07 July 2008

The Monstrous Memoirs of a Mighty McFearless

The Monstrous Memoirs of a Mighty McFearless by Ahmet Zappa
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (July 25, 2006)
5/5 stars

In this delightful book, Minerva McFearless discovers that her family has been monsterminators for generations--fearlessly fighting evil so that children can sleep safely in their beds. Naturally, she and her younger brother Max want a piece of the action, but their dad think they are too young for such dangers. So, behind his back they secretly study the Monstranomicon and learn all they can about the horrible monsters and how to battle them.

And thank goodness they do, because the more than vile Zarmaglorg has his minions kidnap their dad and only Minerva and Max can save him! Well, with some help from Ms. Monstranomicon and the mysterious Mr. Devilstone.

While there are spots in this book that might be more trite than others, the author's enthusiasm fills it so full that one can't help but enjoy it. His subtle (and not always so subtle) puns, plays on words and borrowing from other authors (I'm sure Lovecraft would have to have loved the Monstranomicon) make it a treat for adults reading it, while the descriptions of the monsters and the monster repellents in the Monstranomicon have to be enjoyable for everyone.

The real gem of the book, though, it's crowing glory is the illustrations. Every page is illustrated lushly, well amusingly anyway, with childlike drawings of monsters, sepia photographs of the action, and various detritus from like moths, rocks, monster blood and gumballs. I couldn't wait to turn the page to see just what would be on the next two pages, and would it have anything to do with the plot, and if so, what? Again, I have to say that Zappa's love for his project is so obvious and his love , and the incredible amount of work that went into the illustrations, glosses over any small faults that The Monstrous Memoirs of a Mighty McFearless does have and rounds it out to a 5/5 reading experience.

Read for the "Z author" in my A-Z Author's Challenge



Blogger Debra Hamel said...

I saw this come up in my RSS reader and said to myself, that looks like something Gypsi would like. And then I realized that it was your blog....

5:56 PM  

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