Dinosaurs, and Bats, and Carnivores, Oh My! A Review of Darkwing

Who knew a novel set millions of years ago, at the dawn of mammal dominance on the planet, could be so page-turningly gripping? 

In Darkwing, Kenneth Oppel creates a compelling and mysterious world, filled with the ancestors of bats, early feline creatures, and the last of the dying giant lizards who terrorize them and all other beasts.  Set against this backdrop of significant world change is the story of Dusk, a young chiropter who is very different from all of his kind, and who must learn how to use his unique gifts for survival. 

This is a story about evolution: the evolution of the planet itself; the evolution of new animal species from existing ones; and the personal evolution we all undertake by growing up and finding our true selves in the world.  This book is filled with vivid description, intense action, and high-stakes drama.  I recommend it to students in 5th-7th grade, especially guys.