Review

Kirkus Reviews - The Wild World of Buck Bray: The Wolves of Slough Creek

Cover: The Wild World of Buck Bray: The Wolves of Slough Creek

Middle schooler and television star Buck Bray is back for a third outing, this time bringing his intrepid detecting skills to Yellowstone National Park. He’s accompanied by his partner in crime prevention, Toni, the daughter of the cameraman who films the national park-related documentaries. Shortly after the kids meet the twins Kale and Kayla Kolson, also middle schoolers, in the park, it becomes clear that someone is illegally flying drones there. Then coyotes and a wolf turn up dead from poison. Reviewing some of the show’s film, Kale and Buck realize the poisoner is using a large, expensive drone to deliver the lethal bait to the animals. Kale, who has Asperger’s, is a talented drone flyer. So is Jason, an older boy who’s also camping in the park. Finally, there’s Lyall, the president of the drone flying club, all of the fliers drawn to the area by a nearby drone competition. Young cleverly inserts ample red herrings, sustaining the suspense while including lots of information about both the park and the wolf packs that have been reintroduced there. None of the characters have physical descriptions (except for age), which combines with the cover depiction of light-skinned Buck and Toni to imply the white default. Information about drone flying adds additional appeal to this engaging tale. Substantially the best of the mystery/travelogue series to date, this one suffers from fewer credibility issues than the previous entries.

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