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The Nocturnals #1

The Mysterious Abductions

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The Nocturnals is a fun-filled chapter book series about three unlikely animals who solve unpredictable mysteries of the night with friendship, teamwork, and humor.
In the first book, The Mysterious Abductions, animals are disappearing without a trace—and it’s up to Dawn, a serious fox, Tobin, a sweet pangolin, and Bismark, a pint-sized sugar glider to find out why. With the help of a gentle wombat, a jittery jerboa, a band of coyotes, and some kooky bats, the Nocturnals journey to the depths of the earth and play a wacky, high stakes game that will determine their survival.
Bonus full color illustrations at the start of each chapter!

Now an AR Quiz!

Download complimentary printable activities at nocturnalsworld.com: animal mask crafts, bingo, word games, discussion questions, and the Common Core Language Arts and Next Generation Science educator guides.

In the second chapter book, The Ominous Eye, Dawn a serious fox, Tobin a sweet pangolin, and Bismark a pint-sized sugar glider investigate a sudden jolt that cracks the earth! They meet a mysterious reptile, a tuatara, who claims the beast who caused the crack may strike again. But can this tuatara be trusted? The Nocturnals team up with a fun array of forest animals to uncover the truth!

232 pages, Hardcover

First published April 19, 2016

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About the author

Tracey Hecht

21 books168 followers

Tracey Hecht is a writer and entrepreneur who created The Nocturnals, the critically acclaimed middle grade and early reader series. The American Booksellers Association chose her first book, The Nocturnals: The Mysterious Abductions, as a Kids’ Indie Next List pick. In addition, her Grow & Read early reader book, The Chestnut Challenge, was given a Mom’s Choice Gold Award. With the New York Public Library, she has also created a Read Aloud Writing Program that has since been conducted in over 150 schools, libraries, and bookstores. Tracey currently splits her time between New York City and Oquossoc, Maine, with her husband and four children.

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5 stars
91 (24%)
4 stars
122 (32%)
3 stars
124 (33%)
2 stars
30 (8%)
1 star
6 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 113 reviews
Profile Image for Tina (Trying to Catch Up).
2,450 reviews1 follower
March 21, 2023
This is a Fun Fantasy Mystery Middle Grade book, and this is the first book in the Nocturnals series. All the characters in this book is animals, and I love getting to know all these characters. I love the mystery in this book, and this book as suspense for a middle grade. I love the ending of this book, and the message in this book was really good. I won a Paperback copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway, but this review is my own opinion about this book.
1 review
February 26, 2016
this is a wonderful book about three interesting creatures working together to help other animals. really enjoyed talking about this book with my daughter
Profile Image for Suzanne.
2,093 reviews25 followers
March 26, 2016
Imagine life as a nocturnal animal, sleeping by day and active by night. How different the world would be if you only saw it in shadows and silvery moonlight. What would you do if suddenly other animals started disappearing? Perhaps you hear rumors, a faint call for help, or even the sound of a scuffle. Who could be doing this and why? That is what happens to the characters in The Mysterious Abductions. Three very different animals - Tobin the pangolin, Bismarck the sugar glider, and Dawn the fox- work together to save themselves from a hungry snake on the very first night they meet. That success leads to the formation of the Nocturnal Brigade, with the three new friends ready to help others. And the brigade is formed just in time, because animal after animal is disappearing from the area near the river and no one knows who is taking them or why. Following the trail of missing animals, the brigade must face hungry crocodiles, swiftly flowing rivers, sharp rocks, and even sonar-addled bats. Will they be able to find the missing animals and return them to their families?

The Nocturnals features a wide variety of nocturnal animals - foxes, coyotes, sugar gliders, bats, pangolins, wombats, crocodiles, jerboas, kiwis, and tarantulas. It also features some wonderful vocabulary, especially from Bismarck (the sugar glider). He wants so much to impress everyone, even though he is such a small creature, that he uses very large words such as stupefying, precarious, and tardiness. Along with the extra-large words, he also sprinkles words and phrases from other languages into the conversation like absolument, ma cherie, amigos, and mio amore. Tobin is impressed by him, but Dawn sees through the theatrics and just gives him a look or a sigh to show that she isn't falling for his charm. The relationship between the three friends and the other animals has many humorous moments, even while they are on their mission to find and rescue the missing creatures.

Readers who enjoy animal adventures such as The Guardians of Ga'Hoole may have a new series to add to their bookshelves. The Mysterious Abductions is merely the first book featuring the Nocturnal Brigade, and there will be plenty more danger and laughter for the friends to share.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher for review purposes.
1 review2 followers
January 19, 2016
I liked the pangolin. Also, I like the kiwis and the tarantula. Also, I like the coyotes.
Profile Image for tinabel.
276 reviews16 followers
February 22, 2016
An engaging and gently educational middle grade novel about a group of unlikely friends—a brash and proud sugar glider, a timid pangolin, and a gentle but clever fox—who team up to investigate a string of animal kidnappings in the forest where they live.
Profile Image for Angela.
1,180 reviews22 followers
March 14, 2016
An animal friendship adventure that ends with a life-and-death hockey match? Of course!

This is a unique gift book for young readers of any age. Recommend as a modern tale for fans of A.A. Milne and Kenneth Grahame.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
4,572 reviews177 followers
Want to read
August 24, 2018
This series was written specifically to be read out loud!

"To give the series, which launched with the publication of The Nocturnals in April 2016, a strong readaloud rhythm, Hecht and her coauthors, most recently Sarah Feiber, write using “a loose 3-2-1 iambic pentameter.” Each of the three characters has its own word count. Tobin, a pangolin, utters two words for every three words that Bismark, a sugar glider, says. Dawn, the fox, underscores the conversation with a single word."

Read more: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/b...
Profile Image for Beth.
910 reviews
December 1, 2017
First, I would love to thank Fabled Films Press for a free copy of the book!!!

How cute is this book?!?!? Oh my goodness! This would be an excellent read aloud in a second through fourth grade classroom, especially if the teacher can do voices. Not only is this a great story with humor and life lessons, it's also a great teaching tool. Kids can learn so much about all of the different animals. Shoot! I learned stuff and even found myself looking up information about the different animals. So fun!!! I was so excited about this book, that I ordered all of them for our library's Overdrive. I'm am very excited to booktalk this book! Teachers need to give this book some serious consideration!!!
161 reviews2 followers
January 1, 2020
I really wanted to like this book more. For one thing, it's adorable. The artwork is so appealing and it's not a bad story - just not as good as I was hoping. I don't always think adults are good judges of what kids will like so I'll see how it does in the library. I've had a couple of kids read it, but it hasn't been checked out a lot. I'm going to move it (and the rest of the series) to my early chapter book section though because I think younger kids might like it better than the older kids.

I thought I might read this aloud to a 3rd or 4th grade class, but I'm not sure I can keep up with all of the character voices. There is a lot to like about the book, but overall just was less than I was expecting.
Profile Image for Pam Mooney.
846 reviews49 followers
December 10, 2021
Very fun and suspenseful for middle grade readers. I think all ages will enjoy as the characters are engaging and the journey has mystery. A good read.
Profile Image for Cindy Hudson.
Author 15 books23 followers
June 3, 2016
Animals are disappearing at night, and it’s up to the nocturnals, creatures who are normally awake at night, to solve the mystery. Banding together are a pangolin, a fox, and a sugar glider. Other animals getting in on the action include a wombat, a group of echo-location challenged bats, a band of coyotes and more.

The Nocturnals: The Mysterious Abductions by Tracey Hecht is the first in a series that aims to introduce readers to Australia’s mammals while leading them on an adventure. The animals have to use their strengths, rely on teamwork, and be a bit daring to solve the mystery. The answer to the disappearances is wholly unexpected, and it adds a new element to the story.

The Nocturnals is appropriate for readers aged 9 to 11 to read on their own, but it also works as a parent-child read aloud for kids as young as six. And while young readers have fun following the action, they’ll also be learning about traits of the animals featured in the book. It makes for a winning combination of facts and fiction that I expect will entice kids to seek out the next books in the series.

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Kid Lit Reviews.
376 reviews59 followers
May 3, 2016
The Nocturnal Brigade guard the night, ready to “confront the dangers that lurk in the shadows.” Comprised of three nocturnal animals—Tobin, a good-natured pangolin; Bismark, a romantic sugar glider; and Dawn, a wise red fox—the brigade find themselves in the middle of a mystery almost immediately.

Animals are waking up to find relatives missing, without a trace. Despite trusting their instincts, aggressively tracking down clues, and joining forces with the coyotes, the brigade is running out of time. A small jerboa named Jerry has tricked the entire group. He and Bismark are gone and it becomes clear Jerry is working for the unknown villains. Where have all the animals gone and who or what makes them leave?

The answer is unexpected and highly entertaining. The humor begins early. Bismark, the short statured sugar glider thinks he is a romantic Frenchman. He uses French phrases, mostly when speaking . . .

To Read the Full Review and Illustrations of Characters, Go To: http://bit.ly/MysteriousAbductions
Profile Image for Camille.
53 reviews7 followers
March 25, 2016
For fans of Winnie the Pooh, this is a cute book about Australian, nocturnal animals joining together to solve a mystery of missing animals. The character Bismarck, a sugar glider prone to exclaiming in foreign language is stalwart and true, if a bit of a flirt. The other characters are less developed and the story does get a little repetitive. They keep meeting new creatures that join their brigade. Young animal lovers will enjoy reading about cute exotic animal friends, perhaps younger fans of the Warriors series would enjoy it.
Profile Image for Anna.
96 reviews7 followers
April 4, 2016
In The Nocturnals, a motley band of nocturnal animals band together to stop a threat to the greater animal community. This book provides a great deal of information about nocturnal animals in the format of a light mystery novel. I enjoyed the ridiculousness of some of the characters. I did not love the pace of the plot. I would recommend this to book to my goofy, animal-loving students. It's great if you have a strong reading level but a love of silly animal interactions.
Profile Image for Christie.
388 reviews
August 8, 2016
Hen and I had so much fun reading this book! We've really found some great reads this summer. We're already signed up at the library to get the next one on the list. Animals are missing and their disappearances are being noticed. A brigade of nocturnal animals is formed to solve the mystery. Are they safe? Can they find out what happened? Who is behind it all? And will Bismark the sugar glider find love?

Such a fun story with a brilliant nighttime setting.
Profile Image for Kristin.
151 reviews2 followers
July 15, 2020
The Nocturnals was not what I was expecting and I wasn't a fan. While there is a slightly educational element to the story I just didn't find the characters and story as a whole to be very likeable. There were some things left unexplained, a character that is seemingly gone throughout a chunk of the climax, one incredibly annoying main character (Bismarck) and I had a difficult time even finishing this.

Disclaimer: I received a free ARC of this book and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.
Profile Image for Yapha.
2,619 reviews72 followers
January 10, 2016
Fun new animal adventure mystery, with fabulous spot illustrations for each chapter by a former student of mine. It features some interesting and unusual animals including a pangolin, sugar glider, wombat, kiwis, and jerboa as well as some more familiar ones. Recommended for animal lovers, grades 3 & up.

ARC provided by illustrator.
Profile Image for Isabella Torres.
37 reviews3 followers
November 28, 2016
This book was a book that has mystery and parts of comedy. I was reading this book before but never finished it .I am so happy that I finally finished it. I loved the characters. Bismark was super funny, Dawn was my favorite, and Tobin was just so calm with everything. overall, this was a good book to read.
217 reviews1 follower
July 19, 2020
Cute book for younger readers. I love that it had an animal glossary in the back of the book for readers that may not know what each animal is or looks like. There are quite a few animal names that I would not have known and one of the animals likes to use French phrases. People can use context clues to figure out what the animal means though.
Profile Image for Arden Prins.
26 reviews
July 1, 2016
This was a pretty cute story and I think a lot of middle graders will love it. I liked the cast of characters and the plot was surprising! Made me wish I had a kid to read it to and do all the funny voices.
Profile Image for Dana Carmichael.
248 reviews1 follower
June 6, 2016
I recommend 5th grade and down. The animal vocabulary is unique to australia, but the story is reminiscent of Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Great opportunity to discuss class distinctions.
9 reviews
June 11, 2016
My daughter and I love this book. We are already waiting for the next book to be available.
17 reviews
November 19, 2021
I chose this book because it has my favorite animal as one of the main characters, which is a very rare and unheard of animal, a Pangolin.
The setting of this book is the cave, and just in nature. The time this book takes place is the present.
The three main characters in this book is the brigade which consists of Dawn the fox, Tobin the pangolin, and Bismark the sugar glider. They are all nocturnals and they help nocturnal animals that have problems going on. Dawn is the serious one who is kind of the leader of the brigade. Tobin is shy and sweet and Bismark is loud and funny.
The conflict of the story is when many nocturnal animals come to the brigade for help because animals of their kind are going missing. The brigade is trying to save all of the animals from the crocodiles that stole them but the brigade gets trapped by the crocodiles.
They all found out why the crocodiles kidnapped them and it was so the boss could be a coacher because the boss crocodile's parents got taken away by coachers, which were actually poachers.
The conflict was resolved by Dawn talking to the boss and getting him to let everyone go but they can still visit the crocodile and he can visit them and play the “hockey” game that he stole the animals for so they could play with him because the boss thought that the poachers stole his parents because they were good at their version of hockey because they were stolen while they were playing hockey.
My opinion on this book is that it always kept me reading because I wanted to see what happened next. It is heartfelt, sad, and happy. I recommend this book to everyone!
Profile Image for Marti.
2,883 reviews1 follower
December 21, 2017
The Mysterious Abductions by Tracey Hecht is a the first book in a series called The Nocturnals. The book is populated with animals who have been personified by their personal traits into characters in the story. The story takes place in Australia, so the animals are from Australia and all are animals that are active at night. I do have to admit, I needed to google some of the animals so that I knew what they looked like and some of their behaviors. Knowing the information about the animals made the book easier to understand (especially because kiwis in the United States are fruits - not birds).

In the first adventure three animals band together to discover what is happening in their forest to various animals that are disappearing. The concern does not seem to be related to a single species, but to a variety. The fox (Dawn), the pangolin (Tobin) and the sugar glider (Bismark) are unlikely friends, but together they make a force to be dealt with - according to Bismarck.

The book has any fine qualities for a young reader. The adventure, friendship and perseverance are all fine qualities for everyone to read about and adopt. The writing is good, although I found the understanding of the game quite confusing until I saw a couple of the pictures to help me ‘see’ it in my mind’s eye. I think the book would be interesting to those who love to read about fantastical adventures with animals. The Mysterious Abductions was an interesting read.
951 reviews23 followers
January 1, 2019
I thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining book. The characters are delightful and kooky.

Dawn (the red fox), Tobin (a pangolin), and Bismark (a sugar glider) work together as a brigade to solve the mystery of the disappearing nocturnal animals. Other nocturnals join in the hunt - Cora the sweet wombat, comical bats who love to tease Bismark, a jerboa, and some coyotes. They find themselves pitted against a group of crocodiles. Oh my! I just had to laugh over the names of the band of five crocodiles – Miss, Bee, Hay, Vee, and Orr.

The personalities of the animals make the book so appealing. Dawn is quiet with a “take charge” personality and calm in a crisis, Tobin sweet and somewhat shy, and Bismark – oh Bismark! - boastful, flirtatious, hilarious, self-proclaimed “god amongst gliders”, yet lovable.

New friends are made within this mixture of characters. Hopefully the other books in the series bring back not only the core group of friends – Dawn, Tobin, and Bismark – but also Cora, Ciro, Jerry, and even Boris.

The book is educational and emphasizes the value of friendship. It also contains a glossary of animals (many I had never heard of), a Q&A with the author, and some cute illustrations at the beginning of each chapter.

This is the perfect book for middle-grade children to read on their own. It also is a delightful read aloud book for younger children.

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book. The review is strictly my opinion.
Profile Image for Melanie Dulaney.
1,371 reviews66 followers
March 8, 2023
Having talking animals buddy up and accomplish great things has made its appearance in middle grade literature for a long time. Timeless masterpieces would include Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White) and the Redwall series (Brian Jacques) and contemporary successes such as Journey Beyond the Burrow (Rina Heisel) and Hedgehog of Oz (Cory Leonardo) all allow readers to be pulled into animals’ adventures that are so vivid, it is sometimes hard to remember that it isn’t mice, hedgehogs and like who are accomplishing mighty feats. Tracey Hecht’s “Nocturnals” series seeks to put readers into the animal world to entertain, excite, and teach about the behaviors of, primarily, a pangolin, a sugar glider and a red fox. As Tobin, Bismark and Dawn attempt to solve the mystery of disappearing nocturnal animals, they enlist the help of other creatures and wander a make-believe habitat that sometimes seems like it is modeled after Australia. It is a good story with facts about the natural world mixed in seamlessly and there will definitely be an audience for this one, especially when paired with her shorter, almost exclusively non-fiction works with the same series name. I do not, however, rate it as high as the earlier mentioned works. Kudos to the publisher, Fabled Films Press, for choosing to bind the paperback edition in a super sturdy feeling material and top quality paper pages. These books will last far long than the typical paperback book.
Profile Image for Sonya.
4 reviews
January 22, 2018
I would like to thank FabledFilms Press for providing me with a copy of ‘The Nocturnals’. Now on to my honest review:

The Nocturnals was a fun read made even more interesting by the inclusion of lesser known animals. How many stories do you know that feature a Pangolin or Jerboa? Readers will learn about these animals and their characteristics without even realizing it as the story weaves these tidbits effortlessly into character dialogue. (Bismarck, the smooth-talking Sugar Glider, is only too happy to speak about his many amazing and superior traits to all of his companions, whether they want to hear them or not; and he frequently speaks Spanish & French too!)
Themes of bravery, competition, and friendship are spread throughout the book, but I was also surprised to see the story manage to include deeper themes of animal extinction and endangerment in a very touching way. Overall, the ‘The Nocturnals: The Mysterious Abductions’ is a charming beginning to a delightful kids series.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 113 reviews

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