________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 23. . . February 24, 2017


Jungle Jitters. (Orca Currents).

Lisa Dalrymple.
Victoria, BC: Orca, March, 2017.
124 pp., pbk., pdf & epub, $9.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-1349-6 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4598-1350-2 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-1351-9 (epub).

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Christine McCrea.

*** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy



That night, as everyone else slept, I heard the roar of rain approaching through the jungle. It rushed in over the trees and raced toward our building. Raindrops pelted the roof. I pulled my sleeping bag up and rolled over to face the wall, imagining I was in a blanket fort at the cottage.

As the rain slowed, I heard another noise. An animal on the roof again? But tonight it sounded closer, like it was already in the room. And I might have heard the door snick shut.

Had Dre gone out to the bathroom? I flicked on my flashlight. His dreadlocks were sticking out the top of his sleeping bag. If he was here, what had I heard? The monkeys? Senor Diego? El Tunchi?Ē
(p. 57)


Tate, aka the Potato, is known as a pretty boring kid. Nonetheless, when he and some of his grade six classmates get the opportunity to travel to the Amazon with their teacher to help build a school, he jumps at the chance.

     Tateís friends, Dre and Noelle, donít seem nearly as freaked out as he is by the jaguars, tarantulas, snakes and caimans that lurk in the Amazon. Why does he have to be so scared of everything anyway? To make things worse, Maria and Oscar, kids living at the lodge where Tate and friends are staying, tell them the story of El Tunchi, an evil Amazonian spirit that haunts those who destroy plant or animal life in the jungle and then drags them off.

     Meanwhile, Tateís possessions start to go missing, and he eventually finds a rather threatening photo of a snake on his bed. Tate fears that his mishap involving dripping paint on a frog in the jungle has made him a target of El Tunchi.

     As the tension builds, Tate becomes more and more fearful of the jungle inhabitants, both real and unreal. But his trip to the Amazon teaches him that he has the courage to face his own fears. When another child finds himself in danger, Tate knows he must act. And his own bravery surprises him.

     Although the idea that a small group of children would travel to the Amazon with their teacher is a little far-fetched, the story, itself, is interesting enough that readers will soon suspend their disbelief. Each chapter ends on a suspenseful note, making readers want to read on. The hint of grade six romance will appeal to some maturing readers as well.

     Jungle Jitters is suitable for grades 4-7 and is especially appropriate for the reluctant reader in grades 6 and 7. Jungle Jitters is short and easy to read but lots of fun.


Christine McCrea is a childrenís librarian at Richmond Public Library in BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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