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Reviewed by Alyssa Elmore for Readers' Favorite
A young girl and her best friend set out to stop a Villain from ruining Halloween in the fun middle-grade novel, The End of All Halloweens (The Adventures of UberGirl: Book 3) by Matthew Cox. Nine-year-old Kelly Donovan has problems. Not like most nine-year-old girls, either. No, Kelly's problems are much bigger. Like superhero big. After an incident leaves the earth's inhabitants capable of more than they dreamed possible, the world has become divided between Superheroes and Villains. Although still adjusting to life as a Super, Kelly is perfectly happy with her new abilities. Only, they come with a catch - her parents are Villains. Always the good girl, Kelly longs for her parents to return to normal - like that's going to happen anytime soon. While contemplating a plan to put the world (and more importantly, her parents) to rights, a great travesty befalls the City; all the Halloween candy has been replaced with (gasp) candy corn! Suddenly distracted from her original plan of trying to save her parents from Villainy, Kelly enlists the help of her best friend and Super, Will O' Wisp, to help save Halloween. But they don't have much time; only one short week. Juggling spying on her Villain parents (to keep them out of trouble, of course), schoolwork, and the odd Villainous disaster, Kelly's schedule is already swamped. Can they catch the fiend bent on destroying the holiday? Or will Kelly's parents' villainous plans keep her too busy to save Halloween?
The End of All Halloweens (The Adventures of UberGirl: Book 3) by Matthew Cox may technically be a middle-grade novel, but it is suitable for readers of all ages. A clean, delightful read, I am hooked on the characters and the storyline. Now I have to go back and read the rest of the series with my son. Although this is the third book in the series and, therefore, is a continuation of a much larger story, this book makes a great standalone. I didn't get lost or feel swamped in the backstory, yet knew enough to instantly connect with the characters. The good vs. morally grey lends valuable lessons to an already healthy story world, enhancing the quality of the reading experience for younger readers. This book has it all; superheroes, villains, magicians, futuristic robots and technology, and the odd Mad Scientist. The story flows beautifully, the cover, chapter headings, text, table of contents, graphics are flawless and engaging, the characters are excellently developed, and the story is clearly written for the chosen audience (though can easily reach beyond nine-year-olds). I truly appreciated Mr. Cox's writing style with a delightfully witty side of dry humor. The main characters may be girls, but don't think that boys won't enjoy this book; there is a character for everyone in it. I highly recommend it to readers of all ages, especially those nine to eleven.