11 August 2010

Monstrum House

Locked In

by Z Fraillon

Hardie Grant Egmont, Junior Fiction, Paperback, rrp $ 14.95

Reviewed by Sandy Fussell

Monstrum House is a special kind of school. Its students are all troublemakers like Jasper McPhee, already expelled from three schools in one year. These students have exactly the talents necessary to hunt monsters. At Monstrum House hunting monsters and being hunted by them is what education is all about.

The teachers are harsh, the lessons are cruel and the prefects merciless. But that might be just the training Jasper and his new friends Felix and Saffy, require to survive a monster encounter. Beware the Snobleshriek, the Sizzleguzzler and the Bogglemorph. This book has black and white illustrations of them all.

Readers 9+ will love these in-the-real-world monsters and the idea that adults, their brains shrinking with age, are too small-minded to believe in the danger all around them. It’s up to kids to save the day.

This is the first book in what promises to be both a fun and frightening series. One small warning – it does prescribe to the incomplete cliff-hanger ending which can be disappointing if the next book is not readily available to the reader and the hero is left in monstrous danger. But I suspect most will agree with me – worth the wait!

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