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Author: Jennifer Finney

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2011

Material: hard cover

Summary: Falcon Quinn just can't seem to fit in. His father, the Crow, is a monster ... so when he's on Monster Island, no one really trusts him. His mother is Guardian Queen, so no one there trusts him either. Especially, Cygnus, who kidnaps Falcon and sets in motion a plan to destroy Monster Island. This middle grade book is a coming of age story filled with monster humor.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, independent reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 12; read yourself: 10 and up

Interest Level: 9 and up

Reading Level: 4.3

Young Reader Reaction: As we were nearing the end of this book, my daughter asked if there were any more books about Falcon Quinn and his friends.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is Monsters, Inc. with a pre-teen plot. I loved the way the author wove in perennial teen angst with a monster / guardian twist. I also liked how, as the story progressed, she effectively showed us that we are more alike than different. All that said, I would say it is an "ok" book. Maybe you have to read the previous title to really understand some of the characters, like Cygnus and Crow.

Pros: Lots of humor and familiar teenage scenes will have kids laughing out loud and turning the page.

Cons: There are times when the story gets monontonous.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a funny, fast read, but not one you're likely to come back to.

If You Liked This Book, Try: WILL ALLEN AND THE GREAT MONSTER DETECTIVE (Chronicles of the Monster Detective Agency, Volume 1)   ALEX AND THE IRONIC GENTLEMAN   100 CUPBOARDS (100 Cupboards, Book 1)

Educational Themes: This is built to be a story for fun reading. There are themes of friendship, trust, and family relationships that can be drawn out in book club discussions.

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - fantasy, coming of age, middle grade series, school, humor

Date(s) Reviewed: May 2012

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at and


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