Review Detail

An engaging read with an important message
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Plot/Story 
 
5.0
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Characters (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Editing/Design Quality 
 
5.0
You may say the Monsterjunkies are an unconventional family, which would be an understatement. Father Talon, mother Pandora, children Crow (Cromwell) and Indigo live in secluded MJ Manor, a great estate hidden behind high, stone walls and a forbidding gate. To the citizens of Foggy Point, Maine the family is an enigma.

Talon - Dr. Monsterjunkie, in the Maine College Biology Department - is an expert on all creatures thought to be extinct, collecting and housing them on the grounds of MJ Manor. It's his vocation to protect these specimens, keeping them from the prying eyes of the world, which could bring harm to them, intentionally or not. Dr. Monsterjunkie was, by trade, a cryptozoologist.

Crow and Indigo, teenagers at the local high school, took a lot of abuse for being so different from the "norm." Bullies made fun of both for their goth style and Crow for his shyness - not to mention the both of them lived in a mysterious home tucked away from view. Legend had it something dark went on there, which did the two of them no good.

Crow's nemesis called themselves "The Maine Gang," made up of classmates Todd, Edgar and Larry. Their mission: to gain entrance to MJ Manor, for purposes of finding out what really was going on there. Little did they realize what lay behind included a Pterodactyl named Periwinkle and a Sasquatch named Beauregard... to name just two of the protected creatures.

Until Pandora, the stunningly gorgeous mother of the two teens, brings an exotic owl to a class career day, the other kids know nothing at all about the sorts of animals kept safely tucked away. Also on this day, the children meet two new people in town: Ed Hodges, a widower, and his teenaged daughter, Winter. Ed's passion was bringing teenage bullying to the fore, in an attempt to diminish the harm it brings. This meeting also served to introduce Indigo to her new best friend, when she met Winter Hodges.

This is the novel's turning point, when the teens' classmates get an inkling what they're missing. Though they treat Crow and Indigo with more respect, their desire to see the other creatures grew almost unbearable. Clearly, the only way to stop their pestering was to show them, once and for all.

But was that really the best idea? And would it bring the bullying to an end?

You'll have to read the book to find out where things go from there. It will keep you interested, invested in caring about these characters, through the end. Erik Shein has created a fascinating world of otherworldly beasts, cared for by an eccentric but close and loving family. The stage is set for adventure.

Very highly recommended for pre- to early teen readers and a valuable addition to fiction teaching kindness and understanding in a way young people won't find "preachy." Unique and compelling, The Monsterjunkies would make excellent summer reading.

- Lisa Guidarini, Amazon Vine, Independent Publisher Award (IPPY) judge and member, National Book Critics Circle

Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Take Me Home: Forests of the World
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Bite-sized facts about forests from around the globe, pointing out...
Hurricane Summer
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
In this sweeping debut, Asha Bromfield takes readers to the...
All Kinds of Other
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
In this tender, nuanced coming-of-age love story, two boys—one who...
Reign of Secrets
 
3.8
 
0.0 (0)
At the Midnight Ball, leave your inhibitions at the...
The Forest of Stolen Girls
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
1426, Joseon (Korea). Hwani's family has never been the...
Go the Distance
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
What if Meg had to become a god? After...
In Deeper Waters
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A young prince must rely on a mysterious stranger...
These Feathered Flames (These Feathered Flames, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates...
Take Me Home: Waters of the World
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Bite-sized facts about bodies of water from around the globe,...
This Is My America
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Hate U Give meets Just Mercy in this unflinching...
Colors in Nature
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Magnificent, hand-painted illustrations by a rising star of Czech watercolor...
Welcome to Arizona
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Welcome to Arizona! We're glad you're here! Introducing a new...
I Don't Want to Go to School
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
It's Mouse's first day of school. It's Dinosaur's first day...
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
I'm Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter meets Emergency Contact...
Counting Down with You
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this sparkling and romantic YA debut, a reserved Bangladeshi...
There's No Ham in Hamburgers: Facts and Folklore About Our Favorite Foods
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From hot dogs and hamburgers to ice cream and pizza,...

Latest Member Reviews

The Forbidden Wish
 
5.0
"MY THOUGHTS I've read all of Jessica Khoury's books, and enjoyed them, but this one is by far my..."
The Forbidden Wish
 
4.3
"A heart-wrenching tale of love and loss, THE FORBIDDEN WISH tells the story of Zahra, a powerful jinni, and Aladdin,..."
Origin
 
4.3
"There are a lot of things I expected from Ori­gin. Mys­tery, a jun­gle back­drop and even a bit of romance...."
Origin
 
4.3
"In the remote Amazonian Forest a team of scientists are trying to create a new race of immortal people. Finally,..."
Origin
 
4.3
"Origin is about Pia, the first immortal human born in the depths of the Amazon rainforest, one of the major..."
Origin
 
3.7
"Origin is a story of Pia, a perfect, immortal human created through generations of hard work, discovering how to live..."
Origin
 
4.0
"Meet Pia. No last name and isolated from the world, which is the entire globe, except for a small village,..."
Origin
 
5.0
"After being told that she is perfect and just the start of a new race, Pia tries her best to..."
Origin
 
3.0
"Initially, I was intrigued by the premise of this book, and overall it was a satisfying read. The setting was..."
Origin
 
5.0
"Origin brings the reader into the world of Little Cam with ease and a flawless description. The plot is..."
Origin
 
2.0
"You guys, I have been so excited to read Origin. Unfortunately, just because I think a book sounds awesome does..."
Origin
 
5.0
"I was really excited to be able to grab a galley of ORIGIN at ALA. I read the teaser..."