I received this book for free from Union Square Kids in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Spineless by Samantha San Miguel
Genres: Adventure, Middle Grade
Published by Union Square Kids on June 7, 2022
Source: Union Square Kids
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This exciting middle-grade adventure is Hoot for the Gilded Age—with scientific discoveries, secret plots, and surprisingly enormous fauna. When his asthma lands him at a health resort in the wilds of Gilded Age South Florida, twelve-year-old Algie Emsworth is over the moon. The scientific treasure trove of unexplored swamps may launch his dream career as a naturalist. But even Algie is startled when he happens upon a brand-new species and her brood in the karst springs surrounding the resort. Algie quickly realizes he must keep his discovery a secret: a famous collector of exotic animals is also staying at the hotel, and the new species is threatened by his very presence. An apparent curse has also descended upon the hotel, bringing with it a deadly red tide. But when the pool starts filling with ink and guests start getting mysterious, sucker-shaped wounds, Algie must pluck up his courage to find the truth about the goings-on at the Grand Hotel—and save the new species from destruction.
I was given this ARC to review it comes out June 7th!
Here is what I thought
Spineless is set in late nineteenth century south Florida. Algie has asthma and since his father died of tuberculosis his mother is afraid that Algie might get it, so she packs them up and they head to Florida to a health resort. Algie wants to be a naturalist and loves being outside and learning about new animals.
Though his mother babies him a bit his older brother gets their mother to let him have some fun and he is able to run around where he runs into two girls about his age who are also interested in the study of animals, etc. At first Frankie isn’t sure she wants him around but she warms up to him and Lulu accepted him rightaway. Their father owns the restort and so they pretty much have full run of everything (which probably isn’t the best thing).
One day while they were out exploring the swamp lands, Algie gets lost from the two girls and almost gets ate by a gater but something saved him. That something happened to be a very large species of animal that nobody knew about. Right now the ocean is having problem with Red Tide and it’s been killing a lot of the ocean life and this species is hiding out from everything.
They decide they shouldn’t tell anyone about this especially because there is a famous naturalist, who Algie use to look up too till he found out who he really was, was there and they were afraid for the animal. This is a lot harder than they thought because more than one person is interesting in finding out what they are doing.
Spineless is kind of a historical light adventure book about the environment and protecting it. I liked Algie and the two girls they were a lot of fun. I just thought it was kind of unrealistic that Algie escapes a shark and gater, and several other things without to much happening to him especially his asthma. I know Florida was suppose to be better for his asthma but there was some times I would have thought he would be laid up in bed but it always ended up okay.
Overall, I enjoyed Spineless and thought it was an entertaining read.