The Mallow Marsh Monster

Boyds Mills. (Goolz Next Door). May 2020. 160p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781629796789.
Gr 4-7–This sequel picks up right where the previous volume, A Bad Night for Bullies (2018), left off—in the Goolz’s kitchen with a severed foot. Found in the swamp, the Farrell Twins are convinced this foot, boneless and stinking, is proof that their mother is the latest victim of the Mallow Marsh Monster. But that’s just a legend, right? The Mallow Marsh Monster cannot possibly be real. Harold, Ilona, and Suzie team up once again to find out. The story unfolds as a fast-paced paranormal action adventure that kicks into high gear when, during the investigation, Harold is bitten and begins to change into the very thing they are hunting. The ending will leave readers curious about what is next for Harold and the Goolz. Character relationships feel authentic—both friendships and a budding romance. This, coupled with a bit of humor, helps keep the title spooky rather than scary.
VERDICT An additional purchase; good for libraries where the first title and other middle grade spooky mystery series like R.L. Stine’s “Goosebumps” or Jonathan Stroud’s “Lockwood & Co.” are popular.

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