Mamba Point by Kurtis Scaletta

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Synopsis

When his dad gets a job at the U.S. embassy in Liberia, twelve-year-old Linus Tuttle knows it's his chance for a fresh start. Instead of being his typical anxious self, from now on he'll be cooler and bolder: the new Linus.
 
But as soon as his family gets off the plane, they see a black mamba--one of the deadliest snakes in Africa. Linus's parents insist mambas are rare, but the neighborhood is called Mamba Point, and Linus can barely go outside without tripping over one--he's sure the venomous serpents are drawn to him. Then he hears about kasengs, and the belief that some people have a deep, mysterious connection to certain animals.
 
Unless Linus wants to hide in his apartment forever (drawing or playing games with the strange kid downstairs while his older brother meets girls and hangs out at the pool), he has to get over his fear of his kaseng animal. Soon he's not only keeping a black mamba in his laundry hamper; he's also feeling braver than ever before. Is it his resolution to become the new Linus, or does his sudden confidence have something to do with his scaly new friend?
 
From Kurtis Scaletta, author of Mudville, comes a humorous and compelling story of a boy learning about himself through unexpected friends, a fascinating place, and an extraordinary animal.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Kurtis Scaletta

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Kurtis Scaletta is the author of several acclaimed middle school novels, including Mudville, one of Booklist's 2009 Top 10 Sports Books for Youth. He lives in Minneapolis. Eric Wight is the creator of the popular Frankie Pickle illustrated chapter book series. He lives in Pennsylvania with his family.
 
Published July 9, 2010 by Knopf Books for Young Readers. 290 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Travel, Children's Books.

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Kirkus Reviews

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Scaletta’s expertly voiced narrative offers an experience of Africa—specifically, Monrovia, Liberia, in 1982—through the eyes of Linus, a Dayton, Ohio, seventh grader whose family has just arrived for a diplomatic posting.

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KidsReads

Linus isn’t sure what to make of his brother’s actions, but the few times Linus attempts to spend time with Law and his friends, Linus is quickly shoved into the background.

Sep 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Mamba Point

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