The Case of the Missing Cutthroats



by Jean Craighead George

The Case of the Missing Cutthroats. 

Originally published as Hook a Fish, Catch a Mountain, 1975. 

New York:   Harper Trophy, 1999.


Spinner, a dancer from New York City, is not thrilled to be on a western flyfishing trip with her family.  She figures that, once she catches one fish, she’ll have pleased her father and be able put the rod aside.  But once she catches one fish, she becomes intrigued by the mystery of the river and the mountains.  She and her cousin, Alligator, set off on a journey to find the source of the amazing cutthroats.


Good Points:

  • Amazing detail about trout habits, habitat, food sources, and life cycle.
  • Incredible adventure story.
  • Strong conservation theme.


Other Notes:

  • Words are sparse: plot quite hard to follow at times and setting hard to imagine.
  • Children adventure alone, only to be caught in a blizzard, nearly fall down a cliff, get attacked by bears, and fall out of trees.


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