Mrs Mo’s monster has been tamed but his spirit is still lively. He now resides in a tidy attic with a semblance of order while Mr and Mrs Mo are painting the house red.
Monster is still blue with three broken teeth in his mouth and his thin hairy arms still direct play. But he is bored and wants to go on an adventure. Mrs Mo suggests tomorrow so monster loads up his bag and off he goes dropping stuff all along the way like Hansel and Gretel.
Soon he is lost as he tries to find a big hill to climb. Mrs Mo has adopted a motherly concern for monster and in her modest school marmish skirt, blouse and sensible shoes she follows monster picking up his belongings as she goes.
Together they climb the hill, look out on their world and say hello.
Simple yet detailed illustrations and the right amount of written text. My granddaughters loved it and so will you.
A novel of raw emotion for your gifted reader at intermediate level and good readers at high school. Adults and young adults will be moved by it.
This is an important story because it carries the truth about us all. We all have fears and sometimes these fears release the monster within. So it is with Conor.
Conor loves his mum but she is very sick. She has lost her hair, gets very tired and is getting weaker by the day. She often stares out the window at the huge Yew tree by the churchyard and this tree becomes the focus of all Conor’s fears about his mother and later offers him hope.
He dreams a dream that scares him to death and he feels strong guilt about it so tells no-one. He bottles it all up inside and becomes invisible at school. This attracts a bully called Harry who Conorallows to bully him because he feels guilt over his secret dream.
At 12.07 one night he dreams that the yew tree turns into a monster and comes to his house. He handles the monster very well and even goads it to come and get him. The monster over time tells him three stories relevant to Conor’s plight and says the last story will be his.
As his mother’s health deteriorates Conor resents the intrusion of his grandmother and the arrival from America of his father. These circumstances release the monster from within Conor and the result makes compelling reading.
The message is positive and clear. Conor must admit and accept what is happening in order to let go.
Stunningly illustrated by Jim Kay’s detailed black and white drawings this is a harrowing novel in parts but exceptional storytelling.
One of the great novels of 2012.
Monster Republic by Ben Norton. Pub. Corgi Books, 2010.
I was blown away by the thrilling action and the unique idea.
Dr Lazarus Fry is a monster of a doctor. He is the equivalent of the mad scientist and he is a modern day Frankenstein. He is working on the Trinity Project in which he uses human beings to create his dreams of a super species using animals and technology.
Cameron is a high school student who goes out with the best looking girl in the school. He is the captain of the football team and while visting a nuclear power plant as part of a school trip, a bomb goes off and the next thing he is aware of, he is waking up in a laboratory of Dr Fry, strapped to his bed and a fuzzy feeling in his head and body.
Cameron’s body has been replaced with electronic arms legs etc that are superbly strong, but he still has his original brain. He knows nothing about what’s happened to him.
Then he is broken free from his bed by Rora, a fox looking girl who moves rapidly and who tells him to escape with her. Confused, he follows in a thrilling escape and finds himself with a group called The Monster Republic.
This group are the rejects of all Dr Fry’s experiments and they live beneath the city. They have escaped and formed a close group determined to get revenge on the mad doctor. These rejects are monsters themselves but once they were humans.
I can tell you no more, but the action is brilliant and the climax of this story is nail biting. I can’t wait for book two as there is much to this story left to come.
There is more to this story than the action, it is about how a group works and makes decisions no matter what the composition of it’s members. Simply a brilliant story.