Friday, 23 May 2014

So You Think You Babysit Monsters? by Leslie A. Susskind (Children's, 9 years +, 10/10E)

December 2013, Good Manners Kids Stuff Press, 149 pages, Ebook, Review copy 

Themes: monster sized tantrums, magic, trying to be normal, huge changes and surprises, having brothers, hating attention,
Content: loads of humour, several monster sized plot twists, shocking ending,

“Help! The little boy I’m babysitting just turned into a monster!”

When you’re 13, life can be tough enough just trying to fit in. But when little Michael Roper turns into a monster before her eyes, Mackenzie Abercrombie realizes that her regular, every-day life is over. From now on, fitting in could be almost impossible!

That’s because Mackenzie’s family is made up of a 2,000+ year-old line of Magic Minders. All of the kids she’s babysat for the past year are baby monsters (or Magic Ones, as they like to be called) in disguise. It’s up to her to keep them safe from the local humans and to keep the local humans safe from them.

Her neighborhood's Ground Hog’s Day Festival is just around the corner and a cute new boy named Ben has joined her class. Mackenzie has enough to worry about without being responsible for the neighborhood monster population! But in just two weeks, facing social annihilation, the Earth threatening to split apart, and world domination in the works, it becomes perfectly clear that an Undercover Magic Minder is just what the neighborhood monster – and mortal – population needs.

Most importantly, how does Ben, the new boy, fit in … and is he keeping a secret from her? Introducing the first book of the new middle grade serial series, The Abercrombie Family Business: Totally True, Tir Griffin Story #1. Watch for Totally True, Tir Griffin Story #2 coming soon. 

Nayuleska's thoughts 
This is another read that made me squee. The only reason it doesn't get that elusive E is there was a smidge of feeling that when Mackenzie has Michael change on her, it didn't seem that she knew about her heritage at all, which she somehow does in the next chapter. It is possible I misinterpreted as I read when I'm tired, so by no means be put of reading this wonderfully inventive new series. I love the interactions between Mackenzie, her family, her friends and yes her enemies, who are not all the seem. The idea of Magic Ones needing protection is a fun one, especially as it is slowly unravelled exactly how that protection occurs. It is a refreshing change not to have doom and gloom theme, there is a lot of positivity surrounding ye Magic Ones, with more being able to live in Tir Griffin.

I loved the flashbacks which give Mackenzie time to reflect on her strange life. I really want to be a monster babysitter! I did guess half of the plot twist at the end, thanks to the hints throughout the story - yay me for picking up on them! Be warned, the end is cliffhanger-y and you will want to send Cynthia to jump about Leslie's house to get her writing faster! 

Find out more on Leslie's website.

Suggested read
Do check out Leslie's other series which starts with The Month of Zephram Mondays (Children's, 9 years +, 9/10E)

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