Title: Duck Squad
Author: John Arnold
Three ducks escape from a university lab experiment and find sanctuary in a fraternity house. They discover human beings can be their friends – and enemies. Their adventures begin righting wrongs – and getting even.
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Several laboratory ducks at a university have become aware of just what their purpose is being stuck in their cages. Thanks to some strange drugs from the laboratory Quock the duck has become smart enough to understand human language and even type, Guk the duck has become very fast and Op the duck has become very large. With Quock’s new skill, he learns that the lab is preparing to eat all of the ducks. He and Guk plan an escape and find refuge within a fraternity house with one of the kinder lab assistants. Now, Quock and Guk have to find a way to rescue the rest of their friends and maybe even plan a little revenge.
This is a fun book packed full of adventure suitable for middle grade readers or anyone who loves animals. I loved the personalities of the ducks and how they solved their problems. Teamwork and creative thinking are in the forefront for these ducks, and there are definitely great lessons worked into the story. I also enjoyed the human and animal relationships that are formed. The ducks are very lucky to find a friend in Stan and it was fun to see how having the quirky ducks around Stan helped him out. There was also a good mix of lighthearted humor as the ducks get their revenge on those who would rather eat them! Overall, an exciting and fun children’s book for any animal lovers out there.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
John Arnold has had his work presented in either a reading or production at American Conservatory Theater (San Francisco) playreading series; California Playwrights Festival, Sacramento; Out and About Theater, Minneapolis; Playwrights Center, San Francisco; Sacramento Theater Company; West Coat Ensemble, Hollywood; Aloha Theater, Kainaliu, Hawaii; Moving Arts, Los Angeles; Mercury Cafe, Denver; First Stage, Los Angeles; The Theater-Studio, New York, Prince William Sound Community College, Valdez, Alaska; Theater of Western Springs, Illinois; and others. His monologue “Bit” is featured on Fourth Wall Review.com. His screenplays have been finalists in the Art Color “Digital Cinema International Film Festival, Montreal, the San Francisco Global Movie Fest, Indie Film Fest, Switzerland and the Swedish International Film Festival.
His play “Saint George” was winner of the 2016 Play Competition – Thistle Dew Theater, Sacramento. His monologue “Aunt Velma Considers Changing Religion” was part of the 2016 One Act Play Festival, Phoenix Stage Company, Connecticut.
He is author of “Duck Squad,” “Autobiography of a Duck” and “Going Home” – available via Amazon.com.
You can visit John’s blog at http://johnharnold.wordpress.com.
The humans in the lab coats turned off the lights and left the room, shutting the door behind them. Quock listened carefully so he could hear them walk down the hallway and out through another doorway to the outside world.
Quock waited until there was no other sound in the building and he quacked at Guk who he could see in the cage next to him in the dim evening light from the lab windows.
“Guk? Are you sleeping?”
Guk wearily lifted his head from under his wing and quacked, “I was.”
“Is Op asleep?” Quock asked.
Guk looked over at Op’s plump, feathery figure in the cage next to him and then at all the sleeping Pekin ducks in all the other cages. He said, “Everybody’s asleep. Those drugs they give us make us sleepy. Why aren’t you asleep?”
Quock looked around apprehensively. “Something’s happened to me.”
Guk was wide awake by now. He stared at Quock. “Like what?”
“It’s like a cloud was lifted from my head,” Quock explained. “Suddenly I can understand.”
Guk almost laughed. “Understand what? It’s the drugs they give us. They can make you think all kinds of crazy things.”
Quock stared back at Guk. “No, I mean it. I can understand them. I know what they are saying.”
“You mean – the humans in the white coats?”
“Yes. The humans in the white coats. I can understand them now. And I can read what they write.”
Guk shook his head. “There’s no way. It’s just gobbledygook.”
“Oh, no it’s not,” Quock shook his head. “It’s serious.”
Guk looked around at all the sleeping ducks in the room.
Quock took a breath and whispered. “They are going to eat us.”