From the Publisher
"[Greg] van Eekhout chivvies the plot along at a lively pace to a hold-your-breath climax and a deftly choreographed resolution. He also leaves the main characters around for sequels—which in this case, at least, could be a Good Thing." -Kirkus Reviews
"Van Eekhout carefully balances his tongue in his cheek with some really creepy situations, and the result is a humorous fantasy that will rush over young readers like a tidal wave." -School Library Journal
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Thatcher is reluctantly sent to spend the summer between sixth and seventh grades helping his great-uncle Griswald run his Museum of the Strange and Curious on the boardwalk of the fictional coastal tourist town of Las Huesas, CA. When a girl, Shoal, breaks into the museum and steals a witch's head, Thatcher pursues her. He soon finds himself in a world of maritime monsters that might—just might—be plotting to destroy civilization. He allies himself with Trudy, a girl with the tools and the talents of a detective, and eventually with Shoal, to save the world. (The Squid doesn't appear until the end, but it's worth the wait.) Van Eekhout carefully balances his tongue in his cheek with some really creepy situations, and the result is a humorous fantasy that will rush over young readers like a tidal wave.—Walter Minkel, Austin Public Library, TX
A lad goes from dusting the exhibits in his great-uncle's decrepit museum of oddities to saving the coast of California from watery doom in this wry crossover debut. Thatcher's sleepy vacation takes a sharp turn toward the exciting when he discovers that the oddball barkers and vendors along the local boardwalk are actually remnants of the last outpost of Atlantis-returned to life each summer thanks to the curse of Skalla, a beheaded witch. Actually, Skalla is still around, or at least her head is, delivering curses and transforming human victims into giant lobsters and other sea creatures. After centuries of preparation, she is also finally poised to raise up her own Atlantis with a massive tsunami. Drawing together a memorable supporting cast that ranges from a half-human Atlantean princess to a genial shark-man ("Howdy-do. Swim with us to shore or we'll eat your legs"), van Eekhout chivvies the plot along at a lively pace to a hold-your-breath climax and a deftly choreographed resolution. He also leaves the main characters around for sequels-which in this case, at least, could be a Good Thing. (Fantasy/humor. 11-13)
Kid vs. Squid is my favorite book of the year. The peril is real, the adventure is intense, but the best thing about this sea-soaked story is smart-alecky Thatcher's hilarious voice. I laughed aloud on almost every page. This book is un-put-downably compelling and fun.
The internal logic of the story is joyfully convoluted and not even close to airtight, and although the book is better at being funny than being exciting, it does offer a fair share of both en route to the showdown promised by the title.