The Night of the Loch Ness Monster

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

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Book: The Night of the Loch Ness Monster

Author: Jerry Stemach

Illustrator: Jeff Hamm

Publisher: Don Johnston Inc., 1999

ISBN-13: 978-1893376403 Paperback

ISBN-10: 1893376400 Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-1893376649 CD-ROM

ISBN-10: 1893376648 CD-ROM

Language level: 1

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Ages 8-12

Rating: ***** 5 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

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Stemach, Jerry.  The Night of the Loch Ness Monster (Published in 1999 by Start-to-Finish Publishing, a division of Don Johnston Incorporated, 26799 W. Commerce Dr., Volo, IL  60073).  Nick Ford is a biology teacher at City College of New York.  His two children, son Jeff and daughter Kris, are students at the college, as are their good friends Ken Rice and Mandy Ming. Nick has agreed to install a dinosaur exhibit at the new Loch Ness Monster Visitors’ Center in Scotland and has taken the four young people with him to help. After landing in Glasgow, they start driving through the Highlands of Scotland.   When Nick and the kids arrive at Loch Ness, they help to save an elderly man who has had a heart attack after seeing Nessie the monster.

Nick and the girls take the man to the hospital while Jeff and Ken stay to watch the loch and see if they can find any evidence.  Ken explores the nearby old Urquart Castle and is kidnapped.  While he is searching for Ken, the monster crashes into Nick’s boat and Nick is thrown into the lake.  Does Nick survive?  Can they locate Ken?  And will they solve the mystery of the monster?   This book is written at an ability level of grades 1-3 and an interest grade level of 5-12.   Each page ends in a complete sentence, and words are not hyphenated at the ends of lines, so as to help eliminate confusion for struggling readers.

Besides being filled with adventure, excitement, and suspense, there is educational value in that the story introduces the reader to the geography of Scotland, the British system of monetary exchange, facts about dinosaurs and Nessie, deep-water sonar, and Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island, who was born in Edinburgh, Scotland.  The book is also available as a Multimedia Audiobook CD for Computer.  It is Book 6 in the “Nick Ford Mysteries” series. The others are Alcatraz, the Rock; The Secret of Old Mexico; Big Ben Is Dead; Grave Robber: Mystery in Missouri (or The Graveyard Mystery); and Crossbow Killer.

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