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Nessie Quest

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Two friends head off on an adventure to find the Loch Ness Monster. Ada Ru finally thought her parents were going to agree to a Fitzhugh family vacation in Disney World the summer before sixth grade, until her father announces he's taking a teaching position in Scotland, and moving the family there for the entire summer. Ada Ru is anything but happy. She doesn't like their Two friends head off on an adventure to find the Loch Ness Monster. Ada Ru finally thought her parents were going to agree to a Fitzhugh family vacation in Disney World the summer before sixth grade, until her father announces he's taking a teaching position in Scotland, and moving the family there for the entire summer. Ada Ru is anything but happy. She doesn't like their new home, she hates haggis, and she certainly doesn't like the idea that she will be away from her best friend all summer. To top it all off, there is said to be a monster in the lake near their house! That's when she meets Hamish Bean Timmy, Hammy Bean for short, captain of the Nessie Quest Monster Chaser boat tour. He knows everything there is to know about the fabled Loch Ness Monster and Scotland. But as the two unlikely friends embark on an epic adventure to spot the lake monster, they end up discovering more than they ever could have imagined.


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Two friends head off on an adventure to find the Loch Ness Monster. Ada Ru finally thought her parents were going to agree to a Fitzhugh family vacation in Disney World the summer before sixth grade, until her father announces he's taking a teaching position in Scotland, and moving the family there for the entire summer. Ada Ru is anything but happy. She doesn't like their Two friends head off on an adventure to find the Loch Ness Monster. Ada Ru finally thought her parents were going to agree to a Fitzhugh family vacation in Disney World the summer before sixth grade, until her father announces he's taking a teaching position in Scotland, and moving the family there for the entire summer. Ada Ru is anything but happy. She doesn't like their new home, she hates haggis, and she certainly doesn't like the idea that she will be away from her best friend all summer. To top it all off, there is said to be a monster in the lake near their house! That's when she meets Hamish Bean Timmy, Hammy Bean for short, captain of the Nessie Quest Monster Chaser boat tour. He knows everything there is to know about the fabled Loch Ness Monster and Scotland. But as the two unlikely friends embark on an epic adventure to spot the lake monster, they end up discovering more than they ever could have imagined.

30 review for Nessie Quest

  1. 4 out of 5

    JenLovesBooks

    Well, here's a mix of a review. I say that, because what I loved most about this book was not having to do with our main character, but that of Hammy Bean. He's what this story was really made for, and it only made things better by including Scotland. Oh, and can't forget the Nessie Quest that brings Ada Ru, her family, and the Tibby family together. There were some really great moments in here, and then there were those that we all could have done without. Mainly, Ada Ru's personality and a Well, here's a mix of a review. I say that, because what I loved most about this book was not having to do with our main character, but that of Hammy Bean. He's what this story was really made for, and it only made things better by including Scotland. Oh, and can't forget the Nessie Quest that brings Ada Ru, her family, and the Tibby family together. There were some really great moments in here, and then there were those that we all could have done without. Mainly, Ada Ru's personality and a good chunk of the things she said throughout the book. It didn't always come out in the way it was probably meant to be. But, here's where the love for the other half of this book came in and kept me reading on. It really was about Hammy Bean. His character made this, it's also what made me care a bit more for Ada then I first did. The two of them together made her seem a lot less un-welcoming. Maybe her talks of the prince of darkness, or her parents being muggles and not understanding, or the supernatural and vampiric beings possibly taking over, were meant to make her seem like she had a sense of humor? Either way, this wasn't what this book turned out to be. Those parts were only a portion of this book. It was more about the hopes and aspirations of Hammy Bean, the new opportunities Ada Ru's parents were given, the tales by Corny and Cappy McGee (and the Loch Watchers). Ada Ru's character wasn't enough to keep me from enjoying everyting else about this novel, but it would've probably helped if she weren't the most unlikeable character in all of this. ***I received this copy from Crown Books for Young Readers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sam Kuntz

    Nessie Quest is about a young girl named Ada Ru and her summer trip to Loch Ness. The reason she is spending her summer in Scotland is because her father got a job teaching photography at a college. When she first gets there she is very angry and disappointed that she will not be spending time with her best friend, someone we never meet, but always seems to have a presence named Brittony B. During her first week there, she meets one of my favorite characters named Quigley Dunbar The III. He does Nessie Quest is about a young girl named Ada Ru and her summer trip to Loch Ness. The reason she is spending her summer in Scotland is because her father got a job teaching photography at a college. When she first gets there she is very angry and disappointed that she will not be spending time with her best friend, someone we never meet, but always seems to have a presence named Brittony B. During her first week there, she meets one of my favorite characters named Quigley Dunbar The III. He does not appear in this book a lot, but when he does he is quite funny. (Also, his name is fun to say.) Over time, Ada Ru makes a few friends, one named Hammy Bean and another named Dax Grady. Hammy Bean is a member of the Nessie Quest. The Nessie Quest is an unofficial race to be the first group of people or solitary person to find solid data that Nessie exists. One thing that I find strange is that Ada Ru seemed to have no clue about Nessie. I thought Nessie was something that everyone knew about. I have been reading a lot of books about cryptozoology, and they are usually about several different cryptids. I liked this one because it focused solely on Nessie. I did not like how Ada Ru behaved toward her friends. She always seemed to be making fun of them or just being rude in general. I enjoyed how much Scotland speech was used in this. It took a little bit to get used to it, but I enjoyed reading phrases like "haud yer weesht." I also love the character named Mamo Honey. She seemed to be very nice and strong. All in all, I enjoyed reading this book. I thought the writing style was fun and elegant. I would recommend this to anybody who enjoys cryptids. -Sam Kuntz.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC from Netgalley Ada Ru is NOT happy when her parents tell her she isn't able to stay at home with her best friend in Denver during summer break, and it's not because they are going to Disney World. Instead, the father is teaching a photography class in Scotland, and Ada and her mother are going along so they can visit the father's family, Uncle Clive, Aunt Isla, and annoying cousin Briony. The university housing is in a creepy old building with an even creepier caretaker, Euna Begbie. Since E ARC from Netgalley Ada Ru is NOT happy when her parents tell her she isn't able to stay at home with her best friend in Denver during summer break, and it's not because they are going to Disney World. Instead, the father is teaching a photography class in Scotland, and Ada and her mother are going along so they can visit the father's family, Uncle Clive, Aunt Isla, and annoying cousin Briony. The university housing is in a creepy old building with an even creepier caretaker, Euna Begbie. Since the town where they are living is small and located on a loch where Nessie has been spotted in the past, it's at least a little bit interesting to wander around. She manages to meet Hamish Bean Tibby, Hammy Bean to his friends, who works with his grandmother giving boat tours of the loch to tourists. He's also home schooled by Ms. Begbie because he is blind. She also meets Dax, another American spending the summer in Scotland. Dax is cute and angsty, and carries his guitar everywhere with him. The three team up to help Hammy with the Nessie Race and also in publishing his Nessie Juggernaut, which his a bit outdated, so they also work on creating a podcast with the same information. Ada gets to meet lots of locals while interviewing various residents about their Nessie experiments, and comes to think that Scotland is not too bad. There is some friend drama with Dax (involving Briony) and Hammy (involving secrets about his parents), as well as some suspense when Hammy makes some bad decisions when upping the level of his investigations. In the end, however, devotion to cryptozoology wins the day, and Ada is sad to be leaving her summer location. Strengths: Scotland! This is a much less stressful vacation to that locale than Schwab's City of Ghosts, and who doesn't want to spend a summer lakeside? The inclusion of a sight impaired character and explanations about how he does certain tasks was interesting. The possible romance with Dax is fun, and the drama with Briony on point. The local restaurants are the real star for some of this for me, but younger readers will love the freedom to wander that the characters have. I don't have a lot of students interested in cryptids, but there are usually a few, so this is a good title for the long haul. Weaknesses: I'm never fond of children who don't want to go to fantastic places, so Ada really irritate me during the beginning of the book. There's also a bit more dialect than I enjoy reading. What I really think: While I enjoyed this one, I fear it won't be a big circulator. I will probably purchase, justifying this as a title readers might pick up after reading Martin's fantastic Hoax for Hire.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Crawford

    This was a good one. Sweet and ended with a good point about the power of words. Also, this book has a character named Hamish Bean Tibby, Hammy bean for short, and that is 100% enough of a reason to read this book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    This one is a 3.5 for me. I appreciate how this author is not shy about delving into unusual topics that may fascinate middle graders--in this case, the Loch Ness Monster. Just as she did in her earlier book, Lemons, she steers carefully around reality and what might be, drawing readers along as they start out the book feeling doubtful about Nessie's existence and then finishing it with a sense of possibility. Maybe there is a Nessie out there. But along the way, readers will be delighted to This one is a 3.5 for me. I appreciate how this author is not shy about delving into unusual topics that may fascinate middle graders--in this case, the Loch Ness Monster. Just as she did in her earlier book, Lemons, she steers carefully around reality and what might be, drawing readers along as they start out the book feeling doubtful about Nessie's existence and then finishing it with a sense of possibility. Maybe there is a Nessie out there. But along the way, readers will be delighted to meet twelve-year-old Ada Ru Fitzhugh, who will remind them of themselves in many ways. When she learns that her family will be spending the summer in a small town in Scotland rather than vacationing in Disney World, she hatches all sorts of plots to prevent this from happening. After all, she can't leave behind her beloved cat or her best friend--she might lose her to someone else--or her position in the Beyonce fan club. Middle graders will relate to her concerns and her reluctance to appreciate anything Scotland has to offer. Of course, as it turns out, the trip provides an opportunity for her to stretch and conquer some of her fears while writing and photographing the area and its inhabitants. Part of the credit for these changes goes to Hammy Bean Tibby, a local boy who is deeply invested in the legend of the Loch Ness Monster and determined to find evidence to support its existence. He enlists the help of Ada Ru and Dax, a budding songwriter and musician, even using walkie talkies and codes to aid his young team in their efforts. But when Ada Ru gets her feelings hurt by a remark he makes about her writing, she hurls careless, hurtful works at her friend, which leads to what could have been a tragedy. There is quite a lot going on in this book, and Ada Ru's distinctive voice will be just as memorable as Hammy Bean, who refuses to let being blind or having been abandoned for his parents keep him from reaching for his goals. Some of the more poignant parts of the book concern his parents having chosen drugs over him, a decision with which some readers will be able to relate. Despite some of these heavy topics, the story never becomes maudlin, instead delivering characters who change even while making mistakes. I loved having some Scottish dialect sprinkled into the conversations to add flavor and authenticity to the story. I'm sure that I won't be the only one looking into booking a trip to Scotland after finishing this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    Ill start by saying that despite my huge disappointment with this book, I want to stress that it did have one important and exceptionally well-rendered element: The character of Hammy Bean and how he and the other characters navigate the issue of his blindness. I know this is a personal issue for the author relating to her own mothers blindness and I thought she handled the topic well here. Unfortunately, thats where the positives end. The basic plot is fine. Nothing overwhelmingly good but also I’ll start by saying that despite my huge disappointment with this book, I want to stress that it did have one important and exceptionally well-rendered element: The character of Hammy Bean and how he and the other characters navigate the issue of his blindness. I know this is a personal issue for the author relating to her own mother’s blindness and I thought she handled the topic well here. Unfortunately, that’s where the positives end. The basic plot is fine. Nothing overwhelmingly good but also not problematic. The writing and the characters, however...yikes and double yikes. My biggest takeaway from this book was that it was almost unreadably obnoxious, particularly in the dialogue and to a lesser extent, in the narrator’s inner monologue. The author clearly thinks she is something of a comedian. She does land a few, but the majority of the time she misses badly and because the attempts to be cute and humorous are near constant, it becomes stunningly irritating rather quickly. Our main character clearly means well and seems like a nice girl, but the way she’s written doesn’t make her very likable. Her fear of water, hatred of vegetables, and insecurity about her friendships were no doubt intended to make her seem relatable, but she mostly came off as whiny and lame. Interesting semi-autobiographical casting by the author in the mother’s role. Unfortunately, it’s a problematic portrayal as well. As the child of a therapist myself, I picture my own mother cringing with disgust at the psychobabble portrayal of the Feelings Journal and the grossly patronizing way this woman talks to her daughter. And the father’s constant spouting off of unfunny nicknames was so grating that it almost made me put the book down for that reason alone. All the credit in the world for the successful incorporation of a blind character into a complex narrative role, but otherwise, this is a dud with cringe-worthy dialogue. *I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

  7. 5 out of 5

    Shirley (MommyBookwyrm)

    I enjoyed this book much more than the first few chapters had me thinking I would. The main character, Ada Ru, was annoying and seemed very entitled. I know, a lot of you are saying that she sounds like a typical twelve year old right? Well, it can be pretty accurate but still annoying. It did however leave a lot of room for character growth and Im glad to say that the author certainly did deliver that. The Ada at the end of the book is a much better and kinder person than the one at the start. I enjoyed this book much more than the first few chapters had me thinking I would. The main character, Ada Ru, was annoying and seemed very entitled. I know, a lot of you are saying that she sounds like a typical twelve year old right? Well, it can be pretty accurate but still annoying. It did however leave a lot of room for character growth and I’m glad to say that the author certainly did deliver that. The Ada at the end of the book is a much better and kinder person than the one at the start. I especially love her relationship with her parents. How they’re both embarrassing but still one hundred percent supportive of her. My favorite part was the character of Hammy Bean and how well the author handled writing his blindness onto the story. I’m always a fan of better representation for people with disabilities in fiction, particularly children’s fiction, and I think that his character was handled very well. As to the story, I thought it was a cute concept. I love long lived legends and the Loch Ness Monster has always been one of my favorites. The characters have fun, and sometimes scary, adventures in their search, chock full of orange possibilities. This is a beautiful fun read about friendship, and making the most out of everything you have.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    This is a tough one to review, because Ru is such a brat at the beginning of the book that I almost coulnd't read it. Here her parents were going to take her to Scotland for the Summer, and all she wanted to do was go to Disneyland. And then proceeded to bitch about it for at least the first third of the book. But, on the other hand, we have the character of Hamish, the Ron of Ru's Harriet Potter (as she envisions her version of what is happening while she is in Scotland). He is smart, he is This is a tough one to review, because Ru is such a brat at the beginning of the book that I almost coulnd't read it. Here her parents were going to take her to Scotland for the Summer, and all she wanted to do was go to Disneyland. And then proceeded to bitch about it for at least the first third of the book. But, on the other hand, we have the character of Hamish, the Ron of Ru's Harriet Potter (as she envisions her version of what is happening while she is in Scotland). He is smart, he is funny, and he is searching for Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster. Oh, and he is also blind. When asked if he has seen the monster, before Ru realizes he is blind, he says that no, he hasn't, but he has heard her. Once we get Hamish in the story, it takes off. And that might be because Melissa Savage says, in her back pages, that she was basing him a little bit on her mother, who went blind when Melissa was young. So, if you can get past Ru, and get to Hamish, you will probably enjoy this good middle grade story. Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tedi

    Loved it, loved it, loved it!!!! This book really surprised me it so wasn't what I thought it would be! Why I loved it: the friendships; Scotland; Nessie; Harry Potter references; Loch Ness; family relationships; loch adventures; secret codes; walkie-talkies. An all-time favorite!! Loved it, loved it, loved it!!!! This book really surprised me— it so wasn't what I thought it would be! Why I loved it: the friendships; Scotland; Nessie; Harry Potter references; Loch Ness; family relationships; loch adventures; secret codes; walkie-talkies. An all-time favorite!!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Sy

    "Nessie Quest" by Melissa Savage was published in 2020. This fiction book is a great read-aloud option for 1st-3rd graders. The overall summary of this book is about a new chapter a family will embark on due to a job offer and has themes that symbolize friendship and adventure. There are rumors of a lake monster nicknamed Nessie that apparently inhabits the new place the family is moving to. Ada Ru meets the captain of the Nessie Quest tour boat and embarks on a voyage to uncover more about the "Nessie Quest" by Melissa Savage was published in 2020. This fiction book is a great read-aloud option for 1st-3rd graders. The overall summary of this book is about a new chapter a family will embark on due to a job offer and has themes that symbolize friendship and adventure. There are rumors of a lake monster nicknamed Nessie that apparently inhabits the new place the family is moving to. Ada Ru meets the captain of the Nessie Quest tour boat and embarks on a voyage to uncover more about the Loch Ness Monster. Students will be able to develop in their abilities of following along the story structure and be able to connect events.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Susan McGilvray

    Loved it!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Confused Hamburger

    Fantastic fiction about the Loch Ness Monster.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Claire L

    thought it would be not-so-great but it was fine

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Reiff

    I have so many students who will love this book. It had a plot line that kept the reader wanting more. The characters had both humorous and heartfelt qualities. I will be purchasing a copy for my classroom.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marilynrobbins

    If you have not read a Melissa Savage middle grade novel, you need to run immediately to your favorite bookstore and settle in for a story that will just delight you. Lemons is about BigFoot, The Truth About Martians is about the Roswell Crash, and Nessie's Quest is about the Loch Ness Monster. But, just like in her previous two books, Nessie's Quest isn't just about the search for the Loch Ness monster. Nessie's Quest is about dealing with whatever life hands you. In this case, a blind friend If you have not read a Melissa Savage middle grade novel, you need to run immediately to your favorite bookstore and settle in for a story that will just delight you. Lemons is about BigFoot, The Truth About Martians is about the Roswell Crash, and Nessie's Quest is about the Loch Ness Monster. But, just like in her previous two books, Nessie's Quest isn't just about the search for the Loch Ness monster. Nessie's Quest is about dealing with whatever life hands you. In this case, a blind friend being raised by his grandmother since his parents are unable. Savage knows just the right way to handle the big issues; through humor, compassion, and food, lots and lots of food. This is a book you don't want to end. It is that wonderful!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Reviewing the ARC: An enjoyable adventure in the shoes of the surprising Ada Ru, a writer looking for her supporting characters while forced to spend the summer by Loch Ness instead of at Disney World. How powerful are words? Fun and scrummy characters abound but one strength is the successful, sensitive portrayal of Hammy Bean, a blind boy needing to be seen. Recommended for middle and elementary grade readers who love a mystery, quirky companions, and suspect that maybe at heart they are a Reviewing the ARC: An enjoyable adventure in the shoes of the surprising Ada Ru, a writer looking for her supporting characters while forced to spend the summer by Loch Ness instead of at Disney World. How powerful are words? Fun and “scrummy” characters abound but one strength is the successful, sensitive portrayal of Hammy Bean, a blind boy needing to be seen. Recommended for middle and elementary grade readers who love a mystery, quirky companions, and suspect that maybe at heart they are a force of nature too.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    I really enjoyed this book. I liked the friendships, the adventure, and the emotions it evoked. It seemed pretty realistic to me, although I know nothing of Scottish slang and idioms so i can't verify the accuracy of these. I found the dad's nicknames for Ada Ru a bit annoying but not enough to take stars away for it. I would hand this to patrons who like character-driven middle grade novels, who like a bit of potential magic mixed in. #Netgalley

  18. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    4.5 stars. Scotland is the last place Ada Ru wants to spend her summer, but finds more adventure than she imagined when she meets Hammy Bean, Nessie enthusiast, and Dax, aloof musician, among other unique individuals in town. Together, the trio are determined to come out on top in the great Nessie Race. Once again, Savage finds a way to create a book that's heartwarming, hilarious, and emotional all in one go. Her novels on cryptids are more than just a mystery, and this is truly a treasure.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Paletta

    While the search for the loch ness monster is an alluring one, this story is about much more than that. Hammy Bean and Ada Ru form a gorgeous friendship because of their love of loch ness. A friendship that conquers the difficulties in life and surpasses the normal. Love, friendship and food. What else could you want? #Netgalley

  20. 5 out of 5

    CloudOfThoughts_Books Keirstin

    Nessie Quest by author Melissa Savage is a fun and easy book for young readers! Awesome characters with great flow, we definitely recommend this book! Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for an arc copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Erin Varley

    Another fun story in the cryptozoology line that Melissa writes. In this one youll learn a lot about Scotland along the way. Another fun story in the cryptozoology line that Melissa writes. In this one you’ll learn a lot about Scotland along the way.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alisha

    Cute story

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

  24. 5 out of 5

    MayorEmma

  25. 4 out of 5

    Martha

  26. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kirk

  28. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

  29. 5 out of 5

    Joni

  30. 4 out of 5

    Soup

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