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Reviewed by Shrabastee Chakraborty for Readers' Favorite
A Raptor Ate My Homework is the first book of The Backpack Dinosaur series by Julian Michael Carver. It is a short story suitable for middle schoolers. Andy and Anna Saunders are both fourth graders. While Anna is a math whiz, Andy’s head is full of dinosaurs. While returning from school, they discover a mysterious egg that later hatches into a baby velociraptor. Their parents agree they can keep it as a pet on a strict condition; that is, Andy must maintain a high grade in math. Incidentally, Mason Mitchell, the school bully, is quite determined to have Andy as his new target. Can Andy stay out of trouble and still have time to study? Or will the Saunders children have to let their beloved pet go?
A Raptor Ate My Homework is an engaging, hilarious yet educational tale and a perfect read for children. While getting excellent grades is a plus, Carver emphasizes that being a well-mannered, disciplined, and good-hearted person is even more important. The portrayal of a happy and contented life with loving parents, good friends, a sincere teacher, and adored pets will help children appreciate healthy relationships. The way Anna and their friends support Andy through thick and thin highlights the value of true friendship. Another life lesson the book teaches us is the importance of taking a firm stand against bullying. In short, you can learn many things from this book while having fun with a highly intelligent, potato chips-eating velociraptor who just loves to snuggle inside your backpack.