Rating: Significant Shortcomings
Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Illustrator: Jarret J. Krosoczka
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
Rick Zengo has finally made it onto the Platypus Police Squad. His grandfather served on the squad and it has been Zengo’s dream to walk in his steps. Unfortunately, being on the force isn’t always smooth sailing. Zengo’s partner, O’Malley, is old, slow, and less motivated than Zengo. They have different philosophies on how to find the source of illegal fish that plague their city. It’s up to Zengo and O’Malley to work together to crack the case before more citizens get sick. Zengo must find a way to catch the distributor without stepping on the toes of his sergeant Plazinski and Pandini Jr., the city’s most popular philanthropist and business owner.
Jarrett J. Krosoczka has created his own alternate world as the setting for this book. There are many illustrations throughout the book that show the characters, which can help students visualize the characters because, unfortunately, the text does not always describe their appearances--or even their species. There is also a lot of advanced vocabulary, which is great way to help enhance readers’ vocabularies, but young readers may find it too confusing. The dialogue in this book tends to be awkward and contains a lot of outdated slang. The plot also is lacking a pressing conflict. Some readers may find this book appealing, but the outdated slang and lack of conflict explanation may cause readers to quit before reaching the resolution.