Monday, August 7, 2017

MMGM: A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting by Joe Ballarini


The Last Kids on Earth meets Goosebumps in this hilarious new series about a secret society of babysitters who protect kids from the monsters that really do live under their beds!

When middle schooler Kelly Ferguson’s Halloween plans switch from party-going to babysitting, she thinks the scariest part of her night will be the death of her social life. But then Baby Jacob gets kidnapped by the Boogeyman’s minions and Kelly learns there’s a whole lot more to childcare than free snacks and Netflix. Like chasing shadow monsters, drop-kicking Toadies, and mastering monster-fighting moves like the Naptime Headlock and Playground Punch.

Now, with the help of an ancient handbook and a secret society of butt-kicking babysitters, Kelly sets out to destroy the Boogeyman before he brings Jacob’s nightmares to life. But when the monsters’ trail leads to her school’s big Halloween bash, Kelly will have to prove she can save the world—without totally embarrassing herself in front of her friends.

Packed with black-and-white illustrations and insider secrets from the world of monster hunting, A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting is full of tricks, treats, and terrifying twists!


Eighth-grader Kelly has a goal: make enough money to go to a fancy summer camp.  She's getting close to her goal but after working several jobs that she hasn't enjoyed, she's looking for something new to help her earn money.  When her friend suggests babysitting, Kelly isn't really excited about the idea, she doesn't like kids after all.  But anything for camp, so she agrees, and within the day her new status is posted on social media.  But when a job for her mother's 'ice queen' boss comes up that night, Kelly is reluctant to give up the chance to go to a 'real' party where her crush will be.  But she shows up to  babysit young Jacob having no idea that her life will forever change when she discovers that monsters are real.  Jacob gets stolen by monsters and Kelly teams up with a group of monster fighting babysitters to get him back before the night is over.  But the Grand Guignol has big plans for Jacob, plans that may be more than Kelly and the babysitters can handle.

The story moves along at a brisk pace once the monsters make an appearance (which they do in the prologue).  The story is over the top, exactly like you would expect for a story about teenagers fighting monsters.  Included with the story are bits and pieces of a written record called "A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting" that the characters use to fight the monsters.  The illustrations do a fabulous job of adding to the overall creepiness of the book.  A fun book for kids who enjoy horror and monster stories.

I get requests from students all the time for scary books.  Of course, children like differing levels of the kind of scariness they enjoy.  Because of that I tend to recommend a variety of books and then inform them to put the book down if it's too much for them.  A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting is a new book for me to recommend to students.  However, it's one that I would recommend with caveats, because I found it really creepy.  The action and adventure are pretty typical for this type of monster fighting story, that's not where I foresee some readers having problems.  The problem is that the big villain: the Grand Guignol, otherwise known as the Boogeyman, is really creepy, in fact I'd say that he pushes the book from scary to horror.  I do have readers who would enjoy this, but there are others who would not, so I'm adding this note to my review.

1 comment:

  1. Ooooh, my daughter is one that asks for scary books, the scarier the better. She'll love this one. (like mother like daughter, I was reading Stephen King only a little older than her now)


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