Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Here Be Mosters, by Alan Snow

Ok. Ok. Ok. I admit it. I admit that there's a tragic reality that I don't like thinking about. Some of you, my dear students, don't love books. Just because I don't acknowledge this fact often, doesn't mean that I'm unaware of it. Many of you'd much rather be watching cartoons. Or playing video games. I know. And while I can't change the rules of school to allow these forms of entertainment during our hours together, I can give you a similar, highly entertaining experience by introducing you to Here Be Monsters. Seriously, the whole entire time I was reading this book I kept thinking, wow, this is just like watching a really funny cartoon. I can't believe I'm going to allow my students to have this much fun in school. Am I losing my mind?

To give you a taste of this fun, let me share a little passage that starts on page 259. At this point in the story Arthur is trying to help a bunch of underlings (boxtrolls and cabbageheads) escape from Snatcher, the leader of the evil Cheese Guild. (Read 259-265)

Like all good cartoons, this story has lots of good characters: Arthur, the lawyer named Willbury, the boxtrolls and cabbageheads, and the rats and pirates who run the Nautical Laundry ship. There are also some nasty villains, including Snatcher, his side-kick Gristle, the rest of the Cheese Guild and a rat that is bigger than an elephant. Will Arthur and his friends expose the Cheese Guild's sinister plans? Or will the Cheese Guild take over the whole city of Ratbridge?

I can see some of you looking at this book and asking in your mind, "How many pages is that book?" Well, let me answer your question. It's 528 pages. And if you're not up for at least one whole week of fun, I wouldn't suggest you even try it. But ask yourself this: would you be happy if your favorite cartoon was only one or two episodes? No, of course not. You're happy that Kim Possilbe has lots and lots of adventures. Well, once you get to know Arthur and get sucked into this crazy world, you'll be glad that this is a long book, cuz you won't want it to end.

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