‘Claws and Effect’: Learn About Dinosaurs and the 1876 Philadelphia Exhibition

Books Comic Books Education
Image: Smithsonian Books
Image: Smithsonian Books

The second book in the Secret Smithsonian Adventures comic series (the first one was The Wrong Wrights, reviewed previously), Claws and Effect also takes four middle school kids through time to solve problem with the time stream. But instead of fixing the history of the Wright brothers’ flight, this second adventure revolves around the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and dinosaurs!

The story opens just after the action in the first book concludes—so it would be best to read these comics in order—with their bus ride home from school. They notice some things amiss outside the bus windows: there are dinosaurs going for walks and flying in the sky!

The story continues with the apparently well-educated kids getting to the bottom of why there are dinosaurs in the present day. It follows the same formula as the first book in the series—including such story features as bad guys, famous historical figures, getting captured, creative problem solving, and overcoming adversity—and neatly wraps up the storyline in the one short book. Kids will enjoy learning a bit about dinosaurs, along with plenty about the 1876 Philadelphia Exhibition—the first World’s Fair held in the United States—as they try to make the world right again. Special appearances are made by Nellie Bly and Alexander Graham Bell, who help save the day, of course. Then, at the very end, astute readers will notice a clue that hints at the topic of the third book in the series.

The Secret Smithsonian Adventures comic series is fantastic for elementary-aged kids who love adventure, museums, history, or time travel. Check out The Wrong Wrights, available now, and Claws and Effect, available on October 18. But I, for one, can’t wait for the third installment, coming in early 2017!

Note: I received a preview copy of the book for review purposes.

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