The Monsterjunkies—An American Family Odyssey
Authors: Erik Daniel Shein and L.M. Reker
About the Book:The Monsterjunkies are an American family. Twelve-year-old Cromwell, who demands to be knows as Crow, and his fourteen-year-old sister, Indigo are going through the normal teenage growing pains. Both want to be accepted for who they are. Their father, Talon, who is a cryptozooloigst.( I have to admit I had to look the word up. I discovered Cryptozoology is the study of elusive animals whose existence is not acknowledged by the scientific mainstream like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster.) and their beautifully exotic mother, Pandora, make their crusade to fit in challenging.
The Monsterjunkies live at Monsterjumkies Manor, or M.J. Manor a Tudor estate surrounded by an enormous wall, guarded by solemn stone gargoyles.
The walls are needed because M.J. Manor is a refuge for creatures hunted to the extreme, species throughout history referred to as monsters. There is Beau, the Bigfoot, the giants, Frances and Betty and Sybil, the sea serpent.
As the story unfolds though we meet the real monsters of Foggy Point, Maine, those who mentally and physically abuse any who are different.
The Monsterjunkies story of bullying is timely with schools nationwide trying to cope with its sometimes tragic consequences.
Review:The idea behind The Monsterjunkies is a good one. The story and odd-ball characters are entertaining. Even with Talon’s unique occupation the normal angst of a family is there. I enjoyed the author’s depiction of the individual personalities of the ‘monsters.’
Crow reaching out and making new friends also rang true. But the book has problems. It could do with some tightening and the formal relationship between the teens and their father is off-putting.
There is one portion of teenage dialogue where every other word seems to be, like. Further along, the word is never used again, in dialogue anyway. It’s inconsistencies like that which I found bothersome.
There are also large passages of dialogue where quotes are miss-used.
The bullying storyline is handled well, the attempts to curb it and the results of the attempts. The book shows, that in this case, bullying is a learned behavior in the home. An important fact I am glad the authors presented to readers.