Carnevil (MonsterStreet #3) by J.H. Reynolds

5 stars Middle School/ Children’s Chapter

The two brothers hadn’t spent much time with their aunt and now, their parents expected them to spend an entire week with her while they went on a trip. When she arrived at the depo to pick them up, they didn’t expect to see her in a hearse. Little did the boys know, but their adventure was just beginning. Aunt Winnie was, what I would call a Fun Aunt. She was this radiant individual who was full of life and positive energy. The boys had arrived close to Halloween and Aunt Winnie was excited about the approaching holiday. Now that the boys were here, she wanted them too, get involved in the celebration.

Aunt Winnie was transforming her workplace into a haunted manor for the residents but the boys didn’t quite see things the way that she did. Twelve-year old Ren and nine-year old Kip see the nursing home residents as old and close to Halloween creatures already. It isn’t until Ren is bribed into checking on a resident, do the stories that Aunt Winnie claims these residents have, start to become a reality. As Mrs. Wellshire rambles about the carnies and the harvest, the mention of the man’s name begins to make “his blood turn cold.”

Armed with a twenty, the boys attend the carnival which had popped up overnight. A carnival unlike any other carnival that they had attended. It was dreamlike, and from the looks of the other kids attending, they felt the same way. It was fantastic!
The rides were amazing and the food delicious. Out of money, the boys visited Zora and her magic crystal ball, to have her look into their futures. If only, they had gone in to see Zora a minute or two earlier or they had left the carnival after their money was gone, the stories the boys told of that night might have been different but as it stands, Kip loved the carnival and he was staying. As the boys stay at the carnival, the night becomes interesting and dark. I can’t stop reading now, the prices at the carnival are worth talking about.

I really enjoyed this book. The action never lets up and there aren’t a lot of characters to keep track of. There was no way that I could stop reading as I needed to know what happened to the brothers at the carnival and I wanted to know how things worked out with the aunt. Even though it’s labeled a middle school book/upper elementary chapter book, I devoured this book. I feel that kids of this age will really enjoy reading this and scream for more.

The Ferret’s a Foot by Colleen Af Venable

4 stars Graphic Novel

Sassypants and Harnisher are at it again!  They saw Mr. Venezi put a sign in the window advertising for an assistant and they want to put a stop to that.  Working together they correct all the pet-shop signs but a little bit later the signs have all been messed with.  Someone(s) has changed all the signs and now the duo needs to figure out who has done it and why?

This book was funny but I didn’t think as funny as the previous books that I have read by these famous detectives.   I thought the fish were hilarious and Herbert, the turtle.  I like how they talk about the animals and how the animals all want to be together.  The illustrations are easy to follow and their facial expressions are sometimes really funny.  It’s a crazy, mixed-up pet shop which is owned by a Mr. Venezi, who doesn’t quite know what to put in his pet-shop nor does he know how to name what he does have. 

I like how the book introduces information about the pets and later, at the back of the book, there is a two-page section titled, “Hamsiher Explains….” and here the author explains what was introduced in this graphic novel.  There is also a one-page dictionary of terms that were used in the book including that word used in a sentence.  This is a cute, entertaining, graphic novel series and I hope the author continues to write them.