Eleven-year-old Peter Lee has one goal in life: to become a paleontologist. But in one summer, that all falls apart. Told in short, accessible journal entries and combining the humor of Timmy Failure with the poignant family dynamics of Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Peter Lee will win readers’ hearts.
Eleven year-old Peter Lee has one goal in life: to become a paleontologist. Okay, maybe two: to get his genius kid-sister, L. B., to leave him alone. But his summer falls apart when his real-life dinosaur expedition turns out to be a bust, and he watches his dreams go up in a cloud of asthma-inducing dust.
Even worse, his grandmother, Hammy, is sick, and no one will talk to Peter or L. B. about it. Perhaps his days as a scientist aren’t quite behind him yet. Armed with notebooks and pens, Peter puts his observation and experimental skills to the test to see what he can do for Hammy. If only he can get his sister to be quiet for once—he needs time to sketch out a plan.
(Book cover and Synopsis taken from Goodreads)
I was super excited about this book because DINOSAURS. But it did like a sneak attack on me! It went from one boys obsession to bigger family issues. First of all, this was a pretty fast read. It only sort of touches on the topic of growing up, but it does touch on multiple issues. I actually really liked L.B.’s character. Though there were times I forgot her age, she sometimes acted younger than 8, but at the same times was a genius and sounded way older. The family dynamic was pretty fun to read about as well. I loved reading about the relationship between Hammy and L.B. it was such a sweet relationship between the two characters. I loved Haji as well! He almost like comic relief, but also what you would want in a grandparent as well. I really like how much he cared about Peter and his family. I also appreciated that we got to see glimpses of disagreements between the family, it just made it feel more real and almost like we were part of it.
It was nice to see how Peter developed throughout the book. Going from playing soccer to playing basketball, yes it’s a little nuance but still nice to see how he got there. Even how he was discouraged by something but then turned it into something that was useful for Hammy. I do wish there was more about dinosaurs though just because the cover made it seem like it was going to be mostly about that. Again this book did a sneak attack, it got you to care about the entire family before you realized you were done with the book and you didn’t read all that much about dinos. So a small disappointment there, but again it brought up a bigger family issue. So in the end I wasn’t too disappointed about the lack of them.
15 Thoughts While Reading
- Q: “Last month, it took her four hours to eat half a pomegranate.”
T: Okay, 4 hours is a little ridiculous. But pomegranates are NOT easy to eat.
- Q: “They were experiencing the scientific phenomenon known as inertia: a body at rest tends to stay at rest. Inertia was the scientific word for laziness.”
T: Can I start using that term instead of “lazy”? Like can I just say “I’m in a state of inertia.”
- Q: “She had countless scarves and every color of cardigan.”
T: I think this book is telling me I’m a grandma…. but seriously I have every color scarf. My cardigans are usually grey or black though.
- Q: “It was the first time he had seen an Asian face on the cover of a magazine, showing regular Asian kids, so he thought it was a really important picture. Before that, he didn’t even know faces like ours could be on a magazine cover.”
T: I mean for me I’m both Filipino and Mexican and I still feel like finding either representation on magazine covers or books is hard.
- Q: “Junior Scientist Dig: Hands-On Paleontology. See a real active fossil site. Dig for real fossils with paleontologists from the Royal Tyrrell Museum.”
T: DO THEY HAVE THIS FOR ADULTS?! Or would they just call that getting a degree in paleontology?
- Q: ” ‘We have to get some accommodations arranged too.’ ‘On it!’ L.B. started typing furiously.”
T: This chick is 8! I barely started booking my own accommodations in my early 20s!
- Q: ” ‘What are you, a doctor or an eight-year-old?’ “
T: SEE!!!! I mean I get she’s like some super genius or something but still!!!
- Q: “Did you know all polar bears are left-handed?”
T: I did not! But I feel like I needed to know this information because they are my favorite animal!
- Q: ” ‘Darth Visor’— the kind that shields her entire face from the sun…”
T: OMG, this name makes them sound so much cooler and I definitely need one now!
- Q: “Nobody was going to move me away from the air conditioner until I was as close to hypothermia as I could tolerate.”
T: This is literally also me during the summer. The current place I’m living at does not have A/C so I would book hotel rooms when it became unbearable and blast the A/C until I was absolutely freezing and had no regrets.
- Q: “Name one person who won’t get up for extra bacon.”
T: A vegan.
- Q: “First rule of an asthma attack: don’t panic. Anybody experiencing an asthma attack knows that that is easier said than done.”
T: 100% can tell you this same thing. I also hate when I’m in the middle of one and people tell me to “breathe” like bitch, if I could actually breathe I would not be in the situation we are in now.
- Q: “I had to admit that it was hard to find humor in personal failure.”
T: Honestly kid, as you get older it gets easier. All I can do is look back and laugh at my personal failures, and even joke about it myself.
- Q: ” The playground was one of the newer kinds, with a bouncy rubber floor, brightly colored slides and a small arrangement of bars to climb over and through.”
T: I hate those new playgrounds!!! I honestly don’t see how it’s any safer, I mean it’s definitely more sanitary because you can hose it down and what not. But I feel like if you’re gonna fall off the play structure it’ll hurt as much as sand or tanbark.
- Q: ” ‘Life not only textbooks, you know.’ “
T: I agree, even as a book nerd we all know that books can be our life, but it’s not ONLY books. But I also know they are talking about textbooks.