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Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

I post my reviews to:

booklore.co.uk
midwestbookreview.com
2 yahoo groups
Amazon and B&N (of course)
Librarything.com
Goodreads.com
Bookwormr.com
Books-a-million.com
Reviewcentre.com
Onlinebookclub.org
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and on Twitter
(seriously)

I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Monsterjunkies: An American Family Odyssey

The Monsterjunkies: An American Family Odyssey, Erik Daniel Shein & L.M. Reker, Arkwatch Holdings LLC, 2012

This is the story of a very unique American family.

The Monsterjunkies live in a walled compound on the coast of Maine. Talon, the father, is a crypto-zoologist who specializes in rescuing animal species thought to be extinct, with the intention of returning them to the wild. Pandora is his wife, and their children, daughter Indigo and son Crow are students at the local high school. Because they are "different," both children have been noticed by Rutherford, the school bully. Crow wants the bullying to end, and Indigo wants the family to start being a little more trusting of outsiders. No one is allowed on the property, and the family doesn't talk about it, which leads to the expected rumors of monsters on the property.

Indigo invites Winter, a friend from school and a budding artist, for an overnight sleepover, and shows her what is really going on behind the walls. Crow becomes friends with a trio of boys from school who attempt to sneak onto the property to see for themselves. They are stopped by an actual sasquatch, who, they learn later, is intelligent and is named Beauregard. The visitors are also introduced to a pygmy elephant named Thunder who loves marshmallows, and an actual sea serpent named Sybil who can't eat enough squash.

At school one day, the group publicly humiliates Rutherford, in front of a bunch of girls. Naturally, he is not going to go away that easily. Does the Monsterjunkie family get "outed" prematurely? Does the bullying stop, once and for all?

This is an excellent YA novel. It has a very strong environmental and anti-bullying message. It is a well-done piece of writing that is recommended for all young people (and adults, too).

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