Thursday, October 27, 2016

‘Laura Monster Crusher’

Book cover, 'Laura Monster Crusher' by Wesley King. Illustration depicts a gaping hole in the ground, ringed by tall trees
Accidentally breaking the arm of a smaller classmate during a game of “Duck, Duck, Goose,” sealed Laura Ledwick’s fate to be known by cruel nicknames capitalizing on her size.

So when Laura and her family moved to the town of Riverfield, Laura hoped that by beginning eighth grade in a brand-new school, she would leave that persecution behind.

On the first day of school, Laura gains two new friends, meets a boy she’s attracted to, but also attracts the attention of a mean girl and her wanna-be followers.

But the travails of middle-school are compounded by eerie sightings and reports of wild animals in the dark forest that borders Laura’s home. A mysterious rattling in Laura’s closet leads to her discovery of a hidden world beneath her feet.

Laura learns that a magic spell has chosen her to be the next “Monster Crusher” … protecting both worlds from dangerous creatures who want to overrun them.

This hidden world’s inhabitants are skeptical of Laura, believing that the spell is failing and her selection was a mistake. And Laura is probably first in line to cast doubt on her suitability.

I found a lot to like in Laura Monster Crusher, especially Laura’s development. As part of her back-story, Laura had been the best youth softball player in her state, but poor self-image and other children’s cruelty drove her at age 11 to quit her softball team.

As the story unfolds, Laura gains a sense of self-acceptance. Her brother Tom also plays a significant role, which author Wesley King well-prepares readers for.

Laura Monster Crusher will be published in April 2017 by Penguin Random House Canada.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher. The opinion expressed is my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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