Book Review Laura Monster Crusher

31147002Title: Laura Monster Crusher

Author: Wesley King

Genre: Children’s Books

Age Group: Children / Middle Grade

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Lord of the Rings meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets The Duff in this funny, fast-paced tale of middle-school monsters, self-image, and, oh yeah, actual monsters that want to kill everyone.

Laura Ledwick is… well… large. The kids at school don’t let her forget it, and call her by various names: Laura Largebottom, Laura Lardo, Lots of Laura–you get the idea. When Laura’s family moves to the next town over before eighth grade, she expects more of the same. What she doesn’t expect are the snake-like yellow eyes watching her from the forest. Or the mysterious rattling in her closet. Or finally making real friends for the first time. Or handsome uber-nerd Liam R. Kelp, who might just be the cutest boy to ever wear a Science Is Cool T-shirt. But when Laura finally discovers the source of the rattling, things take on a whole new level of weird. It turns out Laura has just been given the most important job in the world: Monster Crusher. Her role is simple: protect the earth from the horrors beneath their feet. Eighth grade is about to get a lot more interesting.

In Laura Monster Crusher, Laura struggles with being bullied at school because of her weight. When her parents move to another town before eighth grade, she expects she’ll just get bullied again in her new high school. But what she doesn’t expect is she might actually make some friends. On the downside, though, she actually makes some enemies, of the supernatural kind. She discovers a portal to another world, where she will be trained as a Monster Crusher, and learn to protect the earth from the horrors underground – the monsters. No, eighth grade will be a lot more interesting than she ever could’ve imagined.

I absolutely loved Laura. Her struggles made her sound all the more realistic, especially how she struggles with her weight and being bullied. I also loved her sweet crush on Liam R. Kelp, who is nerdy but lovely, cute and respectful too. Laura sure knows how to pick them! Laura also doesn’t really lose weight – her training might help her shape up a little, but she doesn’t magically transform into a skinny girl. In a way, the book is all about fat acceptance and positive body image, and I totally support that. Laura gains independence and self-confidence as the book progresses, and I felt so proud for her.

The writing was good, and although some parts of the book dragged (especially in the middle), I really enjoyed it. It’s a wonderful, positive, imaginative middle grade book.

 

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