration. Based on the 19th-century Bone Wars, Oppel’s (The Nest) story switches rapidly between the viewpoints of Samuel and Rachel, interspersed with the legend of the T. rex. While the politics of land ownership and the dynamics between native tribes and scientists is an absorbing and well-developed layer of the novel, the thrill of the hunt and the budding relationship between Rachel and Samuel take center stage. Ages 14–up. (Oct.)