Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sasquatch--really? Well, maybe...

I’ve never really thought that Bigfoot, or Sasquatch as it’s sometimes called, is anything more than a myth fueled by a series of clever (or not-so-clever) hoaxes. And so I was more than a little skeptical when I began reading Kelly Milner Halls’ latest book, In Search of Sasquatch (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011). I knew Halls to be a terrifically talented and prolific writer of nonfiction books for young people (Saving the Baghdad Zoo, Mysteries of the Mummy Kids, and Tales of the Cryptids are some of her better-known books)—but Sasquatch? Really?

Leave it to Halls to make you think just a little differently about your worldview. After reading In Search of Sasquatch, I can’t say that I’m packing to go on a Sasquatch search expedition, but I’m willing to entertain the notion that it may very well exist.

The many people Halls has interviewed for the book include an anthropologist, a linguistic expert, a biologist, and several people who claim to have sighted Sasquatch. While acknowledging that Sasquatch hoaxes abound, she bolsters her argument for the possible existence the mysterious creature by example: for centuries, paleontologists believed that the coelacanth was a long-extinct prehistoric fish—until a living coelacanth was discovered in 1938. Similarly, the giant squid was a thing of Greek legend—until it was discovered in 2004.  

Her text is accompanied by gorgeous illustrations, additional resources, a glossary, and an extensive bibliography and source notes. Kids who are drawn to the weird and wonderful will love this book. So will adults. 

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