Let the Monster Out by Chad Lucas

Published by Harry N. Abrams

Summary:  Bones is struggling to adapt to his new home in a small Nova Scotia town.  He’s one of the few Black kids, and he’s trying to put some past trauma behind him.  Kyle has never received an official autism diagnosis, but it’s becoming increasingly clear to him that his brain works differently from most other people’s.  Although the two are baseball teammates, they seem unlikely to become friends until they both are affected by the strange happenings going on in their town. Kids are having the same nightmares, and the adults around them are acting like zombies.  Everything seems to be connected to Fluxcor, the giant tech company that has an outsized influence in town.  After somewhat reluctantly joining forces with teammates Marcus and Albert, Bones and Kyle race against time to defeat the company and its evil CEO before it’s too late.  320 pages; grades 4-7.

Pros:  This isn’t typically my favorite genre, but I got sucked into the story pretty quickly and polished it off in three days.  I saw Netflix’s Stranger Things referenced in several reviews, and this would definitely appeal to fans of that show.  But it’s not just a scary story; Bones and Kyle are dealing with real issues in their lives and fighting the evil forces around them helps them to move ahead with those situations as well.  It’s also a nice celebration of boys’ friendships.

Cons:  I got kind of tired of Bones and Albert’s constant bickering, and my hopes that Albert had an interesting backstory never really materialized. 

July 18, 2022 at 06:02PM Janet Dawson