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A Taste for Monsters
Contributor(s): Kirby, Matthew J.
ISBN: 0545817846     ISBN-13: 9780545817844
Publisher: Scholastic Pr
    OUR PRICE: $18.80  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: September 2016
Annotation: When the Jack the Ripper murders begin, Evelyn Fallow and Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man, find themselves haunted by the ghosts of his victims and Evelyn is obsessed with learning the killer's identity.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Phosphorus; Physiological effect; Juvenile fiction.
Neurofibromatosis; Juvenile fiction.
Ghost stories.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2015048826
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.50" H x 6.00" W x 1.25" (0.54 lbs) 343 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 185151
Reading Level: 5.7   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 14.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q69883
Reading Level: 5.5   Interest Level: Grades 9-12   Point Value: 21.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s):
Matthew J. Kirby is the critically acclaimed author of the middle-grade novels Icefall, which won the Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery and the PEN Literary Award for Children's Literature; The Clockwork Three, which was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start; The Lost Kingdom; Last Descendants, an Assassin's Creed novel; The Quantum League: Spell Robbers; and Cave of Wonders, the fifth book in the Infinity Ring series. He was born in Utah and grew up in Maryland, California, and Hawaii. Matthew is currently at work on his next novel.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2017 Fall)
A kinship over physical deformities evolves into friendship between Joseph Merrick ("the Elephant Man") and his new maid, Evelyn, who has "phossy jaw." As Evelyn seeks refuge from London's streets, a series of murders brings ghosts to their door. Kirby's gritty novel includes historical references within a unique story of self-acceptance, murder, and friendship. Copyright 2017 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2016 June #4)

In this grisly fantasy from Kirby (the Dark Gravity Sequence), the year is 1888 and London's slums are soon to be terrorized by Leather Apron (later known as Jack the Ripper), who murders prostitutes in the most gruesome manner possible. In a nearby East End hospital resides a monster of a gentler sort: Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man, who has a new maid, 17-year-old Evelyn Fallows. Some would label Evelyn a monster as well, her jaw destroyed by phosphorus necrosis from working in a match factory. Evelyn is initially repulsed by Merrick's deformity, but she soon recognizes him as a gentle soul. After the murders commence, the ghosts of Leather Apron's victims begin to appear in Merrick's room. Concerned about the effect of these monstrous apparitions on Merrick's health, Evelyn ventures into the slums in an attempt to put the suffering ghosts to rest. Evelyn—all grit, anger, and distrust—is a complex and engaging character, the slums and slang of Victorian-era London are carefully delineated, and the eventual revelation of Leather Apron's identity and fate will leave readers gasping. Ages 12–up. Agent: Stephen Fraser, Jennifer De Chiara Literary. (Sept.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2016 July)

Gr 7 Up—In 1888, London is in the grip of a monster: Jack the Ripper is stalking and murdering women in East End's Whitechapel area. Young Evelyn Fallow—whose disfigured face makes her a monster to some—has just been hired as a maid at London Hospital for Joseph Merrick (also known as the Elephant Man). Though he is also considered a monstrosity by many, Evelyn discovers a gentle, compassionate soul in Mr. Merrick. These two find friendship and understanding in each other. But when the murders continue, the duo are visited nightly by the ghosts of the Ripper's victims. As the body count climbs, so do the cast of apparitions, who clearly want something. Mr. Merrick's fragile health begins to decline as the pair face these spirits night after night. Will Evelyn risk leaving the safe haven of the hospital to save her dear friend? This historical fiction blends horror with mystery and results in wonderfully crafted storytelling with strong, well-drawn characters. Kirby carefully balances the gruesome with a well-written, sensitive treatment of what could easily be lurid. VERDICT A great read for fans of history, true crime, or ghost stories.—Elaine Baran Black, Georgia Public Library Service, Atlanta

[Page 76]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.