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Softcover, 192 pages, 5.5 x 8, middle grade fiction, ages 8-12

ISBN: 978-1-944762-55-1



Available as an e-book in this format:

Amazon Kindle

iBooks for Apple iPhone, iPod, or iPodTouch

About this Book:

A Junior Library Guild Selection
Gold Moonbeam Award for Preteen Fiction - Mystery
Finalist, Young People's Literature, 2019 Maine Literary Award

Finch has trouble paying attention in school. He’s just too busy dreaming about uncovering a dinosaur fossil and naming a new species after himself—until he digs up a note in the fifth-grade class garden with the word HELP on it. He is determined to come to the aid of the mystery note-writer. But when the quest turns out to be harder than expected, Finch risks losing two things that he really wants —his best friend Noah, and a field trip to Dinosaur State Park. Acclaimed author Gail Donovan gets inside the hearts and minds of fifth graders on this journey told with unexpected humor and impressive insight.


"An amusing, empowering tale that should appeal especially to middle schoolers with abundant energy."
—Kirkus Reviews

"Finch, refreshingly, is wholly himself. He is not kind because he thinks he has to be, but because he wants to be. He enjoys his own interests and doesn’t understand why anyone wouldn’t like the same things. There are lessons at work here—to be kind; to help if you can––but the book doesn’t preach. Messages are subtly woven in to Finch’s fun story. The mystery of Finchosaurus keeps the plot moving, but the delightful characters and events are what make the story truly enjoyable."
––Foreword Reviews

"... perfect for young readers, especially those who don’t mind getting their hands dirty in the spirit of adventure.”
—Erik Ofgang, Connecticut Magazine

"Donovan’s realistic fiction for middle-graders (and adults, too) explores the confusing complexities in the lives of 10-year-old boys and girls. This charming story has laughter, suspense and tenderness, as well as lessons about friendship, problem-solving and dinosaurs."
––Bill Bushnell, Central Maine Newspapers

“There’s a lot of humor here, and an important message for kids. I suggest that you buy a couple copies, and donate one to your library and one to your school. It’s my hope that every Maine middle-schooler will read and learn from this story.”
––George Smith,

"'Finchosaurus' is a funny, sweet and well-paced middle-grade novel in which author Gail Donovan once again draws on her intimate knowledge of elementary school to create an environment and story kids can relate to. [. . .] the author, who works at the Portland Public Library, definitely has a good understanding of the world of the fifth-grader and a deft and humorous way of bringing it to life."
––Amy MacDonald, Maine Sunday Telegram

Gail Donovan

About this Author

Gail Donovan is the author of the middle-grade novels The Waffler, What’s Bugging Bailey Blecker?, and In Memory of Gorfman T. Frog, which was named a New York Public Library 100 Books



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