Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tales from Lovecraft Middle School #1: Professor Gargoyle by Charles Gilman

Review based on ARC.

This book is listed for ages 9+ .. it's not far off.  This book is perfect for kids in the 8-12 age range.  It is a fun, fast-paced, entertaining read.  Robert Arthur has been transferred to the brand new Lovecraft Middle School, where he knows no one and has no friends.  Unfortunately, there is just one other student from his old middle school - the bully who appears intent on continuing the tradition at a new school.  Robert meets a quick friend in a girl who sympathizes with him after a bullying episode, but it takes him some time to finesse the relationship after Robert initially pushes her away in embarrassment.

Robert quickly learns that things at Lovecraft are not always as they appear.  By the end of the book, without presenting any spoilers, Robert has discovered the secret of the school, has found 3 (or perhaps 4) best friends, and is ready for the year ahead of him, whatever that year may bring.

The plot is simple and the characters are engaging.  The more sinister aspects of the book are not too dark and not too scary.  There's just a touch of it all, which is perfect for the 3rd to 7th grader who loves Halloween.

As a side note - the "lenticular cover" (it changes images) is beautifully done.  My husband said to me the other day, "I really like Professor Gargoyle!"  Based solely on that cover ;)

FOUR and a HALF of five stars.