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WILL ALLEN AND THE GREAT MONSTER DETECTIVE (Chronicles of the Monster Detective Agency, Volume 1)

Author: Jason Edwards

Illustrator: Jeffrey Friedman

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Publisher: Rogue Bear Press,

Material: paperback

Summary: Will Allen, a fifth grader, has some serious problems: monsters under his bed. Things get complicated because Will’s parents don't take his problem seriously. Will and his friend Jeannine decide they need professional help. He called the Monster Detective Agency and hired Bigelow Hawkins to eliminate the problem. The team went right to work but the monsters were not ready to leave their haunts. This is an illustrated adventure mystery for elementary-level readers.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, independent reading, reluctant reader, remedial reader

Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 10; read yourself: 8 to 12

Interest Level: 8 to 12

Reading Level: 3.9

Age of Child: Read by two students at Robbinsdale Cooper High School, New Hope, MN. This was part of our Use Your ABCs classroom literacy project.

Young Reader Reaction: Student 1: I picked this because it looked like a good book. The fun part about this book is that it is a mystery and it is a funny book. I wish the author would have made the monster more realistic. The book is OK, but there should be more action in it.
student 2: I picked this book because I like to read some things about monsters. I think this was good from the start and I was able to get into it from the beginning, which I like. I liked the book because it teaches kids that there is no such thing as monsters. I don't think bringing Sherlock Holmes into the story is good. The other thing I didn't like is pretending the bear is the monster. That kid was too scared.

Adult Reader Reaction: The purpose of this book and the Accelereader program of which it is a part, is to help children read. The author has chosen to accomplish the goal by providing funny and zany characters, bizarre situations, and some very scary monsters. The only thing that the author can do to make the book better in the reader’s point of view is to serve it with ice cream cones.

Pros: People, monsters, and strange events collide to make this a page-turner for kids learning to read.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. This book is fun read, sure to be a hit with the intended audience.

If You Liked This Book, Try: HAUNTED HILL (A SAM & STEPHANIE MYSTERY)   THE LEGEND OF DUNSMOOR MANOR   DIRK BONES AND THE MYSTERY OF THE HAUNTED HOUSE (I Can Read! Series, Level 1)

Educational Themes: The purpose of the book and the series is to provide materials that will help young students to read. This particular book is aimed at preteen audience and the materials selected focus on things that the age group traditionally finds funny, zany, or gross.

Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 3.9
The publicist donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - mystery, adventure, middle grade series, humor

Date(s) Reviewed: February 2009, February 2010

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