Friday, July 22, 2016

Arc Review: The Curse of the Were-Hyena by Bruce Hale

The Curse of the Were-Hyena by Bruce Hale. Monstertown Mystery, Book 1. 204 p. Disney/ Hyperion, July, 2016. 9781484713259. (Review from arc courtesy of Blue Slip Media.)

Carlos and his bff and fellow comic nerd, Benny are rocking fourth grade because they have Mr. Chu, the coolest of the cool teachers, one who doesn't mind jumping on desks and dressing in costume to make his lessons interesting. Only, ever since he got bitten by a weird dog, he has been acting stranger and stranger. In addition to growing hair on his bald head, he has taken to alternately growling and giggling and can sometimes be downright scary. Carlos and Benny decide they need to do some research and so, after school, they head to the...comic book store! The proprietor is a former lady wrestler who is now confined to a wheel chair and who takes Carlos' and Benny's concerns very seriously.

Bruce Hale has a keen eye for humor and action aimed at the middle grade readers, especially reluctant middle grade readers. Hale has a mystery series (Chet Gecko) and a spy/ thriller series (School for Spies) under his belt. With this new horror/ mystery series, he seems poised to write something for every kind of reader. 

A nicely diverse cast of characters people the pages. There's plenty of action, humor, red herrings and plot twists to keep the pages flying and the reader guessing. The Monstertown Mysteries series is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Just gory enough to satisfy the young reader who wants scary.

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