Every Hidden Thing

In the late 19th-century, Rachel Cartland ("with all the flair of a cabbage moth") and Samuel Bolt ("charming, and knew it") both happen to be motherless 17-year-olds with ferociously ambitious fossil-hunting fathers. When they meet at a dinosaur presentation by Sam's father, during which Rachel's father publicly humiliates and discredits him, the stage is set for a rocky Romeo and Juliet–style romance. Each man desperately wants to be the first American to discover the king of dinosaurs, the rex. Their scientifically minded children are equally passionate about finding the rex, if not as unscrupulous in their approach. Eagerly following the same lead, the Cartlands and the Bolts independently set out for the Badlands, little concerned about the treacherous nature of their quest. The landscape is harsh, relations between the Sioux and the Wasicu--white people--are volatile, and the 1870s West isn't called wild for nothing.

Printz Honor author Kenneth Oppel's (Airborn; The Nest; The Boundless) fictional take on a scientifically, politically and socially eventful period in history will keep readers wondering how the tribulations of the star-crossed lovers and their warring fathers can ever resolve. Oppel modeled Professors Cartland and Bolt on real-life rival paleontologists: Edward Drinkwater Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh, who discovered more than 100 species of dinosaurs in the 1800s. The story is told in the alternating voices of Rachel and Sam, who are compelling, realistic protagonists in their own right, trying to chisel and hammer their way around a growing distaste for their respective fathers' behavior, family loyalty, societal expectations, sex and young love. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

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