Being a young monster isn’t easy, but reading about them in Michael Lawrence’s “Young Monsters” is very entertaining — for monster fans young and old.
Parents commonly have expectations of their kids. Many of them expect them to be good, kind, and, broadly speaking, to adhere to their values. In Young Monsters by Michael Lawrence, illustrated by Chris Mould, Lon’s father expects him to be a monster. But being a young monster does not come easy to Lon.
You see, Lon is rather normal — which is unfortunate, considering that it’s this normalcy that gets him sent to his father’s old boarding school. The boarding school is called Dr. Ffelix Ffurter’s School for Young Monsters, and it’s there that Lon meets his friend Omar, another unfortunately normal boy who shows Lon the ropes (or is that nooses?) of being a young monster.
I picked up Young Monsters at a book sale not so long ago. The illustrations — which remind me of Tim Burton, Roman Dirge, Gris Grimly and Edward Gorey all thrown into a blender — caught my eye.
After reading Young Monsters, I’m very glad I picked it up for my collection. The book weighs in at 66 pages and took me only half an hour to read. The entire book is quickly paced and very funny. It’s also very British, which isn’t surprising considering the book was published in 2003 by Berrington Stoke in the UK.
Some of my favorite things about Young Monsters include the fact that the main character is named after the silent horror star Lon Chaney (the man who fathered Lon Chaney Jr, who would go on to become a horror star himself). I also loved the Headmaster — who is quite literally just a head — and the fact that all students must be ‘bolted’, i.e. have bolts placed in their necks in order to be monsters. I found this, and the fact that their heads fall off if they take their bolts out, very amusing.
My only critique for Young Monsters is that certain parts felt too brief and quick-paced. However, this could just be my own writing style influencing my opinion.
Young Monsters is a great book for young reader’s age 8 to 12.
Being that it was published in the UK, some of the words used may be a little difficult for non-British readers. However, I imagine that most parents would be more than happy to help their kids when needed. Even I happened upon a few things in the book that took me a moment to figure out, and I consider myself quite the anglophile (though I can’t say I care about the royal family and what they’re doing every minute…that’s my mom!).
If you feel like returning to school for half an hour and having some monstrous misadventures, or you have a young monster in your life who you feel would do well to enroll in such a boarding school as Dr. Ffelix Ffurter’s School for Young Monsters, I highly recommend you seek out Young Monsters.
I know I never enjoyed school all that much. But if I had attended the school that Lon attends, I’m sure I would have looked forward to going every day!
Click here to purchase on Amazon.