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Dr. Critchlore's School for Minions (Dr. Critchlore's School for Minions #1)

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  207 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
Welcome to Dr. Critchlore’s School for Minions, the premier trainer of minions for Evil Overlords everywhere. No student is prouder to be at Dr. Critchlore’s than Runt Higgins, a twelve-year-old werewolf. (At least he thinks he’s twelve. He was abandoned at the school as a baby, so he can’t say for sure.) Runt loves everything about Dr. Critchlore’s. He loves his ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published March 17th 2015 by Abrams Books (first published January 1st 2015)
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Alysa H. I was a winner in the Feb 2015 giveaway. By April, I still hadn't received my copy so I sent a couple of private messages to Abrams Books (who ran the…moreI was a winner in the Feb 2015 giveaway. By April, I still hadn't received my copy so I sent a couple of private messages to Abrams Books (who ran the giveaway). They claimed to have tried sending it 2 times already, but asked me to verify my mailing address via email (not on Goodreads). I did that, and then quickly received my copy.

I've won lots of First Reads giveaways before and never had this problem, so maybe there's something wrong with the way the Abrams mailroom was inputting addresses from the Goodreads records? Anyway, I got my copy in the end, and I'm reading it now!(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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May 14, 2016 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mg-fiction
This book is full of wacky, funny, gross-out fun AND an enormous amount of real heart, and I loved it. Runt Higgins is a non-morphing werewolf who was left as a baby at Dr. Critchlore's School for Minions for his own protection. Now - in hopes of finding his parents again - he's trying out for the elite Junior Henchman training program, with the help of his wonderful group of friends, including Frankie, a Frankenstein-style created boy whose head pops off when he gets too upset, Syke the ...more
Mar 05, 2015 Charles rated it really liked it
Stuff I Read - Dr. Critchlore's School for Minions by Sheila Grau Review

So I might be a sucker for middle grade books with supernatural elements in them. It started with Goosebumps for me, and as those were the books that taught me how to read, I will likely always have a place in my heart for books that feature monsters and kids and crazy situations. So when I saw this book I was instantly interested. It looked decent, and judging from the cover wasn't made up of solely white kids, so I picked
Mar 16, 2015 Aeicha rated it really liked it
Dr. Critchlore’s School for Minions produces the best minions in the world and any good Evil Overlord wants the best minions he or she can get. Runt Higgins, a young werewolf left at the school as a baby by his family, loves his home; foster family; and friends. Runt has managed to get a place in the Junior Henchman Program and hopes one day to become a great henchman and find his missing pack. But then strange, explosive things begin to happen and it seems someone is out to destroy the school ...more
Lydia Perversius
Apr 02, 2015 Lydia Perversius rated it liked it
I should be spitting out venom about this book, I really should... It's a miracle I'm not, and mark my words, everyone, the writer is lucky to have pulled it off when she did. Which goes to show that she actually has talent on her side - now, if only she could do something about her pace...

The story is about a young werewolf, who, for some reason, cannot morph. Higgins is now in his third year at Dr. Critchlore's School for Minions - a school that trains minions for Evil Overlords - and is a Jun
Mrs Mommy Booknerd
My review:
I love when I can endorse a book that is truly magical, fun and entertaining! This novel is one any middle grader would love to read alone or it would make the most amazing read together book. There is fun galore, shenanigans and characters that are such a delight. I recommend this book for any and all adventure fantasy lovers!!! 4 stars

Booknerd Boy review:
1. When you started this series what were your initial thoughts?
I was captured right away. It was something new and interesting. It
Krista Dolzer
A zany romp through minion school with a sweet main character. Runt may be (extremely) gullible, but he's also one of the nicest kids I've ever encountered in children's literature.
Review originally posted at Reading Lark:

Witches and wizards have their own schools. Heroes and sidekicks have their own schools. Shoot, even evil overlords have their own schools. Sheila Grau’s book, Dr. Critchlore’s School for Minions, finally evens the playing field for minions and henchmen (or is that henchpersons?). The story opens at the beginning of Runt Higgins’s third year at minion school and follows the standard genre formula of students negoti
Apr 16, 2015 Shelby rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed

Runt Higgins knows that bad things happen in threes, unless you're cursed then bad things just keep happening over and over. Runt is pretty sure that he's cursed cause bad things just keep happening so far during his junior year at Dr. Critchlore's School for Minions. Bad thing #1 is that for the third year in a row he's been put into the wrong dormitory, the human dormitory, even though deep inside he's a vicious werewolf. The problem with being a vicious werewolf deep inside is that on
Sharon Tyler
Apr 11, 2015 Sharon Tyler rated it really liked it
Dr. Critchlores School for Minions is a middle grade novel written by Sheila Grau and illustrated by Joe Sutphin. It is the first book in a new series. The main character is Runt, a werewolf stuck in the human minion dorm and with a habit of being a little too nice. In his efforts to be the best Junior henchman ever he uncovers a plot to sabotage his boarding school. Oh, did I forget to mention that he attends the world's finest training program for aspiring minions to Evil Overlords? There are ...more
Jul 14, 2015 Judy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-books
Trouble Abounds!

I just finished reading Dr. Critchlore's School for Minions, by Sheila Grau. I received an ARC of this book at the ALA Midwest Conference. I am so glad I got a copy of this book. It was definitely a fun read! Runt Higgins, the main character, is a third year minion-in-training at Dr. Critchlore's School for Minions. Creatures ranging from tiny Imps to gigantic Ogres attend this school in the hopes of becoming a minion someday for an Evil Overlord.

The school year starts out rather
Jan 27, 2016 Chris rated it really liked it
With great power comes the responsibility to have great minions.

A funny story that was a lot less silly than it might have been, with a nice balance of humor, mystery, action, suspense, and character. With even a few touches of hard realism about interpersonal relationships and social advancement (A henchman is rewarded handsomely for letting his boss take credit for his work).

Runt Higgins is a third year student at the preeminent boarding school for minions he's lived at since infancy. A werewo
Gordon Jack
Apr 01, 2015 Gordon Jack rated it it was amazing
I LOVED Dr. Critchlore’s School for Minions and so did my 12-year-old son who is a very reluctant reader. Sheila Grau is an incredibly funny writer and she tells an exciting story about a boy trying to save his school from ruin. The book creates a wonderful world of mini monsters training to be minions for the dark overlords who rule the world, but at its heart it’s a story about a boy who just wants to fit in. Runt Higgins is a great main character, wonderfully naïve with big ambitions. His ...more
Mar 03, 2015 Billie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
Dr. Critchlore's School for Minions by Sheila Grau
(Release date April)

Think Harry Potter, but instead of being trained in the art of witchcraft the students are trained to become Minions, then add werewolves, mummies, zombies, a whole lot of other monsters, and a few humans to the mix.

Wonderful story! Action, suspense, a couple of mysteries, sabotage, and some general mischief. My only issue with this book was that it wasn't written for an older group; if it had, more people, including adults wo
Mar 17, 2015 Chacho rated it it was amazing
Dr. Crithclore School for Minions is a lot of fun. It is targeted to middle grade kids but the many subtleties it includes makes it a good read for adults that are up for a light hearted read. Not only is it very imaginative and funny, but it includes valuable life lessons that readers of any age will appreciate
Dec 22, 2014 Alison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fearless-15ers
A fun, funny read filled with quirky, lovable characters. I adored Runt and all of his somewhat misfit friends, and enjoyed reading about the many problems Runt must overcome as he worries about finding his real family, turning into a werewolf, saving Dr. Critchlore and his school, and either outwitting or avoiding those out to foil his plans. An easy sell to any middle-grade reader!
Laurel Gale
Mar 11, 2015 Laurel Gale rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd been wanting to read this one for a while, so I was excited to get my hands on an ARC. It was as fun as I'd hoped! Sheila Grau didn't just create a magical school; she created a fantastically rich world. Runt, the main character, is super sweet. I loved reading his interpretations of things, especially his take on classic fairy tales and the lessons we should learn from them. So much fun!
Gail Nall
Dec 14, 2014 Gail Nall rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade, arc, 15ers
This book is full of some crazy-amazing world-building. Every single character stands out, and I especially loved that Runt, the main character, wasn't the most gifted guy around. It's funny, exciting, and just a good read.
Jan 12, 2015 Jensen rated it it was amazing
Dr. Critchlore's School for Minions is a ton of fun. It takes the school-for-magical-beings trope and spins it in a very funny way. The world building is excellent. The main character is very sympathetic, the plot twists will delight MG readers. I can't wait for more from Sheila Grau!
Sandra Waugh
Jan 14, 2015 Sandra Waugh rated it it was amazing
A whole lot of fun!
This was cute. Not mind-blowing, but not completely formulaic either. The idea of placing a pro-friendship, anti-bullying, love-one-another story in a school for evil minions fits the redefinition of "minion" that Despicable Me started, and it's kind of adorable.
Sam Hutton
Oct 15, 2016 Sam Hutton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heh out hehehe ok knob shhe j'll lak

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Pop Bop
May 10, 2015 Pop Bop rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
An Engaging and Well-Conceived School Adventure/Mystery, With Monsters

There are lots of interesting things going on in this book. Don't confuse these minions with "Despicable Me" minions. Dr. Critchlore's School is for training up top-drawer henchmen for Evil Overlords, and so is filled with every kind of monster, ogre, creature and evil spawn you can imagine. Except, of course, they're all just cheerfully decent sorts who are following a non-traditional career path.

With this kind of book, it se
Becky B
Runt is excited for the new school year at Dr. Critchlore's School for Minions. He's finally in the Junior Henchman Training Program, and on his way to minion stardom. But the school year does not get off to a good start. There's a video circulating showing Critchlore graduates being scared off by some Girl Explorers, a new kid seems to have it in for Runt, Dr Critchlore evidently put 27 kids in the Henchman Training Program and there's only room for 5, and Dr Critchlore himself seems to be ...more
Heather Lawson
Apr 12, 2015 Heather Lawson rated it really liked it
Originally posted here:
I really enjoyed this book and I’m so glad that I found it. It was mentioned to me that this book is similar to one that I am writing (although mine is more from the ‘good’ side and not the ‘evil’ side – although these minions aren’t entirely evil!). It was fun, full of adventure and danger, and it got you thinking too.

Runt wants to prove himself at the school. He’s a powerful werewolf, but he has trouble cha
American Mensa
Jan 13, 2016 American Mensa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Title: Creative and kooky characters combined with a funny plot make this book unforgettable

Dr. Critchlore’s School of Minions is like Harry Potter and the Spiderwick Chronicles combined. This fantasy novel is full of werewolves, minions, evil overlords, junior henchmen, and terrifying girl explorers. Follow along with werewolf Runt Higgins as he takes you on his wild journey full of adventure and surprises as he tries to save his school from being shut down. Dr. Critchlore’s School for Minions
May 27, 2015 Brenda rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I have to admit I was really drawn in by the illustrations on the cover by Joe Sutphin. This also seemed like a book that my kiddo would really enjoy. The story starts out rocky for Runt as he is entering his third year at the School for Minions, and is desperately trying to become a Junior Henchman Trainee. Nothing seems to be going right, he doesn't get placed in the right dorm, he has some tough competition to get into the training program, Dr. Critchlore is behaving oddly and someone has ...more
Mar 31, 2016 Barb rated it really liked it
This is the type of book that makes me read middle-grade fiction well into my middle age. Ms. Grau has created a marvelous fantasy world where Evil Overlords are in desperate need of capable minions. Thank goodness Dr. Critchlore's school has trained all sorts of magical and mythical creatures, as well as the odd human or two, to be top-notch minions and henchmen.

The main character, Runt Higgins, is a lovable but inept young werewolf who has a bit of trouble actually transforming into a wolf. Th
Feb 17, 2016 Library rated it really liked it
So what do you get when you mix monsters, assassins, fantasy creatures of all kinds, bullies, minions, and of course runway models? Dr. Critchlore’s School for Minions! This whirlwind story starts as two rival schools, that train minions, and not the cute yellow Tic Tacs, battle for the title of best. Runt, who was abandoned at the school and lives with the fact that he has a fatal curse, is at the epicenter of this novel. He tries, most of the time unsuccessfully, to help his beloved school win ...more
Jun 08, 2015 Tylerp rated it really liked it
“Dr. Critchlore’s School For Minions” is the book I read. This book reminds me of “Despicable Me” because it is a school for minions. This is a fictional story. It is a good book because it is magical, and magical books are one of my favorite types of books. This story is told in first person. This book also reminds me of “The Boy Who Lost His Face” because they both think they are cursed. They both also deal with popularity changes.

The main character is a werewolf that thinks he is cursed. He t
Feb 04, 2015 Annette rated it really liked it
DR. CRITCHLORE’S SCHOOL FOR MINIONS by Sheila Grau joins the plethora of magical school series that began with Harry Potter. However in this case, the stories focus on a school for training minions. The combination of mystery, mischief, and monsters is perfect for lower, middle grade readers.

In this kickoff episode, Runt Higgins is hoping to enter the Junior Henchman training program, but he gets caught up in school-wide mystery involving viral videos, explosions, and pranksters. Readers are sur
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