City of the Beasts
by Isabel Allende
When Alex Cole’s mother gets sick, his father has to ship the kids off to different grandmothers so he can take his wife for treatment. Alex is sent to his grandmother in NYC. She is a magazine reporter.
She is not the stay home and bake cookies type. She is the type that doesn’t meet a 15-year-old at a NYC airport and expects him to find her apartment.
She is also the kind that takes him on assignment with her to the Amazon to find a Beast. This animal seems to be a Big Foot like creature that lives isolated in the Amazon.
Alex has to contend with the leaders on the trip, his grandmother, guides, and the military. He allies himself with a girl, Nadia. Both are chosen by the indigenous people to help them with the interlopers who want to take over their land.
Good story. Definitely for sixth grade and up thanks to early drug references in the story.