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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
I couldn't help but compare The Monsterjunkies with The Munsters and The Addams Family even before I start reading this book. Yet, the comparison was put aside right away. The Monsterjunkies An American Family Odyssey: Being Normal is a State of Mind by Erik Daniel Shein and Theresa A. Gates is written in a realistic milieu. That said, the fantasy element is apparent in this macabre-esque story - their dog Chico, a genuine chupacabra, Beauregard the eloquent Sasquatch, and a pterodactyl named Periwinkle are part of the family along with other odd creatures. The mix of pragmatism and extraordinary facets lead to a story that is rich and strange.
There are several protagonists, although the story mostly revolves around Crow Monsterjunkie, an intelligent, sensitive and chubby Goth 9th grader. Crow and his family live in a Gothic mansion on a secluded wooded road near Foggy Point. His father, Dr. Talon Monsterjunkie, is a brilliant cryptozoologist who’s responsible for bringing strange and rare animals to their home. His mother, Pandora, a brilliant botanist, shares her husband’s passion. Crow’s Gothic older sister, Indigo, is an intuitive teen with a great social skill that triumphs over the weird rumors about her family.
Being normal is, without doubt, a state of mind. On the whole, The Monsterjunkies is unexpectedly charming and educationally priceless in terms of dealing with prejudice, protecting nature, as well as instilling other ethical values in young minds. I’m amazed and grateful at how Erik and Theresa highlight the problem of bullying and discrimination among youths today. Needless to say, both authors prove their ability in weaving a great story with existing, hot-button social issues that need to be addressed.