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BUS TO THE BADLANDS  by Margriet Ruurs


From the Orca Echoes series

by Margriet Ruurs ; illustrated by Claudia Dávila

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-4598-1670-1
Publisher: Orca

Muddy mishaps and a thrilling discovery highlight a class outing to a dinosaur museum and dig in Alberta.

Following months of fundraising and dinosaur study (“The only thing the teacher did not have us do was write dinosaur poems,” reports narrator Josh with lamentable lack of disappointment), the weeklong trip to Drumheller begins with a bus, features a visit to a dinosaur museum, and culminates in an encounter with a snake—in the course of which Josh finds the protruding end of a fossilized bone. Better yet, the discovery earns Josh’s whole class free pizza from the site’s paleontologists! Despite the dinos and minor drama (the snake just flicks away at earliest opportunity), the tale is a staid one overall, but there is free pizza, and in Dávila’s ink-and-wash illustrations, Josh is a person of color (with brown skin and straight, black hair) in a diverse class. Fledgling chapter-book readers working their way through Suzy Kline’s Horrible Harry series may be drawn to this Canadian counterpart.

A low-key, fantasy-free dino adventure.

(Fiction. 6-8)