Monday, December 2, 2013

Monster on the Hill by Rob Harrell

Billingwood, England, 1867. A family is out in town for a nice outing. They look at shops and generally enjoy the day. Then, they hear a rumble and commotion. A giant monster is ravaging the town! They seek shelter in an accommodating stranger's cellar and wait out the rampage. When they emerge, the town has been smashed up, and it's the most exciting thing ever! There are even souvenirs to be had. This is the best day out this family has ever had. You see, the monster over their town, Stoker-on-Avon, is really pathetic. He hardly leaves his hill. In fact, it's been 536 days since their monster rampaged. It's all a bit pathetic, really. It's hurting tourism and destroying the town's morale. So the town council sends a disgraced scientist (with a tagalong newsie) up the hill to see if they can't get their monster on the rampage again.

Monster on the Hill is a charming graphic novel. I picked it up because I saw it listed on the Cybils nominees this year and loved the quirky story. Rayburn, the monster, is over dramatic, sensitive, a bit of a whiner with a self confidence problem, but he is quite the amusing character. This book is perfect for upper elementary and middle grade readers, although. I think anyone would find it enjoyable. I can't wait to share it with my cousins.

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