Four young people stumble into both danger and adolescence while searching for Bigfoot near their East Texas town.
News of a million-dollar prize for good pictures or video prompts preteen spark plug and narrator Everdil, armed with a new digital camera, to enlist her 13-year-old brother, Emmett, and schoolmate Tim in “Team Bigfoot.” Complications begin at once when Shawna, a former best friend who had moved away and cut ties, appears on her doorstep looking glamorous in makeup and showy clothes to join in the hunt. Anderson places her white quartet in Uncertain—a real hamlet with a history of Bigfoot sightings—and populates the nearby woods with hazards ranging from snakes and feral pigs to Swamp Sam, a local eccentric whose paranoid delusions have, it turns out, entered a new and scary phase. So, while Everdil pulls and pushes her way through evolving relationships with Tim, Shawna, and Emmett (a jock on his way to becoming an expert chef), the ongoing search moves toward a climax as harrowing and, nearly, tragic as it is revelatory. Finished illustrations not seen.
Comfortably typical kids on the cusp fumble toward coming-of-age with the odd cryptid and charging boar for thrills. (Fiction. 11-13)