The laughter I heard from Emma as she read “How to Make Friends and Monsters” (2013 Zonderkidz) by Ron Bates was enough to worry me. I’m used to hearing whining for a glass of water, an extra tuck-in, more time to stay up coming from the general area of the children’s bedrooms in the evening.
Laughter? Not so much.
The best thing for me about this book is how quickly it charmed Emma. She tends to go gravitate toward mysteries, fantasies and dramas. A funny science fiction book about boy, not so much. Since this book, she has given other titles with strong male characters a chance, despite the fact that, you know, most boys are gross.
I’m convinced that if “How to Make Friends and Monsters” weren’t so great, she wouldn’t have cracked the covers of those two tomes.
Without further ado, here is Emma’s review of “How to Make Friends and Monsters.”:
You may not consider using Wonder Putty, Facespace, a logic board, a microprocessor and some DNA to make a friend. But that’s just what Howard Boward did in “How to Make Friends and Monsters.” And it sure did make a wonderful book!
First of all, I love how I can relate to Howard. I thought I wouldn’t really be able to because of the fact that I am horrible at and hate most kinds of science! And science is Howard’s thing. But I was pleasantly surprised. Howard and I think so much alike! For example, when Howard tells you, “I mean, where is a 12-year-old inventor supposed to find a decent supply of fresh, raw organs?” I could seriously imagine that being a sentence in a story I would write!
Speaking of that, I love the humor in the book. Even at the most suspenseful parts of the book, humor was used. For instance, the lines:
Josh smiled as if reliving pleasant memories.
“I’ll tell you what. For old time’s sake,” he said, “give me your lunch money.”
And I did.
Also, the lines: “’Go Franklin! Go! Go! Franklin, Go!’ I’m pretty sure it’s a cheerleader thing.” showcased the book’s humor.
And humor is only one of the things Ron Bates incorporated in “How to Make Friends and Monsters.” It’s amazing how he incorporates middle-school drama, science fiction, humor and astounding characters, and most of all, pure AWESOMENESS in his book.
I have never read a book like this one.
Lastly, the book opened up my perspective. I would never have thought to pick it up if I saw it at the library. But now, having experienced the book keeping me reading until 10 p.m. and then waking up and reading it through breakfast, and after I finished breakfast, and during lunch and dinner, let’s just say I would not be at all surprised if this book became a Nutmeg Nominee.
In conclusion, if you want a no-I-will-not-play-LEGOS-I-am-in-Bookland type of book, then don’t waste time at the library (no offense to librarians). Just do whatever it takes to get your hands on “How to Make Friends and Monsters.”