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Reviewed by Courtnee Turner Hoyle for Readers' Favorite
Monster Match is a middle-grade book by Caryn Rivadeneira. The story is part of the Frankinschool Series and centers around a boy named Fred who mistakenly receives a book with “Frank” inscribed. Embracing the opportunity to write creatively about the experience, Frank pens a poem about what it would be like to be Frank in school, or “Frankinschool.” The students and teacher fall asleep as a mysterious green fog rolls into the room, and parts of Fred’s poem come true as he and an intolerable classmate assume the roles he’d designated in his poem.
Caryn Rivadeneira has crafted a wonderful children’s book with themes and lessons in forgiveness and friendship. Dani Jones’s delightful pictures bring the story to life! Readers will love Fred’s character, and many will relate to being bullied by a classmate. The story teaches a lesson in forgiveness but may also provide an eye-opening perspective for a reader who may not realize that hurtful words can cause emotional and mental damage. Rivadeneira seamlessly connected Fred’s poem and the events when he was in Frankinschool, and the book moved at a fast pace. Even though the green fog affected the teachers and students, the author rationalizes their deep sleep without causing anxiety. Monster Match is a great selection for third- to sixth-grade readers who enjoy books about friendship and supernatural events. Readers will be excited for the next book in this delightful series.