"This book is true fire. It is everything I didn't even know I needed." -- Jacqueline Woodson

"This is the story that would've made me fall in love with reading when I was a kid." -- Tomi Adeyemi

It's 1863 and dinosaurs roam the streets of New York as the Civil War rages between raptor-mounted armies down South. Magdalys Roca and her friends from the Colored Orphan Asylum are on a field trip when the Draft Riots break out, and a number of their fellow orphans are kidnapped by an evil magistrate, Richard Riker.

Magdalys and her friends flee to Brooklyn and settle in the Dactyl Hill neighborhood, where black and brown New Yorkers have set up an independent community--a safe haven from the threats of Manhattan. Together with the Vigilance Committee, they train to fly on dactylback, discover new friends and amazing dinosaurs, and plot to take down Riker. Can Magdalys and the squad rescue the rest of their friends before it's too late?

Hardcover, 272 pages
Published on September 11, 2018 by Arthur A. Levine Books
ISBN-10: 1338268813
ISBN-13: 9781338268812
13 Book Reviews
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  • slytherinfan
    slytherinfanFriday, September 14, 2018 at 3:32 pm55 stars
    At first, the book didn't make very much sense, But, as time progressed, the more I was interested in it. By the time I was finished, I was on the edge of my seat! If I could I would rate it a 6 out of 5.
    • LastWednesday, September 12, 2018 at 4:50 pm
      It's okay
      • jolokaWednesday, September 12, 2018 at 4:11 pm
        • riah babyWednesday, September 12, 2018 at 8:25 am
          this book was good to me.
          • cookieWednesday, September 12, 2018 at 7:48 am
            its ok
            • LucyWednesday, September 12, 2018 at 6:54 am
              I find it okay.
              • jeffdaboss
                jeffdabossFriday, August 31, 2018 at 4:38 pm44 stars
                Dactyl Hill Squad was a nice book. It's about an orphan named Magdalys who lives in New York during the Civil War in a time when dinosaurs are still alive. She and her friends go to the local theater, only to be attacked by powerful who want free people of color to be sent back to the South into slavery. They successfully escape and are brought to Brooklyn, where the Vigilance Committee resides. It is there that Magdalys learns about her rare and exceptional ability to mentally communicate with dinosaurs. Using this gift, she teams up with her old and new friends to attempt to take down the evil people who illegally support slavery. This book has an unusual concept, and certain people just won't find it interesting and appealing. Being that the main character is 12 years old, the book is best seen as engaging by tweens.
                • mybooksandi
                  mybooksandiSaturday, August 25, 2018 at 10:17 am55 starsFeatured
                  Who knew I would love this book this much. To be honest, it seemed really random at first; orphans in 1863 running away from the Kidnapping Club on dinosaur back? Yep, I was unsure. But as the book progressed on it just got better and better, and not a lot of authors can pull that off. This book was about Magdalys Roca, an orphan from the Colored Orphan Asylum who is being targeted, among others, by an evil magistrate, Richard Riker. As the story wore on I actually got curious and searched who Richard Riker was, apparently he was really a magistrate who hated colored people. Everything about this book is gripping. The main character herself is really lovable and sharp. The way Daniel Jose Older interpreted dinosaurs and the civil war was nearly impossible but it all came together in a very creative way that I LOVED. So yeah, did I underestimate it? Yes and I'm ashamed. Is it my new favorite book? Yes, and I regret nothing.
                  • domosaur
                    domosaurMonday, August 20, 2018 at 2:10 pm55 starsFeatured
                    Magdalys lives in New York, where dinosaurs roam the streets and segregation still prevails. Magdalys is an orphan, and with her other friends, she stays in the Colored Orphan Asylum. There, she missed her siblings dearly, and was also bullied by the matron. One night, when the Crunks are performing The Tempest at the Zanzibar Savannah Theater, many orphans from the Colored Orphan Asylum are kidnapped on their way to the theater by none other than Richard Riker, the magistrate. On that same night, Magdalys notices that Varney, the orphanage's triceratops, seems to be listening to Magdalys, and replying by following her instructions, such as "go". Magdalys and the rest of her friends find refuge with the Dactyl Hill neighborhood, where they train dactyls and plan a way to rescue their friends before it's too late. As well as that, Magdalys strengthens her ability to talk to dinosaurs, which will help a great deal on their quest. Will they save their friends before it's too late? Or will they be gone forever? To find out, read Dactyl Hill Squad, which I give a 4.5 out of 5 stars. I love how dinosaurs were a major part of the story and how interesting/well-thought each character was. I recommend this to anyone who loves a good adventure and dinosaurs.
                    • readingkendal
                      readingkendalThursday, August 16, 2018 at 2:25 pm55 stars
                      If your a black 12 year-old orphan in Manhattan and dinos roam the city while the Civil War rages down south, life is no game. Magdslys Roca and her friends are on a field trip when riots brake out. On the way to the theater Magdalys finds she can talk to dinos. She is imagining right? Then when the other orphans are kidnapped she and her friends are chased by an evil Magistrate they head to Brooklyn to the Dactyl Hill neighborhood. There they make new friends and plot to bring down the evil Magistrate. As they learn to fly datylback they discover every bit of trouble every possible way. Will they get back their friends? Or will their friends be sold down south to Slavery? Find out in Dactyl Hill Squad.

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