Dinosaur Fever


It’s the summer of 1988 and 15-year-old aspiring artist Adam Zapotica has a big problem. He’s crazy about dinosaurs, and a team of paleontologists and scientists at Milk River Ridge near Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park in southern Alberta has recently unearthed a major cache of dinosaur eggs. They need volunteers to assist them at the dig, but there’s a catch — you have to be 18!

Adam soon figures a way to get around that, and faster than a raptor the Calgary youth finds himself part of the dinosaur crew and knee-deep in intrigue and romance, especially after he meets Jamie, the teenaged daughter of the camp’s boss.

Someone is stealing fossils, and the suspects are almost as numerous as the dinosaur experts toiling amid the hoodoos and coulees. Adam and Jamie are determined to get to the bottom of the pilfering, but dinosaurs are big business and the danger could be deadly.


I thought that Dinosaur Fever was a great book. It includes little parts of the past-mini stories of what it was like for Hypacrosaurs, a duckbill, which are very interesting.

The story rises into a climax in the final 30 pages, with Adam tracking and apprehending the poachers on his own, thus gaining confidence (but sadly, leaving Jamie, the more enterprising of the two, back in the safety of the camp). Thus, what sometimes resonates even more than Adam and Jamie's story is Woodson's masterful evocation of the environs of Alberta which by turn humble and inspire Adam to try to capture the world as the Hypacrosaurus would have known it. And that is what ultimately makes Dinosaur Fever worth catching. 

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