From the Grave by Cynthia Reeg
From the Grave
Author: Cynthia Reeg
Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Release Date: October 18, 2016
Goodreads Synopsis: Monster is as monster does, but Frankenstein Frightface Gordon is totally the wrong shade of ghastly green—pale, baby blue, in fact—and he’s more concerned with keeping his pants neat and tidy than scaring the pants off his victims. But when a new law is passed to rid Uggarland of misfits such as Frank, he must decide if he will become the monster his parents can be proud of or be the monster he can be proud of. Trusting the monsterliest monster he knows, Frank looks to the grave and his dead grandmother to make his choice, entering into an adventure that will either seal his doom or prove he is truly monster enough.
Jen’s Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
REVIEW: Bullying is at the center of this read and our characters struggle with being who they are, or becoming what others want them to be. Frankie’s “arch enemy” in the form of Malcolm ends up having to spend time with him in a place called Exxillium. It is frightful to both of them, but may help them to grow, and possibly change Malcolm’s outlook in life.
“‘Monsters only believe in monstering,’ I muttered. I wasn’t good at that. At all. And if I didn’t get good at pretending, it looked like Exxillium was where I would end up. Could I pretend to monster up, enough to make them all believe it? I had to. I’d sort of done it so far. Well, not good enough to keep me out of this Exxillium excursion, but I could get better. Couldn’t I?”
It is a story of struggle with every day life, with fitting in, and hurtful kids (monsters) who choose to not see their faults. It catches the attention of children because it resonates with many of them and everyday struggles they go through, but it also loses them with words they can’t pronounce or understand, as well as phrases you might not want you’re child picking up.
“I was the one panting now. ‘Your dad, Malcolm. It was him on Exxillium.’ ‘No! You lying, misfit maggot! My dad died in Scare Patrol. My dad’s a hero.”
“Sometimes rumination prior to extermination is essential. Mind over monster!’ Not my usual mode of operation but perhaps this trouble called for careful rumination.”
There is great deal of life lessons and overcoming bad things when you feel you never will. It has a main character you come to adore because he is pure and means well, refuses to be a monster like everyone else. An adventure in finding out truths and working together. It might not be suited for younger children as stated above, but will fit perfectly on a more intermediate level. They are sure to enjoy From the Grave and everything is has to offer.
***I received this copy from Jolly Fish Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***