You may say the Monsterjunkies are an unconventional family, which would be an understatement. Father Talon, mother Pandora, children Crow (Cromwell)...moreYou 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 (less)
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Practically everyone's read this book; I don't think I need to summarize the plot in detail. Three friends: Hazel and Augustus (a doomed couple in love) and their friend Isaac (blinded by cancer of the eyes) struggle to make it through, supporting each other, taking and giving support to their families.
As an adult it was impossible for me to put the book down. I started it late one evening, staying up all night to finish it at 5:00 a.m. Of course, I was suffering form a bout of insomnia but the book had something to do with that. So be warned: once you start you may find yourself in the same boat, unable to put it down 'til you've turned the last page.
Of course it's heartbreaking but in the end there's a certain redemption, such as there can be. Green gives the reader a lot to think about regarding life: how to live and how to die. A brilliant book for all but especially young adults, as they begin their independent lives.(less)
Didn't realize it was a young adult novel before I started it. I wasn't in the mood to read a YA from Rushdie, so will only say it was well-written bu...moreDidn't realize it was a young adult novel before I started it. I wasn't in the mood to read a YA from Rushdie, so will only say it was well-written but not the right book at the right time for me.(less)