The Bigfoot Files by Lindsay Eagar
Published by Candlewick Press on October 9, 2018
Genres: Adventure, Middle Grade
Length: 384 pages Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers
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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?
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from LibraryThing Early Reviewers and Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Bigfoot Files is an easy book to get wrapped up in.
Lindsay Eagar tells us the story of twelve-year-old Miranda, who feels like she can’t have any friends, because when she brings them home and they discover her cryptozoologist mother, they’ll be mortified. As she’s grown out of the stories of faeries and Bigfoot, she’s built herself a comfortable academic career – straight As, president of the student body, and a hopeful on the list of candidates to attend an exclusive leadership conference in DC. But she can’t maintain any of that if her mother doesn’t get her act together. So Miranda does what she knows best – make a list, set a plan, and win.
We spend this story with Miranda and her mother Kat on a find-him-or-give-up mission to discover Bigfoot in Fable Forest. The characters are wonderful. We have the determined Miranda, with her constant justifications of anything that feels magical, and we have Kat who cannot even see a bear for a bear. They’re such starkly different personalities that the growth of the relationship between them in this novel is beautiful to behold.
The story is a good one as well. Cryptozoology is not a favorite topic – writers tend to go full fantasy or stay in the comfortable contemporary zone. This is somewhere in between. It’s an adventure (Lindsay Eagar kicks butt at adventure stories) and it’s novel about finding who you are and what you believe.
I read this book in an afternoon – it’s easy to grab on to this one and just keep digging deeper. I rooted for Kat to find something. I rooted for Miranda to be able to confront her own “bigfoot”. The story moved at a rapid pace and the setting of Fable Forest was beautiful and magical in that way all national forests are. There is not more magical setting than a forest for me, and it was written magnificently.
At the end of it all, I’m still not sure if The Bigfoot Files is a fantasy or not. Did Miranda see all those things? Or did she only dream them? Whichever you believe, this is a glorious book and I’m so excited to once again give Lindsay Eagar all the stars. She’s a fantastic middle grade writer, but her books can still be enjoyable for young adults and adults like me. 🙂
The Bigfoot Files Stays on the Shelf
I really, genuinely enjoyed this book. And, even though it’s technically middle grade, I would read it again. I really enjoyed the layers of the story and the mother-daughter relationship that Lindsay Eagar presented. The growth and rust between the two was just fantastic. Also, I can’t quite decide about Emma. Friend? Love interest? This one needs a closer look.