Hey… have you missed me? Well, here’s a couple book write-ups…

How to Make Friends and Monsters and How to Survive Middle School and Monster Bots – Ron Bates

howardbowardMiddle school is a pivotal time for most people, but it can be especially difficult if you don’t quite fit in. Unless of course, you are such a nerd you can create your own friends – even if they turn out to be monsters who try to take over you school and town. This series is an enjoyable look at the ups and downs of such a life.

In book one, Howard Boward is a nerd who, through no real fault of his own, creates a monster life-force to be his friend. Naturally, this doesn’t work out exactly as expected, although, it does make him popular… for a little while. When things start going awry, Howard learns a lot about life and identity and friendship and a little bit about having a moral compass. It’s a fulfilling and fun read, with plenty of illustrations to keep the pages turning.

Book two continues the saga and finds Howard struggling to remember some of the life lessons he gained previously. Also, he dabbles with robots and they try to take over the city. Again, we have a clever tale, written from a pertinent point of view and there are plenty of laughs, lessons, and mistakes from Howard’s experiments and experiences. This time, the undertone dives a little deeper into the realm of true friendship, loyalty, and teamwork. There’s also a bit of a redemptive call to action, but it’s not exactly heavy-handed. It’s another fine read and one that leaves you wondering what could possibly happen next.

These books are written in the style of Diary of a Wimpy Kid (visually, at least – I’ve never read those), Timmy Failure, and other half-graph novels. (I may have just coined that term… hope it sticks). They should appeal to middle schoolers, obviously, most likely boys, and the kid in all of us.

peace… love… bdg….