Friday, February 15, 2019

Middle-Grade Review: The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo: The Monster Mall

Back in October, I read, reviewed, and raved about The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo by Drew Weing, a fun new graphic novel about a bad-ass child Monster Mediator. Last month, I had the pleasure of reading its follow-up, The Monster Mall. It's just as creepy, cool, funny, and uniquely clever as the first book and an excellent sequel to Margo's adventures.

In this book, new Echo City resident Charles again teams up with Margo Maloo, renowned Monster Mediator, to tackle his new town's toughest issues between monsters and humans. Echo City has a whole diverse monster population that lives just out of sight of its human residents - ghosts, trolls, ogres...and now, in this sequel, imps, blobs, lizard people, and vampires. Margo acts as a very efficient go-between when problems crop up where monsters and humans cross paths. For instance, in this book, some kids move into a new house and think it is haunted, so they call Margo. Then Margo and Charles get called to an old shut-down mall where some young vampires are complaining about the human Goth teenagers who've been hanging around (in an awesome bit of irony).
Sample pages from Monster Mall, copyright Macmillan Publishing

As in the first book, Weing's plots, stories, and drawings are totally original. It's such a clever idea, monsters living unnoticed among humans in their own communities, and he makes the best of it. Margo is a fabulous heroine - smart, pulled-together, and ever-calm, coming up with creative and peaceful solutions to each monster/human problem she encounters. Charles is her trusty sidekick, learning about monsters by her side and writing a blog to help educate human kids. The underlying message is that we can all get along and live together if we'll just take the time to understand and be tolerant of those different from us. Weing's brightly colored drawings are engaging and creative, depicting a wide variety of humans and monsters on pages that just beg to be pored over. It's an absolutely delightful and entertaining series that will be a big hit with middle-grade readers.

120 pages, First Second

Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. My review is my own opinion and is not influenced by my relationship with the publisher or author.

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You can see additional sample pages from Monster Mall here.

You can purchase The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo: The Monster Mall from an independent bookstore, either locally or online, here:
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  1. Replies
    1. It's a super creative, clever concept and so well done!