Cover Image: The Monsters of Rookhaven

The Monsters of Rookhaven

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I loved this middle grade book! It’s got monsters, magic, and death, but it also includes found families, friendship, and love. It provides very sweet messages like not judging people by their looks and how to deal with grief and that one doesn’t go it alone. For fans of books like The Graveyard Book, The Golden Compass, and A Wrinkle in Time.
Was this review helpful?
4.5. I appreciate middle-grade writers who don't shy away from some of the more horrific elements of fantasy. This would be great for kids reading at the grade 6-8 reading level who want something that will challenge, excite, and scare them--I was definitely creeped out and horrified (in a good way) for much of this book. 

Kenny has a lush way of writing his characters and his settings, so pick this up if you're looking for something like that. This is also another read that would be perfect for Spooky Season!
Was this review helpful?
The Monsters of Rookhaven is a multi layered tale of good versus evil. The story includes orphans, monsters, strong females, murderous plants, and mob mentality, yet leaves room for the reader’s imagination to envision what ‘monster’ really means.  There are losses in the book which makes the gains all the more meaningful. 4.5 stars!
Was this review helpful?
Jem and Tom are escaping from an evil uncle. When their car breaks down on a dark road in the woods, they are beset by monsters! Fleeing the monsters they run deeper into the forest, and climb through an odd apparition, after which the monsters no longer pursue them. They follow a path to Rookhaven house, where Mirabelle gives them a sympathetic welcome. Those who also share the house with Mirabelle are not so welcoming, and scold her about the dangers of 'outsiders'. Jem and Tom promise to work for their keep if they can stay, and Mirabelle gives them a house tour. They begin to discover more and more fantastical things about the house, its rooms, and  its inhabitants. Through happenstance, they also begin to understand the agreement between the residents of Rookhaven House and the Town of Rookhaven; the residents will keep to themselves, as long as the townspeople meet their needs. This seems satisfactory to everyone, until the veil surrounding the house begins to unravel. We experience the unraveling of the veil and the ensuing story through Tom and particularly Jem's eyes, as her friendship with Mirabelle deepens and her fear of the realities of Rookhaven grows. Suspenseful, spine-tingling, and a thoughtful study of accommodating those not like ourselves.
Was this review helpful?
Themes of fantasy/mystical are apparent and really draw you in. One really begins to side with Mirabelle and how she lives, and what she longs to discover. Added in the storyline of Jem and Tom, and it becomes a well rounded plot, where once you think you know what's happening...you really don't.
Was this review helpful?
Who cares what Mirabelle is?  Or how Jem and Tom got to Rookhaven?  This is a great, fun book that references The Addams Family (or The Munsters) but gives a slightly more behind-the-scenes look at life in That House.  And just what <i>is</i> Piglet (I had my suspicions, but it's never clarified).  There probably won't be more, but I would gladly read it.

eARC provided by publisher via Netgalley.
Was this review helpful?
Look, this is a really well written book but it was just too creepy for me! I have no doubt it will enjoy widespread fame and even end up on some award short lists, but it was just not my thing.
Was this review helpful?
Middle grade Gothic Fairytale? Yes, Yes, YES. This novel was so fun to read, if only because the middle graders need more horror and spooky reads. I did not expect the illustrations to provide so much extra ambiance. This is a perfect blend of Gothic and fun. 

Mirabelle and her Family are all monsters and must be kept veiled from the humans who live in their midst, until one day two children wander into Rookhaven and then the question of what makes a monster is brought to the forefront. I loved this book and will be handing it to as many readers as I can!
Was this review helpful?
A complex story for the age group, about a monstrous but loving family and its dealings with the outside world. The "monsters" are in a way a reflection of the town in which they are hidden—the townspeople see their own fears in the family living in Rookhaven, but also their own humanity. A diabolical enemy working to stoke bad feeling in the town, for its own nefarious purposes, adds excitement to the tale. The ending is wrapped up a little too neatly and sweetly, but it's a very good story.
Was this review helpful?
Super unique concept! Loved all the weird "talents" and traits of the characters. However, felt there may have been too many characters and struggled to keep them straight. Overall has Miss Peregrine meets Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends vibes.
Was this review helpful?
Just a lovely book with a wonderful premise! It was a a wonderful read, and good for any child who loves fantasy with just a drop of "horror" from the monsters. The combination of Padraig Kenny's writing and Edward Bettison's beautiful illustrations created such a dreamy atmosphere in a well-written universe.
Was this review helpful?
The Monsters of Rookhaven hits the sweet spot on a couple of highly desirable but "hard-to-achieve" areas children's literature. I am always looking for a book that stretches a child's vocabulary but also provides enough context to prevent frustration.  Another area this book excels in is the descriptive language, particularly the wide range of sensory words and concepts.  I think this book will be a good addition to the library and one I would recommend to children who are fans of magical realism or fantasy.
Was this review helpful?
No one who meets the "monsters"--especially the one that lives alone in the basement--will be unchanged. The monsters of Rookhaven are fantastic creatures, both feared and fearful, who live in a mansion within a magical barrier. Their unusual appearance and remarkable abilities set them apart from humanity and bind them to each other as Family. When two orphans on the run, Jem and Tom, stumble across the barrier, events are set in motion that brings mortal danger to the door. Can trust and friendship grow where only memories of fear and hate exist? Evocative of folklore and myth, punctuated with exciting black and white illustrations, Padraig Kenny's story of two worlds colliding will have young readers eagerly turning pages.
Was this review helpful?