Word Spelunking

Monsters on the March - Derek The Ghost, Scott M. Fischer THREE WORDS: Kooky, Spooky, FunMY REVIEW: Scary School #1 was one of my favorite MG reads last year, so I was super stoked to read the next book in the series. And this second installment does not disappoint! It not only captures the spooky-fun essence of the first book, it takes things to a whole new level of whimsy and awesomeness.The students of Scary School are about to collect their reward for winning the Ghoul Games: a trip to Monster Forest to meet the Monster King, King Zog. And the Monster Forest is exactly how it sounds, a forest full of monsters: bearodactyls, fearsome pirates and a toad face princess. And when Princess Zogette falls for Charles Nukid and follows him back to Scary School, King Zog and Captain Pigbeard (Zogette’s fiancé) are not happy and wage war on Scary School. Back at Scary School the students prepare to fight the monsters while having spooky and kooky adventures of their own and of course, Derek the Ghost is there to write them all down.Derek the Ghost returns with a spectacular and wild second installment in this tons of fun series. Once again, the author weaves a story that is both laugh-out-loud hilarious and deliciously chilling. Fast paced and packed full of thrills, giggles and awesome gross-outs, this book is never boring! Pitch perfect for its intended audience, the author continues to create an addicting voice that is equal parts whimsical, childlike and acerbically witty. Old favorites are back (Charles Nukid, Penny the Possum, Principle Headcrusher, Frank whose name is pronounced “Rachel”, etc) while some new delightful and even creepy characters are introduced. Some of my new favorite characters are Mr. Grump, the elephant man teacher; Ms. Hydra, the seven-headed hall monitor; and Tanya Tarantula, a new student I’m equally enthralled with and terrified of (dude, she’s a GIANT spider! Ick, but wicked cool, right?!). No matter how hairy, slimy, smelly or icky any character may be, they’re always charming, relatable and lovable.The world Derek has created is smart, vivid and endlessly imaginative. Scary School is like a giant fun/haunted house or creepy Hogwarts, and how cool does that sound? You never know what fantastical beasts or wonderment will pop up or out from every corner and door. The exciting adventures of the Scary School students are over the top in the best way possible, full of laughs and have enough thrills to be delightfully scary.And I must mention the illustrations, which are once again done by the talented Scott M. Fischer. Fischer’s drawings so wonderfully bring Derek’s story to life. He has definitely captured not only the likeness of the characters, but their personalities and essence as well.MY FINAL THOUGHTS: This series has quickly become one of my favorite MG series and Monsters of the March is an awesome sequel. Readers of all ages will be captivated by the humor, chills and fantastical setting. This book and series is definitely a MUST read, especially a read-aloud!

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