Quirky characters and a rather zany storyline mark “Creature Keepers and the Hijacked Hydro-Hide”, the first book in the eponymous middle-grade series. Jordan Grimsley and his sister Abbie arrive in their late grandfather’s dilapidated house in the Florida Everglades during spring break because their father inherited it and intends to renovate it and turn it into a bed and breakfast. However, what they expect to be a boring two weeks turns into the adventure of a lifetime when Jordan discovers that cryptids—those legendary creatures sometimes sighted but nevertheless shrouded in mystery—are real. Not only that, but they need his help!
With somewhat immature humor and delightfully implausible situations, this story will doubtless appeal to upper elementary and middle school readers. Illustrations enhance the allure, and the characters range from funny to evil and from young to old. The predominant themes are friendship, loyalty, and perseverance, which undergird the madcap yet endearing plot. Overall, “The Hijacked Hydro-Hide” forms a fun and interesting basis for this series.