Monster Club: Hunters for Hire

Scholastic. Jul. 2019. 256p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781338318517.
Gr 3-7–Best friends Tommy, Spike, and Karim are itching for an adventure, and they’re about to find one: their town has been overrun by gremlins, basilisks, and other dangerous and pesky monsters. They sign up as monster hunters on an app called AppVenture and quickly begin receiving requests from around town, but their work leads them to uncover a nefarious plot bigger than they could have imagined. The chapters are interspersed with entertaining “Monsterpedia” entries that describe the creatures the trio face. Though the book includes decidedly kid-friendly elements such as famous online streamers, silly and scary creatures, and lots of monster-hunting action, this strikes an odd tone against a plot that requires at least some understanding of freelancing, profit motives, and corporate responsibility. This book succeeds most when it focuses on the very human experiences and emotions of its likable and well-rounded protagonists, and the concept of a monster-hunting app service is a strong one. However, the plot demands an understanding of economics and capitalism that may be beyond its intended audience.

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