From the author of Hour of the Bees comes another captivating story that deftly blurs the line between reality and magic — and will leave you wondering What if? The Loch Ness Monster. The Frogman. Bigfoot. Twelve-year-old Miranda Cho used to believe in it all, used to love poring over every strange footprint, every stray hair, everything that proved that the world was full of wonders. But that was before her mother’s obsession with monsters cost Miranda her friends and her perfect school record, before Miranda found the stack of unopened bills and notices of foreclosure in the silverware drawer. Now the fact that her mom’s a cryptozoologist doesn’t seem wonderful — it’s embarrassing and irresponsible, and it could cost them everything. So Miranda agrees to go on one last creature hunt, determined to use all her scientific know-how to prove to her mother, once and for all, that Bigfoot isn’t real. Then her mom will have no choice but to grow up and get a real job — one that will pay the mortgage and allow Miranda to attend the leadership camp of her dreams. But when the trip goes horribly awry, will it be Miranda who’s forced to question everything she believes?
Eager (Race to the Bottom of the Sea) crafts an appealing novel about 12-year-old Miranda Cho a straight-A student, compulsive list maker, and unlikely student body president. Her chaotic cryptozoologist mother Kat, the blogger behind the fictional Bigfoot Files blog, lives for the chase, but Miranda is tired of missing school to seek mythical animals. She longs for proof of their existence or not all the while hoping that her absent father will return. Tension heightens when Miranda discovers stacks of bills and foreclosure notices that threaten the family's home, not to mention her dream of attending leadership camp in Washington, D.C. Miranda agrees to take one final trip to persuade her mother that fantastical creatures do not exist, but the adventure takes a drastic turn when their van breaks down, and roles reverse in crisis. Eager effectively sketches Miranda's embarrassment about her mother's offbeat ways and her beaten-up "Critter Mobile" (a van with antlers). While the idea of who is the real parent repeats, and some pacing drags, Eager makes a case for belief in the uncanny, sure, but most of all in the people one loves. Ages 10 14.)