I decided to read Raptor because I’m considering revising most recent novel to slant more towards horror than contemporary and wanted to see some examples of horror in kidlit. The protagonist’s age is never stated, but he drives a motorcycle so the story would probably be categorized as YA, but the lack of bad language and sex would make it acceptable to MG as well. There is a lot of gore in the story where the raptors consume animals and people.
Raptor was published in 1998, just one year after Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone came out in Britain, and the same year Scholastic released the Americanized version. It’s easy to say that HP changed how we look at kidlit, but Raptor just has a totally different feel to it compared to current MG and YA novels. It is very short – only 170 pages – but rapidly paced, with very little attempt at characterization and very few characters in general.
Honestly, I don’t know if this book would be published in today’s market. The author, Paul Zindel, wrote more than 50 books, so maybe it would get published after all because he was a known commodity in publishing. It is definitely a “boy book,” which wouldn’t bode well for it’s success as a YA book.
I have another book by Zindel in my TBR pile from the library. The author bio on Raptor‘s jacket intrigued me, so I did a little bit of reading on his background. When I finish the 2nd book, I may put together a short post about the writing career of Paul Zindel.