Where evil twins and friends come together to lovingly snark Point Horror and other teen genre fiction
 

Recap #97: Graveyard School #5: Revenge of the Dinosaurs, a.k.a. “Cretaceous Park”

Tom B Stone Revenge of the Dinosaurs cover, t-rex coming through the wall of a schoolTitle: Graveyard School #5 – Revenge of the Dinosaurs

Author: Tom B. Stone, a.k.a. Nola Thacker, a.k.a. D.E. Athkins

Cover Artist: Barry Jackson

Tagline: N/A/

Summary: They’re Back!

“Dino-head.” That’s what David Pike calls his little brother, Richie. This kid eats, sleeps, and breathes dinosaurs. Richie even keeps a terrarium filled with plastic dinosaur figures, and he treats them like they’re real. He feeds them, talks to them, and claims they’re growing!

When Richie says that his Tyrannosaurus rex has escaped, David decides his little brother has finally gone over the edge. It can’t be true that dinosaurs are back and on the loose… Can it?

Initial Thoughts

Guys I am really sorry this was delayed. I was really busy the past few weeks with work at the stadium and the store, and then New York Comic Con. Staying home today because of my flu was the best decision I could’ve made for focusing on finishing my writing.

This is the first and practically only book in the series to be a science fiction story instead of a supernatural horror tale. It’s admittedly one of the books I rarely re-read until I began reviewing for this website.

We’ve got another sibling tag team in the form of David and Richie, and by the end of this post I’m sure you’ll agree with me Richie is by far the greatest threat in the entire series and more dangerous than all of the other monsters and villains combined.

[Wing: Dinosaurs. Not documented here quite as often as my werewolf love, but I have a deep and a biding love of dinosaurs, and I’m thrilled to have this book come up immediately after last month’s werewolf book.]

Recap

David hated Mrs. Beak, which was fair because she hated him too. Although in Mrs. Beak’s case it’s because David corrected a mistake she made during the class discussion on the Earth’s rotation around the sun. In David’s case, it’s because she sucked all the interest out of science, his favorite class. He wasn’t the only kid who hated Mrs. Beak, and David had to wonder why she became a teacher at all since she clearly didn’t like kids, or science, or the environment very much.

She often made nasty speeches about the environment and made fun of environmentalists. “So what if a few oil tankers killed a few dumb animals? We need oil!” She’d said more than once. She never recycled, throwing soda cans into the garbage, wrapping her lunches in plastic.

She even smoked cigarettes. David had seen her, careening into the teachers’ parking lot in her huge, gas-guzzling car, with smoke pouring from the tail pipe – and smoke pouring out of her nose before she stubbed out her cigarette.

Okay apparently she’s a Captain Planet villain, we get it. [Wing: Well damn, Beak. There are other jobs, you know.]

During this one particular science class David was imagining the lizard in the class terrarium eating a beetle was really a dinosaur eating Mrs. Beak alive when the Beakster asked David for an answer. It was his own fault, really. His red flannel shirt was an, ahem, beak-on [Wing: NOPE.] to the dreaded teacher, on account of red being her favorite color. When David sheepishly responds he doesn’t know, the Beak goes on a rant about her wasted youth.

“You don’t know? You don’t know?” She let go of David’s shoulder and lurched to the front of the room, her fists raised. David slumped down in his seat, rubbing shoulder.

“For this I went to college? So you could ignore me? So you could not do your homework and not listen in class and then tell me you don’t know?

The rest of the class, including puke perfect Polly Hannah and David’s best friend Raul Perez, pretend David doesn’t exist while Mrs. Beak rants. She decides David needs to have a chat with Dr. Morthouse about his inability to pay attention and gives him a note to deliver to herr Doktor. On his way out, Mrs. Beak sweetly reminds David she’ll see him later.

As much as David would like to hide and the bathroom and then tell Mrs. Beak the good doctor has decided to fire her bony ass, he needs to return with the note signed the Doc. David meets Mr. Kinderbane in the front office, [Wing: Kinderbane. Have I mentioned lately how much I love all the ridiculous names in this book? Because I do.] and Kinderbane seems to enjoy knowing a student’s about to have his ass handed to him. When ordered to sit in an uncomfortable plastic chair, David instead settles into a more comfortable one just to piss Kinderbane off.

He looked up. Mr. Kinderbane was frowning so ferociously that his two hairy eyebrows looked like one.

Mr. Kinderbane folded his arms.

David folded his arms.

At last Mr. Kinderbane said, “Hmmmph!”

Of course David’s victory is short lived since he must now face… THE PRINCIPAL *DUN DUN DUUUUUUN DRAMATIC MOMENT*

Dr. Morthouse doesn’t even acknowledge David’s entrance, but the moment his gaze shifts towards the closed blinds behind her desk she mentions she can understand Mrs. Beak’s concern about his “attention problem.” David’s attempt to protest supports the “argumentative” portion as well. However, instead of eating David’s soul, Dr. Morthouse comments he’s a good student and she hasn’t had him in her office until this grade. Reading the rest of Mrs. Beak’s note, Doc M scribbles a response and suggests David continue to set a good example for his younger brother. David’s so shocked at this lack of disproportionate retribution he forgets where he is until Dr. M asks if he’s expecting a parade before leaving. And to rub salt in the wound, he thanks Mr. Kinderbane for his hall pass with a giant smile. Mrs. Beak, on the other hand, is clearly unsatisfied with Dr. Morthouse’s lack of corporal punishment and orders David to return to her class at the end of the day.

David and Raul wait after class for David’s little brother Richie. Sure enough, Richie’s got his head buried in another dinosaur book so he doesn’t notice his brother or Raul. David asks Richie if a dinosaur could wipe out Mrs. Beak, but Richie automatically, and sadly, responds that’s impossible because they’re all extinct. Richie lists the various extinction theories, that plant life changed, a volcano’s fumes blocked out the sun, the Earth was hit by a meteor, that aliens abducted them. David stops his brother before he gets too into it, remembering his own dino phases was never as extreme as Richie’s. David tells Richie that Raul will take him home, and then leaves for his one on one time with the Beakster. Mrs. Beak tells David he must write “I Will Pay Attention In Mrs. Beak’s Class” one thousand times. David smiles in order to avoid giving Mrs. Beak the satisfaction, and they both settle in for the long haul.

Hours later, David dramatically makes his presence known at his house, flopping on the kitchen floor from exhaustion. His father absentmindedly asks why he’s late, and David informs him he had to stay after school. Mr. Pike guesses it was for extra credit, and David decides not to correct him. Richie asks if his older brother’s dead, and goes to show David his newest addition to his collection of dinosaur figurines. See, Richie’s old T-rex figure was eaten by William, their non-cat who was living in their house before the Pikes moved in. William’s always got his eyes fixed on the Dino Tank in Richie’s room. The delivery box from Cosmic Dinosaurs (a company set up near where the first fossils were discovered) Richie holds is covered in various warnings:

THIS SIDE UP. HANDLE WITH CARE. FRAGILE. DO NOT EXPOSE TO HEAT OR COLD. DO NOT EXPOSE TO HIGH INTENSITY LIGHT.

I’m guessing had there been more room on the box they would’ve included “DO NOT GET WET. DO NOT FEED AFTER MIDNIGHT. DO NOT TAUNT HAPPY FUN BALL.” [Wing: Ha.]

Richie asks if David would like to see him unbox the newest arrival, and David, with nothing better to do, decides why not and follows Richie to his room. [Wing: I’m liking this fairly decent sibling relationship so far. Plus: dinosaurs. Richie and I would get along.]

Only it was more like a museum. The little dino-head had filled every available shelf with dinosaurs and dinosaur stuff. Posters and time lines hung on the walls, showing the different dinosaurs and the different prehistoric periods in which they’d lived. A dinosaur mobile floated from the ceiling. Stuffed dinosaurs spilled out of the chair in the corner. Dinosaurs decorated the sheets and the pillowcases on Richie’s bed.

It made David dizzy just to look into Richie’s room. But of course it didn’t bother Richie. Ignoring it all, he charged over to the enormous fish tank that stood on the old toy chest in the corner. One side of the tank was cracked. The owners of the local pet supply store, The Animals’ House, had given it to Richie because it was broken.

The tank was Richie’s prize possession. He had landscaped it with rocks and dirt and a little blue saucer of water to make a pond. Small plants grew in the dirt. There was even a mountain with a cave in the bottom of it. The dinotank, Richie called it. All his favorite model dinosaurs lived there.

Now THAT is devotion. [Wing: I bet Richie nitpicked the hell out of Jurassic Park for its inaccuracies.]

Richie takes out his new T-rex, recalling how huge the original tyrannosaurus rexs could grow. When David corrects Richie by pointing out his T-rex is only six inches big, Richie covers the figurine’s head and says IT doesn’t know that. [Wing: Oh my god, that is adorable.] Dubbing his newest arrival “Trex,” Richie places the dino in the terrarium with the others. David gets a better look at Trex, and is slightly unnerved by how realistic the dinosaur figurine looks, with eyes frighteningly similar to Dr. Morthouse’s. David watches as Richie talks to his dinosaur figures, as he tends to, but this time it disturbs him a little.

At dinner, Richie gushes about Trex but expresses worry that he might want to eat his triceratops. Mr. and Mrs. Pike joke that Trex could eat William if he got out, but Richie misses the joke and reminds them William ate his old tyrannosaurus. David is more focused on dealing with Mrs. Beak and his throbbing wrist, having successfully completed all his homework so she wouldn’t give him grief the next day. Mulling it over for a bit, David decides not to tell his parents about his problems at school and goes back to his meal. Later that night, David is woken up from a nightmare of being chased by a dinosaur with a very Beak-like face by Richie, who frantically tells David that Trex has escaped!

But because this is page 21 it turns out upon closer inspection that William got in the tank and nabbed Trex, but before we get to that, Richie mentions Cosmic Dinosaurs assured its customers their figures are only made from “authentic materials,” not plastic. [Wing: So, what, petrified plants and fossils?] When Richie realizes William’s the dinonapper, he readies himself for war.

“William?” Richie leaned over to peer at the pawprint. His chocolate-brown eyes narrowed. He ran his hand through his hair in agitation, so that it stood up like the spiky armor on one of his dinosaurs. “William!

Richie chases after the fiendish cat and tries to grab his tail, forgetting William is clawed and dangerous as he slashes at Richie’s arm. The Pike brothers chase William into the kitchen, Richie for Trex, David to make sure his brother doesn’t wake his parents. When Richie catches William again, the room is suddenly filled with a blinding white light from outside. The light disappears as quickly as it arrived, and the boys postulate on whether it came from a shooting star or a flying saucer. Richie is more relieved when he sees Trex landed on his feet when William dropped him. Richie picks Trex up and then yelps in pain, claiming Trex scratched him and chastises the toy. David clarifies that it was William who scratched him, but Richie doesn’t believe him and promises to protect Trex from the big bad cat. David can’t believe it, but he feels like he’s acting like a parent to his little brother when he tells him to go back to bed.

In front of the school the next morning, David asks Raul if he saw any shooting stars the previous night. Raul responds no, and asks how David’s after school session went. They’re joined by Stacey Carter, Maria Medina, and puke perfect Polly, who savors knowing David got punished. David asks if Polly and Mrs. Beak are related because of how awful they both are, and Polly responds that SHE likes Mrs. Beak. The silence that follows is so heavy you can tell not even Polly believes she just said that, [Wing: I am laughing way too hard over the mental image I have of everyone staring at Polly and Polly just opening and closing her mouth because no, that’s a complete lie.] and everyone talks about how the Beak Woman is the worst the school has to offer. The kids promptly shut up when Mrs. Beak and Dr. Morthouse make their ascension up the stairs, and we get our first in-depth description of Dr. M’s appearance.

They made quite a contrast. Dr. Morthouse wore her navy pinstripe suit, and her expressionless face was framed by her dark, chin-length hair and the same pointed silver earrings she wore almost every day. The low heels of her shoes struck each stone step with a solid thunk. Mrs. Beak’s flat gray shoes slid softly up the stairs. She wore a short grey skirt with pearly stockings, and a short red jacket over a white blouse. Her earrings were little red flowers, and her hair was fluffy and yellow and soft-looking.

Mrs. Beak looked like she stepped out of a magazine. Dr. Morthouse looked like she stepped out of a prison.

So who else thinks Dr. Morthouse looks like Anjelica Houston? [Wing: Me! I also really like Beak’s outfit.]

David does his best to avoid a repeat of the previous science class, paying his full attention to Mrs. Beak. Unfortunately, she doesn’t like the way he answers her question on how the dinosaurs went extinct (a question Raul points out they hadn’t covered yet in their books), and decides David and Raul should work together on a special project covering dinosaurs. Due tomorrow.

Stacey and Maria both agree Mrs. Beak is nose slime for giving David that assignment, and the kids discuss how their older siblings used to warn them about being assigned her class at Graveyard School. But David decides to make the most of having a dino head for a little brother, and conscripts Richie into helping with the report. David manages to convince Richie to let them use his dinotank for their report the next day, and Richie only relents after laying down some ground rules.

  1. No one else is allowed to touch or handle his dinosaurs.
  2. He can see them every day they’re in Mrs. Beak’s class. [Wing: Exactly how long do they plan on keeping the dinotank in the classroom?!]
  3. Any of them get broken or lost, they have to buy Richie new ones.

David and Raul agree, but David adds Richie can’t mention the dinotank is his. Inside Richie’s room, David asks to borrow some of his books as well, but Richie is too upset to answer because it looks like Trex has committed murder! Inside the dinotank, Richie’s alamosaurus, Alamo, has been ripped to shreds. Raul mistakenly assumes Alamo is a brontosaurus, and Richie corrects him.

“That’s the old name of the apatosaurus, which lived in the Jurassic Era,” said Richie tearfully. “The alamosaurus lived during the Cretaceous Era, one of the few sauropods of that era. This is a cretaceous tank.”

[Wing: Oh my god, you adorable nerd.]

David thinks William killed Alamo, but Richie explains he put a number of heavy books on top of the tank to make sure William couldn’t get in. Sure enough, David sees the books haven’t been disturbed. David doesn’t like noticing that Trex seems to have some more meat on his bones than before, but Raul is loving this because they can use Alamo’s shredded remains to make the report more realistic. Raul asks Richie not to bury Alamo just yet, and plays along with Richie’s belief that Trex ate him by reasoning, if they leave Alamo’s remains, Trex can eat the rest so he doesn’t go after the other dinos. David and Raul leave Richie to give his last respects for Alamo, and joke between them that if dinosaurs still existed, Richie would’ve run off with them a long time ago.

The report goes off flawlessly, and Mrs. Beak is incapable of saying anything nasty about it beyond “It’s nice to see you taking your work so seriously.” Polly is disgusted at seeing Alamo’s remains wrapped in tin foil and says someone of her delicate constitution shouldn’t witness such depravity. Bitch please. Mrs. Beak is all about how science isn’t pretty, it’s kill or be killed, and David can’t help but realize the remains are smaller than they were before. David does everything he can not to look at Trex’s cave, and at dinner that night he can’t bring himself to eat roasted chicken. At night, David wakes up from another nightmare to see the shadow of a giant dinosaur head on his wall, followed by the same blinding light and a strange whistling noise. Something loud crashes outside, but when David looks outside it’s too dark to make anything out.

The next morning, David discovers what made the crash when he finds his parents in the backyard inspecting a cedar tree, split in half and uprooted. Richie grabs David’s arm and tells him they have to get to school NOW. David is confused by Richie’s enthusiasm to get to school so early, and Richie lies to their parents that he has to get their early for a report. Richie insists David can bring him to the school, and takes an uncooked bagel to get his parents to stop asking questions about eating something. Halfway to the school, David finally gets Richie to answer why he wants to go to school so early. Richie says he knows the tree was uprooted last night by a dinosaur. David assumes Richie’s finally gone past the point of no return, but all Richie can do is kick himself for letting David use the dinotank. He thinks one of the dinosaurs was homesick. David decides to humor Richie and check out the school, but suggests they do it covertly so they don’t catch Dr. Morthouse or anyone else’s attention.

David and Richie sneak around the back of Graveyard School, going through Graveyard Hill and the playground to reach the back doors.

Or what used to be the back door. Now both doors had been thrown outward, as if a blast had come from inside the school. Huge, splintery gashes ran down the doors, which were pitched out onto the grass like a couple of playing cards someone had thrown down.

[Wing: All of this destruction is why Jurassic Park velociraptors are my favourite. T-rex smashes through things. Raptors can creepily open doors.]

David and Richie duck in time to make sure Basement Bart doesn’t see them as he walks out of the school to get a better glimpse at the devastation. Bart checks out the back door, then turns to the graveyard to see if whoever’s involved is hiding there before going back down to the basement. Waiting a few minutes to be sure he’s gone, David and Richie go through the back entrance and follow the ruination to its source. Lockers are smashed and chunks of the ceiling and floor have been ripped out as David traces the damage back to, surprise surprise, Mrs. Beak’s classroom. Richie’s dinotank has been destroyed, but Richie informs David all his dinos are accounted for… except Trex. Richie theorizes, from the empty lizard tank, Trex got out because he was hungry and chased after the class lizard. But as David recounts all the facts about T-rexs from the report, Mrs. Beak catches them by surprise and automatically believes the Pike brothers are the ones who wrecked the school. [Wing: Fucking how, Beak?! With their secret bulldozer and wrecking ball?] Richie exclaims they need to look for Trex, and Mrs. Beak declares the dinosaurs are all dead because they were stupid and deserved to be wiped out.

Richie’s mouth dropped open in shock. David saw anger replace the fear in his little brother’s eyes. “They do not!” Richie shouted. “Let me go!”

Basement Bart appears and convinces Mrs. Beak to let the boys go, explaining the destruction happened long before they were in the school. When Mrs. Beak asks how he could know that, Bart replies “I know.” Mrs. Beak begrudgingly lets David and Richie go. David tries to leave, but Richie stops to thank Bart and asks if he’s seen Trex. All Bart does is wish Richie good luck. [Wing: I continue to want to know more about Basement Bart and to find Richie adorable.]

Dr. Morthouse and Vice Principal Lucre try to call an assembly to address the damage done to the school, including the boys bathroom, but the kids are too excited to sit still. David, and supposedly Richie, are the only ones not talking as Dr. Morthouse manages to get everyone to calm down. But as Dr. Morthouse talks about the temporary class arrangements, David notices something on Graveyard Hill. Something huge with mottled skin, and tiny arms, and teeth like steak knives… and Richie is overjoyed he’s found Trex.

Pandemonium breaks out in the auditorium as Polly Hannah screams and kids and teachers run for the doors. David tries to fight his way through a crowd of students to get Richie to shut up before he gets everyone killed. David fears Trex actually notices the commotion in the auditorium and might head over for a snack, while Dr. Morthouse is telling the kids to stop acting like wimps. [Wing: Damn it, children, throw yourself at the giant dinosaur, your lives mean nothing.] David throws himself on top of Richie and tells him to stop before Trex eats him. Richie wants to believe Trex wouldn’t do that, but David tells Richie they’ll look for him LATER. When it looks like Trex has left the graveyard, Dr. Morthouse orders everyone to sit down and shut up, promising to make whoever instigated this “joke” is gonna pay for it. David, however, fears they’ve finally encountered something not even Dr. Morthouse could withstand.

Unfortunately, because of how hyper everyone is left due to the “prank,” classes end early. Polly is picked up by her mom.

“Vandalism at Grove Hill school. What is this world coming to!” Mrs. Hannah shook her head. Polly shook her head, too, so vigorously that her yellow curls bounced.

“Get in the car, Polly.”

“Can we go shopping, Mother?” Polly whined as she climbed into the front seat of her mother’s car. “I got an ugly smudge on my skirt from when everyone was pretending they saw a dinosaur.”

“A smudge!” Mrs. Hannah shook her head even harder. “What is this world coming – ” Her voice was cut off as the door of the car slammed shut.

Priorities, they run in the Hannah family.

The only person disappointed school is cancelled is Jaws Bennett, because he’s missing lunch. [Wing: Aww, look at that continuity.] As Mr. Pike picks up David, Richie, and Raul, David tries to cover for Richie’s actions during the auditorium by saying he was scared. Richie adds he wasn’t scared, just upset that his dinotank was destroyed. Raul is sympathetic, but then notices how the brothers are acting and gets a little suspicious.

Unfortunately, Raul doesn’t press his concerns when Mr. Pike drops him off. At home, their father asks if David and Richie want to talk about what happened at school, Richie only wants a new dinotank. The brothers tell their dad they’re just going to spend the rest of the afternoon doing nothing, but when Mr. Pike heads into his study, the boys immediately bolt for their bikes and head for the school. Going the long way around again, David and Richie investigate Graveyard Hill and, sure enough, find a footprint that could have only come from Trex. Although the best part of this segment is when David gets “chillbumps” on his arms. StThAth ain’t giving the competition a helping hand! [Wing: HA!]

The wrecked trees and bushes near the footprint only further convince David they really are dealing with a dinosaur. Realizing they have no idea what’s on the other side of Graveyard Hill, the brothers are forced to head to the library to inspect a map of Grove Hill. Richie is hoping Trex is smart enough to keep out of sight, and wonders if maybe he prefers to hunt at night, and tells David he better not plan to hurt Trex to stop him from doing any further damage. RICHIE. YOU ARE GOING TO GET YOUR BROTHER MURDERED IF YOU DON’T GO FIRST.

David is impressed by how nice and helpful the librarian is, and not in an “asks too many questions” kind of way as she gets the boys the Grove Hill map. She even mentions she applied for a position as the school librarian, but David hopes there will at least be a school left when this is over. The map shows on the other side of the hill is a swamp, which Richie thinks is great because it makes sense a T-rex would head for a swamp. The ecology is likely similar to the environment Trex was accustomed to, and he is floored by how smart Trex is. David tries to reiterate that Trex would eat the both of them, but Richie’s only hoping the swamp will keep Trex safe. As David and Richie leave for home, they decide to search for Trex during the early morning when it’s still dark out. They get the exact time for sunrise from their dad, who laughs with Richie when he points out it was on the evening paper. David can’t believe he’s related to these dorks.

Early morning, David is woken up by Richie once more to look for a dinosaur.

[Wing: Okay, I’ve held back on this for long enough:

You’re welcome.]

David notices Richie has the box from Cosmic Dinosaurs and asks if Richie plans to somehow put Trex back inside. It seems Richie honestly was, so David tells him to leave the box before they begin their search. The boys reach Graveyard Hill on bike and proceed to the other side on foot, inspecting the damage Trex has left in his wake and getting stung and bit by numerous insects. Richie explains how they’re lucky it’s not summer when a large, stomping noise stops the brothers as they realize Trex has returned. David once again lunges at his brother to stop Richie from getting Trex’s attention. Richie is ecstatic as he watches Trex yawn. David tells Richie they have to leave and continue to act like there ISN’T a giant, living tyrannosaurus rex on the loose in Grove Hill because if anyone gets suspicious and comes looking for Trex, it’ll be a bloodbath.

David and Richie wait for Trex to turn around, but Richie, for once, shows signs of self preservation when he pulls David back down. He realizes Trex is still watching them but is pretending otherwise. Pondering what to do, David screams as Trex leaps up, but it seems Trex doesn’t care about them. Trex is only interested in Cyril.

Who’s Cyril?

Why, Cyril is a triceratops. It seems Richie just forgot to mention that he was missing TWO dinosaurs who seemingly came to life and have been causing mayhem and misery throughout Grove Hill. You know how kids are, right?

[Wing: OH MY GOD THIS IS THE GREATEST. Also, this reminds me of the scene in either Jurassic Park 2 or 3 (or both, maybe) where they escape because two dinosaurs are fighting and roll over the top of them. This book predates both movies (though not Jurassic Park).]

As Trex and Cyril fight, David grabs his ridiculous brother and the boys run back to Graveyard School. David starts screaming for help from any of the adult figures who might be in the area, but unfortunately, the only person there is Mrs. Beak. David tries to explain what’s going on, but Mrs. Beak thinks the Pike boys really are the ones who wrecked the school. Mrs. Beak orders the boys to sit down as she raves about how she’ll get the police to lock them away forever. The only thing scarier than Beakenstein is the figure blocking out the sun in front of the class windows. Mrs. Beak doesn’t notice Trex, but Trex notices her as she begins screaming at Richie and, I honestly can’t tell if what happens is because Trex actually DOES care about Richie, or if Mrs. Beak is more of a target, because…

Then suddenly, like the paw of an enormous cat, the head of the Tyrannosaurus rex crashed through the classroom windows. Trex roared as the glass shattered around him. The force of the roar toppled the student desks and blew Mrs. Beak’s desk sideways against the classroom door.

Everything happened so quickly that David wasn’t even sure what had happened… just that one minute Mrs. Beak was shouting at Richie and him.

And the next, she was shrieking in an entirely different tone of voice.

Then her voice stopped in midshriek.

Then she disappeared. Except for one red shoe which dropped to the floor as the dinosaur jerked his head out of the window.

“Wow,” breathed Richie.

“Oh no!” shouted David. He raced to the window. He scrambled out.

But it was too late. Mrs. Beak was gone.

R.I.P. Mrs. Beak, the first causality of the Graveyard School series. [Wing: Well damn.]

David watches as Trex flattens Mrs. Beak’s car as he heads towards Cyril for another round. David and Richie follow Trex out of the school and towards the graveyard battle, when, after the warring dinosaurs create a flurry of gravestones, the boys are knocked over and suddenly realize everything’s quiet. Too quiet. Standing up, the brothers are then confronted by two boys who look and sound EXACTLY like them. All Richie wants to know is what they did with his dinosaurs. David-2 and Richie-2 explain these are forms they assumed to appear less frightening. They express confusion on how this land was still a swampy island when they left, and figure you can never account for time dilation. The doppelgangers explain they wanted two of everything because they were worried about the planet’s future. They realized too late one of their colleagues had been left behind with some specimens, but while he was able to survive, his human assistant stole some of the specimens and started a mail order business. Unfortunately, while they were searching for the specimens, they accidentally awoke Trex and Cyril. The doppelgangers assure Richie his dinosaurs are safe and reunited with their families, and Richie-2 is about to explain what really happened to Mrs. Beak when David-2 cuts him off. As the two begin to leave, Richie asks if this means the dinosaurs aren’t really extinct, and the doppelgangers assure Richie they’ll be back.

[Wing: WAIT WHAT.]

School is still cancelled, and everyone believes an earthquake hit. No one’s found Mrs. Beak, and David and Richie knows she’ll never be found. David asks if they at least recycled her shoe.

At home, Richie retreats to his room to do some research, he says. But instead, he pulls out the box from Cosmic Dinosaurs and and thinks to himself that at least Trex and Cyril are with their families. But then he looks in the box and sees a happy surprise.

One tiny dinosaur, still in the box. [Wing: VELOCIRAPTOR Y/Y/MFY?]

Final Thoughts

So after reading that, who else thinks Richie is the most terrifying thing in the Graveyard School books so far? [Wing: Yes, and also my favourite. Well, except the werewolf family.]

I want to mention that, after this recap, we’ll be breaking from chronological order for a couple of months. Next month I’m skipping to the only book taking place during Thanksgiving, in December I’ll be reviewing two of my faves for the holiday season, and in January I’m picking a book for Wing’s birthmas. [Wing: Exciting!]

Activity Section: A word game spelling out the different dinosaurs mentioned in the book.

Trivia:

  • Polly Hannah’s Wardrobe: Blue velvet bow barrette, blue tights, blue corduroy skirt decorated with flowers.
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