Let the Monster Out

Amulet. May 2022. 320p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781419751264.
Gr 5 Up–Twelve-year-old Bones Malone and his family move to Langille, a quiet Canadian town, for a fresh start after facing domestic issues in their old town. Coping with being one of the only Black kids there, Bones finds a place for himself on the baseball team. When Langille announces free Wi-Fi for the entire community, people around town quickly begin to transition into a zombielike state. After Bones’s mom is infected, he teams up with Kyle, the baseball team’s homeschooled genius, to get to the bottom of the Wi-Fi’s effect on the community. Lucas crafts an enjoyable science fiction mystery with characters who travel into different dream dimensions based on their greatest fears. Bones struggles to control his temper while Kyle desires to understand his neurodivergent brain, and the dream-traveling allows the friends to take a walk in each other’s footsteps. As the team works together to conquer the evil forces controlling the town, they learn the value of community and friendship. While this text offers a light, humorous tone, some scenes are juxtaposed with heavier content, including descriptions of the parental abuse that shapes Bones’s fears.
VERDICT Perfect for fans of Stranger Things, this science fiction novel should be on school and public library shelves.

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