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Kid vs. Squid

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  179 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Thatcher Hill is bored stiff of his summer job dusting the fake mermaids and shrunken heads at his uncle's seaside Museum of Curiosities. But when a mysterious girl steals an artifact from the museum, Thatcher's summer becomes an adventure that takes him from the top of the ferris wheel to the depths of the sea. Following the thief, he learns that she is a princess of the ...more
Hardcover, 193 pages
Published May 11th 2010 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens (first published 2010)
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Feb 13, 2012 L12_Anke rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
Kid vs. Squid by Greg van Eekhout is a fast-paced book about a boy named Thatcher who has to spend his summer with his crazy uncle Griswald on a California beach town called Las Huesas. His uncle owns The Museum of the Strange and Curious and this is where Thatcher is expected to spend his summer days. The story is told through Thatcher’s voice, which is so real the reader wants to join him on his crazy adventure. He’s clever, funny and a great story-teller. The descriptions are witty and imagin ...more
Beth Cato
Sep 17, 2014 Beth Cato rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s, middle, 2014
Sometimes you just need a gentle, whimsical book that makes you feel like a kid again. That's what I needed this week, and that's why I picked up Greg Van Eekhout's book. I bought it at Phoenix Comicon and had it signed to my son.

I would have enjoyed this as a kid, too, even if it gets a little creepy at times. I love how it uses the California coast as a setting (it even mentions Pismo later on, a familiar place for me), with a boy abandoned in his weird uncle's museum of strange things for his
Kater Cheek
Aug 14, 2010 Kater Cheek rated it liked it
This middle-grade novel was fresh and delightful, and more charming than I expected. It's a little like Percy Jackson, except that it's more creative and doesn't take itself so seriously.

Eekhout sets the story in Los Huesos, a rather grim and macabre seaside town in California. Thatcher is sent to live with his great uncle Griswald, and his job is to help maintain Griswald's museum of curiosities. When one of the curiosities gets stolen, Thatcher and his new friend Trudy become involved in an an
Catherine Schaff-Stump
May 19, 2010 Catherine Schaff-Stump rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
I haven't had this much fun with a book in a long, long time.

Van Eekhout's Kid Vs Squid manages to return kids of any age to that sweet spot in their imagination that their childhood favorite reads take them to. KvS is all out adventure and humor. Three kids--Thatcher, Shoal and Trudy--bond in ways that only 3 Musketeers on a life-threatening adventure can.

And then there's the weirdness. Uncle Griswold runs a museum for oddities of the sea. Cursed carnies return to the board walk every year. A w
Aug 19, 2015 Nathaniel rated it it was amazing
Great Book! Kid vs. Squid is a book about how the story of Atlantis and its unfortunate endings may have been because of an evil witch, Skalla. The problem is, Skalla may not stop there, drowning the entire california could just be her plans. An amazing book with tons of exciting adventures and discoveries, there is always something new for Thatcher, and his friends Shoal and Trudy.
Middle schooler Thatcher Hill goes to live with his uncle in a small seaside town in California for the summer. His job is to take care of odd objects at the Museum of Curiosities, which includes a mysterious shrunken head in a box. A young girl steals this mysterious object from the museum and things soon turn bizarre as Thatcher, in his pursuit of this thief, gets caught up in a ages-old battle between an evil witch and the people of the lost city of Atlantis. He gets chased by jelly-fish boys ...more
Jul 05, 2010 Irasema rated it liked it
I am having a hard time deciding how I really feel about this book. Before reading the book, I read some reviews stating this was a very funny book but I didn't find it to be that amuzing. I think it was quite creative and I'm pretty sure my students will like it but I'm not sure I would think of it as being very funny. Maybe it was the state of mind I was in while reading it :)
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Kira M for

Thatcher is spending the summer with his eccentric uncle, Griswald, on the boardwalk at his museum of curiosities. Amongst the museum is a box that his uncle refers to as the What-Is-It.

When a mysterious girl steals the What-Is-It, Thatcher catches up with her and confronts her about her theft. When she tells him that she is the princess of Atlantis and is cursed to stay in the water all winter and run the stands along the boardwalk during the summer, Thatc
Jun 10, 2010 Theo rated it it was amazing
This book is really really really wonderful because it is fun to read and hilarious. The plot was probably the most creative plot that you will read this year. For example, that everybody turns out to be happy, instead of one victory. It's not just good guys versus bad guys.

Books usually have two characters, but this one has three main characters, Thatcher is the main-main character, Trudy is important, and Shoal is quite important, too. Trudy is a bit of a hero; she's the one saying what Skall
Jul 07, 2012 Angie rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile-fic
Really make that like three point five. It was a lot of fun and a length that many of my students will actually be able to FINISH. (Can you tell I get frustrated when they don't finish? Once or twice, it's all good. But some of them? Almost never. :[) The timing seemed a little off ... was great until the ending sort of seemed to come out of nowhere and then there were a couple pages of "and this is what happened to our main characters after" and then it was done. So, you know ... maybe a few mo ...more
Fantasy Literature
Jun 06, 2013 Fantasy Literature rated it really liked it
Kid vs. Squid, by Greg van Eekhout, is definitely a children’s fantasy. It comes in at a slim sub-200 pages (with pretty good-sized print) and doesn’t take much time with detailed description, rich character development, or intricate plotting. That isn’t a complaint; it’s just to say that Kid vs. Squid knows who its audience is, and while it won’t dumb things down or talk down to its readers, it also won’t stretch them. Keeping to relatively humble standards of that sort, it succeeds pretty soli ...more
Lisa Chaddock
This is a rather wild story about a boy and his growing up adventure. However, it's got bits of seaside interest (which Van Eekout is amazingly good at) and beautiful prose that make this book a great read for YA fans. I don't want to put in spoilers - so go read this one. It's an afternoon read, so put it on your list.
Rollicking and weird, this story straddles the line between actual adventure fantasy and a winking parody of the genre.
Jul 28, 2014 Princess rated it it was amazing
i loved this book! It was hilarious in every way and I could NOT put it down!
Jun 19, 2014 Kevin rated it it was ok
Wacky summer adventure with lots of ocean-themed mayhem. It's fast-paced and has moments of good humor, but it was also a little hard to follow, and perhaps the most unforgivable, false advertising: no squid until page 169.

I read it aloud to my kids and they enjoyed it, though were also disappointed at the lack of squid.
Aug 25, 2010 Jeanne added it
The kids and I just finished this book and it's taken us a long time. Great, wonderful descriptions and use of language in this book. "Her voice was like little slugs covered in rust." Great message of friendship and self-confidence. The language is a bit difficult, but even if the reader didn't know all of the words, they could still get the gist of the story.
Jul 17, 2011 Heather rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
The title is fabulous, but I just couldn't get into the story. I could probably find some kids to recommend it to, but for most, it wouldn't be a must-read. Still, since we all have different tastes, there may be some who find this to be their favorite book ever. I did like the eccentric and bizarre Uncle Griswald - he was my favorite character of the bunch.
Mar 31, 2011 Victini rated it it was amazing
This is an awesome book! I read it every night and i could barely put it down! It is about a boy who stays at his Uncle's Museum for the summer,and meets a girl from Atlantis. The girl, his friend, Trudy, And he all go on an adventure to get back an Atlantean Object,or as they call it, a "What is it??" It's an amazing book!
Demrion Shields
I really liked how the book had a lot of flavor and description of the characters and what's going on during Thatcher's summer vacation. I think that Thatcher could have seen Skalla again though. but other than that the book was great and I loved it and I hope there will be a sequel to it.
Jul 20, 2010 Betsy rated it really liked it
One Sentence Review: I should probably be more of a stickler for this book, but considering how fun it is and the great premise (the denizens of Atlantis are cursed to work as carnies every summer on land) this was one of the more enjoyable random little books of the year.
Oct 25, 2012 Janet added it
Shelves: fiction, sff, 2011, ya
A children's book that I read based on friends' recommendations. Very imaginative and funny, so I kept reading, but really too YA for my tastes.[return]BTW, did great books like this exist when I was a kid? I didn't have them, but I was in a library-deprived place.
Kristen Gurri
May 17, 2011 Kristen Gurri rated it really liked it
A fun read with a slightly paranormal bent. It's never too early for a little atlantis lore, plus I love all those gory old museums full of bits and bobs and fakery. So the setting was great. I think Colin will like this next year in third grade.
Oct 03, 2010 paula rated it liked it
We liked the humor and the wide spectrum of Dr. Moreau-type marine monsters. An off-season seaside town is the naturally creepy setting for a spooky mystery. Nice friendship details keep things from getting overly Scooby-Doo-esque.
Feb 01, 2011 Kathy rated it it was amazing
Giant attack squid! Kelp and lobster men! Seagull spies! Mummies and shrunken heads! Curses and an evil witch's head and a creepy Neptune house! Non-stop action and snarky humor give this lots of boy appeal. 3-6th grade
Julia Gay
Jul 29, 2012 Julia Gay rated it it was amazing
Totally enjoyed this science fiction/fantasy!! Thrasher is hilarious, he would say or think things that made me laugh out loud and wish I could talk to a fellow reader!! A good time!! Good crossover!!
Jun 09, 2012 Esmeralda rated it it was ok
I couldn't get into the book, everything felt rushed and unfocused. There are parts of the book that were very good and funny, it depends on your tastes. It wasn't bad. But I was disappointed.
Dec 21, 2013 Lea rated it it was amazing
Eekhout creates a world so vivid you can almost smell the seawater! With adventure at every turn Kid vs. Squid will keep readers of all ages captivated and curious. Highly recommended.
May 29, 2010 Red rated it liked it
Recommended to Red by: Uncle Hugo
Take one look at the cover of this book (colossal giant cartoon squid (those eye brows!) & his kid friend) and tell me that you don't want to read it too! How could you not?
Heather Graham
Nov 17, 2015 Heather Graham rated it liked it
So, not really suitable for a 5 year old but I give him props for sticking it out until the end
Dec 27, 2010 Joshua rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-13-read
Loved the title and cover and liked the beginning but felt it lost something about halfway through... decent but unexceptional...
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Greg van Eekhout writes books for kids and adults. He enjoys eating little tacos, walking along the beach, and practicing kung fu. About the kung fu: He's let himself get a bit slovenly, quite frankly, so please do not challenge him to a fight. He cries easily. He's a weeper. He lives in San Diego.
More about Greg Van Eekhout...

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