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School Library Journal:

/* Starred Review */ Gr 5 Up — One glance at the cover depicting ominous clouds overhead and a landmass with a glaring red eye informs readers that the author of Ghostopolis (Scholastic, 2010) has created another exploration of the bizarre. Dad has decided to take Reese, who is too cool for family outings, and his sister, Janine, on a fishing trip. The vacation takes an unexpected turn when their boat capsizes during a storm and they find themselves marooned on a strange island. To their horror, the family slowly realizes that the island is the submerged body of a giant creature, escaped from another world. The story alternates between the shipwreck survivors and the faraway world that created this “island.” Both stories feature conflict between an adolescent son and his father. Clever touches highlight the dawning pubescence of both son and monster: small whiskers sprouting on the giant monster, Reese’s flippant response when his mother wonders about his ability to make her nervous. “No problem mom. It’s a gift.” Ultimately, both rebellious adolescents grow up and find their place as young men. The vibrant color palette used in the family’s story contrasts with the grays and browns of the monster world. Both places are punctuated with red, yellow, and black to emphasize the scenes of conflict, while silhouettes add a striking visual touch. Expressive wide-eyed faces perfectly capture emotions while the effective use of humor (a dead pet snake plays an important role) keeps the tension from becoming overwhelming. TenNapel has crafted another rip-roaring adventure with wide audience appeal.—Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY –Barbara M. Moon (Reviewed November 1, 2011) (School Library Journal, vol 57, issue 11, p154)

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