In Search of Goliathus Hercules by Jennifer Angus


Genre:  Adventure

Series?  No

Audience Age:  10-12

Rating (1-5):  3

 The story in no more than five sentences:

When Henri’s father goes missing on an expedition to British Malaya, he is sent to live with his Great Aunt Georgie where he discovers that he possesses an extraordinary power:  he has the ability to talk with insects!   Deciding to go find his father in Malaya and discover the legendary giant beetle Goliathus Hercules, he leaves his Aunt Georgie and becomes a barker of a traveling flea circus, meeting several circus friends along the way.  Henri realizes that he is being followed by a sinister woman named Miss Black, who desires the Goliathus Hercules as much as he does.  He also notices that he cannot only talk to insects, but that he is actually transforming into one!  Traveling to Malaya, Henri and his friends discover the giant beetles, defeat Miss Black, and eventually learn that his father has transformed into a rare Goliathus Hercules.        

The best part about the book is ( in 1 sentence):

­­­­­­­­­­The best part of this book is the fantastic and elaborate insect circus shows that Henri performs using all kinds of bugs.

The worst part of the book is ( in 1 sentence):

The worst part of this book is the final 50 pages of discovery about his father which seemed to drag the plot out unnecessarily.

1 interesting note about the author:

Jennifer Angus is a professor of Design Studies at the University of Wisconsin.  A lover of insects, she uses all kinds of bugs to make elaborate pattern art.