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The Nocturnals #3

The Fallen Star

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“Returning fans will be rewarded” —Booklist
In the Nocturnals third chapter book, Dawn a serious fox, Tobin a sweet pangolin, and Bismark a pint-sized sugar glider wake up to a disaster! A meteor has landed in the forest, blue lights glow near the crater, and animals are strangely affected. They meet Iris the aye-aye, a mysterious primate, who warns of a moon monster invasion. But can she be trusted? It is up to the Nocturnals to uncover the real explanation and save the animals!
Bonus full color illustrations at the start of each chapter.

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

The Nocturnals is a critically acclaimed middle grade chapter book series following three unlikely friends—Dawn, a serious fox, Tobin, a sweet pangolin, and Bismark, a pint-sized sugar glider. Discover the friendships, teamwork, and humor as the Nocturnal Brigade solves the unpredictable mysteries of the night.

In the fourth chapter book, The Hidden Kingdom, Dawn, Tobin, and Bismark travel to a distant watering hole and strange things happen along the way. The ground crumbles, water disappears, and huge tumbleweeds chase after them! Is the forest alive? When the animals start hearing voices, they begin to wonder: are they imagining things or is something, or someone, else responsible? Only the Nocturnals can solve this mystery and unite the forest!

208 pages, Hardcover

First published May 2, 2017

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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
32 (47%)
4 stars
27 (39%)
3 stars
7 (10%)
2 stars
1 (1%)
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1 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 26 of 26 reviews
2,431 reviews47 followers
October 8, 2019
First the spoiler, the solution in this book is an overly graphic fart so the only person i'd recommend it to is a second grade boy. Because this is the first of the 3 1/2 books i've read in this series that i didn't care for i figured i'd get all my bitching out about the series.

The art - it isn't Mark Trail's James Allen or even Mo Willems, it is so damn weird that i almost like it.

Bismark the flying rodent better pray that there isn't a lawyer in the forest cause he's going to get a sexual harassment suit, the come-ons to Dawn have gone on too long w/out him being seriously slapped down and has made me really dislike the character. i was rooting for the scorpions.

The notes on the animals at the back would be useful if they weren't so tiny. i assume they're accurate, but can't tell. The questions for the book club were almost as tiny, read them because i wondered one thing, would the gooey gas be addressed in a question? Disappointed that it wasn't, maybe the writer of the questions was as embarrassed to write about it as i was to read it.

i'll probably give this to a thrift store instead of a library, or to a parent w/a warning about the ending. i know kidlit has changed and i've gotten too old and i know the scent bomb is a pangolin defense but still...

(how about that, Spellcheck doesn't know the word "pangolin." i did learn something because of this book.)
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Suzanne.
2,093 reviews25 followers
April 8, 2017
In their first appearance (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. In this third adventure the friends are watching falling stars and see one crash down near their valley. Strange things begin to happen after it lands; plants disappear, animals are poisoned, and strange glowing creatures roam the night. Aye-Aye Iris claims that she has seen things and knows secrets, but she won't share her knowledge. Is she making it up? Did Bismarck's comment that she sounded "loco" make her decide not to help? How will the friends find the answers in time to save all those who have been poisoned?

The Nocturnals features a wide variety of nocturnal animals - foxes, sugar gliders, pangolins, lemurs, kangaroos, bilbies, and bandicoots. Bismarck, the sugar glider, continues with his efforts to impress everyone by using very large words such as atrocious and malodorous. Along with the extra-large words, he also sprinkles words and phrases from other languages into the conversation like exactemente, pas de probleme, and muchacha. This time he even invents a new language called Starspeak that sounds like "Eep Ork, Zip Zop Zoop!" He uses this to try and communicate with alien beings.

Readers who enjoy animal adventures such as The Guardians of Ga'Hoole may have a new series to add to their bookshelves. The Fallen Star is the third book in the series featuring the Nocturnal Brigade. The friends in the brigade have the same quirks from their other books that will make readers laugh, from Bismarck's over the top declarations of love for Dawn to Tobin's loudly grumbling stomach. There is a website for readers and educators with plenty of resources at https://www.nocturnalsworld.com/.

I read an advanced reading copy provided by the publisher for review purposes.
Profile Image for Valerie.
902 reviews5 followers
April 24, 2017
I am excited to be here today to bring you a review of the 3rd Nocturnals book! This book is another geared at the middle school age and we once again get to meet up with the friends we made in the first two books. This time the crew has gotten sick and they must work together to solve what is causing it.

I enjoy these books because they have themes that I believe in woven throughout the story. It's not in your face, but done in a tactful way. I appreciate the story very much throughout. My favorite part of these books are the characters. The way that the author writes creates vivid images in my mind.

I enjoyed this book and appreciate the opportunity to read the latest in the series. Thank you!

Disclaimer: I was awarded this book from the publisher. Though I did not pay for the book, the opinions are strictly my own.
Profile Image for Tori Kelley.
44 reviews1 follower
March 6, 2017
I was mailed this book as an ARC (advanced reading copy) and wanted to give it an honest review in return. This was the first chapter book my seven year old daughter ever let me read to her. And then the five year old came in and he was also hooked. They loved it! Fraught with age-appropriate peril, my kids were deep in thought about what would happen next and truly cared about the characters. Bismark was good for laughs with his multi-lingual personality. The story held their attention to the end. Brava, Tracey Hecht!
1,136 reviews14 followers
May 7, 2017
Dawn, Tobin, and Bismark continue their adventures when they go on a quest to find out what is making the animals in their valley sick. Tobin is poisoned and much of the story is spent looking for a cure. Hecht uses real nocturnal animals found in exotic places. The tale contains lessons about friendship, first impression, and a very interesting biological weapon. This is the third book in the series.

Through a promotion giveaway, the publisher I was randomly chosen to receive this book free. I was under no obligation to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
158 reviews22 followers
February 25, 2017
3.5 stars

This was the second Nocturnals book I have read (I started with the second book in the series) and this is my favorite one so far. As far as I can tell all of the books, while part of a series, can be read as stand-alone novels.

It was a quick and entertaining read. The plot was fast paced enough to hold even short attention spans while still being entirely coherent. It also introduces readers to rare animals that are likely unfamiliar. The mystery was well done and I honestly didn't see the coming. There is also a nice message of accepting your differences and being inclusive.

(I received a free arc of this book from the publisher)
1,110 reviews12 followers
July 3, 2017
The third in a series of books with unlikely animal heroes, a fox, a pangolin and a sugar glider who call themselves the Nocturnal Brigade. There is always a catastrophe that starts these books and this one begins with a meteor crashing to earth which starts a dangerous chain of events. This book is pure fantasy but does teach about the characteristics of different unusual animals. A humorous subplot deals with the amorous sugar glider's (Bismark) cross species courtship of the fox (Dawn) who wants nothing to do with his affections. It is a good book for the middle grade audience for which it is intended.
1 review
June 15, 2017
In Tracey Hecht’s, “The Fallen Star,” her readers will find the perfect addition to The Nocturnals series. As Dawn, Bismark, and Tobin begin another heroic crusade, Hecht expands the wonderful world of The Nocturnal Brigade. Her readers will enjoy more of Bismarck’s comical chatter and Tobin’s goofy heroics. New characters like Aye-aye Iris and the lemurs make an exciting debut. While combining animal facts with a well-devised plot, Hecht yet again creates a story your kids will love!
2 reviews
June 15, 2017
I loved reading this book with my nephews. It was awesome to see their imaginations working as we took turns reading.
The book is creatively written, allowing us to easily get into a detailed discussion about self acceptance and friendship. The characters are witty, likeable, and share an endearing adventure that is fun to unfold. It's the perfect book for children embarking on a passion for reading.
405 reviews
January 28, 2018
Thoroughly delightful book geared toward 3rd to 5th graders. Met some unusual animals that I, as an adult, had never heard of and had to look up to educate myself - pangolin, aye-aye, woylie, and bilby. I think every elementary school library should have this book and the 2 preceding ones. When I was in elementary school an eternity ago, I had one teacher who read to us after lunch each day. She read some of the most amazing books to us and instilled my love of reading to this day.
Profile Image for Maria Berg.
Author 7 books18 followers
June 28, 2017
This is a fun and unique story. Because I started with the third book in the series, I think I missed some character development, but I enjoyed the collection of animals I wouldn't usually read about. There were a few too many "mon dieu"s for my taste and I found the use of French and Spanish in the same sentence a bit odd. Overall, I enjoyed the story.
223 reviews
November 4, 2017
I won this book on Goodreads. It's a wonderful book for middle school age kids and as an adult I was wonderfully entranced by the story. There was enough mystery and silliness to keep kids interested.
All kinds of excitement happens when a meteor lands in the forest late one night and The Nocturnal Brigade is called into action. Can they find the aliens and save the animals ??
December 7, 2017
A great sequal

Not as good as the original but still great

They used the antagonist in a different way than usual and made him a solid at first but was revealed later on as a result a finding flowers. Speaking of which the concept of the blue flowers during the scorpion poison was also good plot design when you find out about them.
Profile Image for S.
22 reviews3 followers
May 10, 2017
Good Read winner- Good book for older elementary or middle school age children. Intriguing story that you will definitely want to read to the end.
Profile Image for Crystal ✬ Lost in Storyland.
986 reviews195 followers
July 8, 2017
3.5 stars.

I enjoyed this book much more than the first two books. The conflict was intriguing and had me worried about the fates of the forest animals. It actually felt like they were in danger, and there was a real mystery here. I would recommend this book to young readers who love animals and would be interested in reading an animal book that takes place in a foreign country!

Full review on the blog. Link below.

Kris @Imaginary Reads
Profile Image for E Dub.
7 reviews
January 11, 2023
It was really good! I loved the twist at the end. I totally recommend this for 7-10 year old's
Profile Image for Shirley.
472 reviews38 followers
May 15, 2017
Grab your cape and embark on an adventure with Dawn, a wise red fox, Tobin, a kind and brave Pangolin covered with scales that resemble the leaves of an artichoke, (p.15) and Bismark a bilingual, alliteration-speaking Sugar Glider.

Book three in the Nocturnal series is called Fallen Star. It has a reading level of 5.2 and an interest level of third through sixth grade. It isn't a fantasy adventure for the faint of heart with its poisonous pomelos, monsters from the moon, and an invasion of scorpions.

Tracey Heart's writing style has great appeal. "Dawn (the fox) watched another set of stars flash through the night like a school of silver minnows swimming in a dark pond." (p. 16)

This book was received in a GoodReads giveaway. It is perfectly readable as a stand-alone novel, but I plan to order books one and two for our school library. My students aren't squeamish about a little humorous terror.

August 22, 2017
The Fallen Star is the 3rd installment in The Nocturnals series. This series is one of my absolute favorite middle grade reads, I always learn something new in each adventure. I like how the author focuses on one of the members of the brigade and this time it's Tobyn who happens to be my favorite! I love his personality. The new animal we are introduced to (I don't want to give it away) is a really strange creature I knew nothing about. As usual I had to do some research and was able to enlisted a few student to help. As expected, we had a blast learning about this odd animal.

I just find so many positives about all of The Nocturnals books. Not only am I kept in suspense, I am always surprised by the outcome. Such a great read for not just middle school kids but adults too. I would recommend this series as a family read-along too, I especially think dads would enjoy reading these adventures with their kids.

Read original review HERE
Profile Image for Stacey Ashton.
51 reviews
June 15, 2017
My niece and I were unable to put down Tracey Hecht’s third book in The Nocturnals. The addition of new characters, more nocturnal animal facts, and delightful dialogue between Dawn the fox, Bismark the sugar glider and Tobin the pangolin had us giggling! In this new world filled with lemurs, star creatures, aye-ayes (look them up!) and blue glowing animals, we found ourselves alongside the three friends on their search for the disappearing blue flowers and the strange star creatures. The Fallen Star is the perfect addition to Hecht’s compelling series.
148 reviews3 followers
April 5, 2017
Really cute book about three forest friends - Dawn, a fox; Bismark, a sugar glider; and Tobin, a pangolin. The story begins with them watching shooting stars in the sky, then one falls to earth, knocking out the three friends. When they come to, there is a crazy "aye-aye" (yes it is an actual animal) named Iris who is tapping on everything and talking about poison and star creatures. It's up to the three friends to find out what has poisoned all the fruit and who is stealing all the blue flowers that counter-act the poison. I must admit that I had not read the two previous books in this series: The Mysterious Abductions and The Ominous Eye, but this book definitely made me interested enough to order the two previous books for my store. These are such cute stories, and contain animals that I had to look up to see what they look like, that I can't help but believe these will be great books for kids who love animals and love learning about them.

Thanks to Fable Films Press for allowing me to read this advance copy!
Displaying 1 - 26 of 26 reviews

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