Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Monster on the Hill Review
Book talk: Have you ever thought about what it would be like to live in a town with a monster? Sure it would be scary at times, but admit it: you think it would be pretty cool! A good scare can be fun every once in a while, like a ride on a roller coaster. But it might not be as cool as you think if you live in a town like Stoker-on-Avon. In a world where towns take pride in their local monster and even sell souvenirs with their image, Stoker-on-Avon got the short end of the stick. Their monster hasn't terrorized the town in ages and his sighs can be heard from miles away as he mopes around in his cave. If its citizens want to have any pride in their town or attract any tourists they're going to have to whip their monster into shape!
Rocks my socks: I love the way this comic turns the idea of a village monster on its head. I know my students are far more likely to react with shouts of 'cool!' than screams when I describe monsters to them. The way the monsters have been commodified like Disney characters and the excited looks on the villagers' faces when they attack is hilarious! Even more funny is the angsty teenager in a monster's form: "I have no skills. No talents. I'm bloody worthless. I am, essentially, the un-monster." Even the body language is perfect as the monster slouches and flops down with its arm draped over its eyes. Plus the monster's companions are a grouchy old doctor whose license was revoked for questionable experiments and an enterprising newsie--what's not to love!
Rocks in my socks: zip
Every book its reader: I'd give this to anyone looking for a humorous fantasy comic and fans of monster fights 4th grade and up.
Rob Harrell has his own site
There's great behind-the-scenes extras over at forbidden planet
There's an interview with Rob Harrell at New York Comic Con on YouTube that includes his pitch for the book:
Source: school library
Monster on the Hill by Rob Harrell: buy it or check it out today!