Thirteen-year-old Falcon Quinn and his neighbors, Max and Megan, board bus number 13 for school on an ordinary day in Cold River, Maine. Only the bus doesn't take its ordinary route, and Falcon and his friends soon find themselves in an extraordinary place—on Shadow Island, at the Academy for Monsters.
With a student body stranger than the cast of any monster movie Falcon has ever seen, the academy is home to creatures and oddities of all kinds. In the academy's atmosphere, Falcon's friends begin to unleash and enjoy their monster natures, from flying with Pearl, La Chupakabra, to decaying with the "Zombie Snap." Falcon has always felt different, with his one bright blue eye and one shadow-black eye, but is he really a monster? Will he discover the other thing that makes him different when he finds himself in the Black Mirror? And when he learns that the school's mission is to teach students to hide their aberrant natures, Falcon and his friends need to find a way to fight back for their monster selves.
Bestselling author Jennifer Finney Boylan introduces Falcon, Max, Megan, and their band of monster friends in this first installment of a hair-raising and sidesplitting adventure of monstrous proportions.
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Jennifer Finney Boylan is the author of more than a dozen books, including a bestselling memoir, a collection of short stories entitled Remind Me to Murder You Later, and three novels for adults. Her novel Getting In won the Alex Award from the American Library Association in 1998 for an adult novel with special appeal to young adult readers. Since 1988 she has been a professor of English at Colby College.
Jenny Boylan lives at the end of a dirt road in Maine with a Sasquatch, a wind elemental, two weredogs, and a leprechaun.
Brandon Dorman lives in Puyallup, Washington, and is the creator of Pirates of the Sea! and Santa's Stowaway, and the illustrator of Jack Prelutsky's Be Glad Your Nose Is on Your Face, as well as Halloween Night, by Marjorie Dennis Murray.From School Library Journal:
Grade 5–8—At first glance, this book set at The Academy for Monsters appears to be a perfect selection for readers suffering from Hogwarts withdrawal. After all, it is about misfits who learn they are monsters and travel to a boarding school where they can be with others of their kind. Only, in this story, the Academy's a place where monsters must learn to quell their fiendish natures so they can exist in normal society without being chased by angry mobs with torches and pitchforks. And whereas Rowling's bespectacled hero found a place where he belonged, Falcon Quinn feels just as out of place at the Academy as he did in the real world. No one can pinpoint his monster-identity, and many feel that he's an imposter. A few loyal friends surround Falcon, and, ultimately, his relationships with them help him discover his true identity. This story gets a little busy in the end, and the monsters are mostly caricatures rather than well-developed individuals. But despite these flaws, this is an entertaining read. With vampires, ghouls, Sasquatches, Frankenstein, a spunky goatsucker, and one unhappy enchanted slug, this story offers a humorous look at the hidden lives of monsters. Reluctant readers may be discouraged by the length of the book, but if they can get past that hurdle, there's enough page-turning action to keep them hooked. And there's a twist that will leave kids anxiously awaiting the next installment in this series.— Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO
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