Thanks to Emma J Homes, who graciously let me read all three of her books FOR FREE, I got to check out The Vanishing Frogs of Cascade Creek and a few others. At first, I honestly didn't like it. I saw it as- "A Textbook with a bit of action to disguise it". And it's true, this book has a lot of information but the action is plentiful and makes this book just as great as any other fiction novel you'd pull off the library shelf.
Summary: Ruthie, Bel and Liam are sad. Why? Because they have to leave what they called home- a beautiful area lined with forsts, caves, and rivers, and go to some random creek supposedly in the middle of nowhere to find out what is happening to the waterfall frogs. They've been disappearing in abnormal numbers so it's up to animal experts Tom and Kate (Ruthie's dad) to solve the problem. They get there and everything is not that bad- the view isn't the worst, it's a bit of adventure to get to the creek (it's a good thing) and there's a great spot to settle in. . The set up camp (basically they're portable lab and their "house"- a green bus) By some stroke of luck- Ruthie has even found one of the rare waterfall frogs, which is sadly sick. What is happening to the waterfall frogs? The question baffled scientists but apparently not the incredibly smart pet wombat as he discovered a cure for the frogs by dumb luck. But can they keep the population of the frogs high? And what about...their lives (no guns or anything, but things get tense)? Emma J Homes turns basically a science article into an amazing novel.
What I liked: Mainly, the incorporation of information and plot line. If you (try) to read books that really push a cause and attempt to teach you about a subject. Well, about 95% of them are basically "blah blah blah blah blah (insert action scene) blah blah blah" It's just like reading a textbook. But Emma Homes wrote a 50-50 combination, lots of facts, but still plenty of actions scenes and plot line to keep the book exciting. (for example... a scene in which after sneaking out at night, Ruthie's dad almost drowns and dies) It's just incredible.
What I didn't like: I'm going to get a bunch of people saying "This book sucks because it didn't have any action" And I see where you're coming from. You're an avid reader who reads a bunch of great novels that make your head spin with so much intenseness. But remember, this is an informational book. Before you say it's boring, think about this: Would you rather read science articles and textbooks or this? Rants aside, I thought the characters could've been a bit more developed. Their qualities were a bit shallow. For me, most of the stuff is just nit-picky stuff that while I could get into, I feel like the rating would be the same.
Final thoughts: For a NY bestseller? Not in this universe. For an informational and fun way to learn about something otherwise completely boring? Perfect.
Rating on 'the scale': 8.3 out of ten.
Why? Super awesome book. Again, trying not to be a biased reviewer, meaning that I have to think for the audience. You guys probably will despise this book because of it's lack of fight scenes and it's loads of information. But again, compare it to articles and textbooks, and it's amazing. I do think it could compete against a few of the novels that people consider "good" (Such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid)
Related: Saving Wombats by Emma J Homes & Poached by Stuart Gibbs
Blogger's Note: Wow! You made it all the way down here. Pat yourself on the back! Ok, I talked about being a biased reviewer and here's why- Emma J Homes herself emailed me and graciously let me review all three of her books FOR FREE! But not to be selfish, for I've convinced her (although technically I bet she'd already thought of the idea) that I could let you guys in on the action. Tomorrow I will be reviewing her next book- Saving Wombats and then her final book on Friday or Saturday- The Peridot Pendant. read through the reviews and then on Labor Day (or for you international- I-don't-celebrate-Labor-Day people Monday September 7th) it'll be an all three books free day! That's right, for one day only search on Amazon "Emma J. Homes" and you can download all three books FOR FREE- saving you about nine dollars. If you miss it, don't sweat it because again, you can still get all three books for nine bucks, about the price of a normal book. I'll keep reminding you guys as we near the date.