Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend

Publish May 17, 2016

In Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend, Alan Cumyn, author of The Secret Life of Owen Skye, Dear Sylvia, and After Sylvia, and the 2013 young adult title, Tilt, brings us a story about encountering the absurd and beautiful in the “other,” and in yourself. Shiels, a confident high school senior, has almost everything under control. As student body president, she uses the school’s private social media hub, Vhub, to sway public opinion. She knows just what to say and do to stop an all-out food fight in the cafeteria, or deescalate an angry assembly of concerned parents. But ever since her encounter with her school’s interspecies transfer student – a pterodactyl named Pyke – it’s clear there’s one thing she is not entirely in control of: herself. Pyke is angular, hard, and primal, and from the time he arrived, things have gotten all messed up. Things like her relationship with her boyfriend, Sheldon, her reputation at school, and her plans for her future. By the time her nose turns purple after “wrangle-dancing” with Pyke, she barely recognizes herself. Cumyn skillfully probes social dynamics and the speed at which perceptions can shift and change. His quick, almost panicked, prose makes it easy to get into Shiels’ head, and teens will feel the pace slow as she begins to go with – rather than against – the unknowns she faces. Both bizarre and true to life, Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend echoes teens’ journey into an absurd and beautiful world.

Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend

Alan Cumyn
Simon and Schuster Canada
ISBN 13: 978-1-4814-3980-0

Jen Bailey
Jen Bailey Jen Bailey is an Ontario-certified teacher who holds an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She works for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. Jen’s other book reviews have appeared in Quill & Quire and Canadian Children’s Book News.

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