Previous Finalists

Book of the Month

Monty and the Monster by Rhonda Smiley
Rhonda Smiley


When seventh grader Monty Hyde moves for the fourth time in two years, it’s the same old story. New neighborhood, new school, new bullies, no friends. With his dad working all the time and his older brother too popular to notice, he’s the lonely outcast yet again. That is until he finds a mysterious replication serum in his basement and decides to make a friend. From scratch. But when his creation turns out to be a stinky, hairy eight-foot-tall monster that might be eating the neighborhood kids, Monty knows he must undo his experiment. Problem is, it’s the best friend he’s ever had.

What Our Readers Think

This book was entered in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. This is what our readers thought:
Title: Monty and the Monster
Author: Rhonda Smiley

Star Rating: 5 Stars
Number of Readers: 17
Editing: 10/10
Writing Style: 9/10
Content: 10/10
Cover: 10/10
Of the 17 readers:
17 would read another book by this author.
17 thought the cover was good or excellent.
15 felt it was easy to follow.
17 would recommend this story to another reader to try.
Of all the readers, 11 felt the author’s strongest skill was ‘plotting a story’.
Of all the readers, 6 felt the author’s strongest skill was ‘developing the characters’.
17 felt the pacing was good or excellent.
17 thought the author understood the readership and what they wanted.

Readers’ Comments
‘This story is amazing! I like how it started and how Monty is a good person in the book. It also wasn’t scary so that’s good too.’ Boy, aged 9
‘Exciting story, not too gross, with a cool ending. His brother’s not very nice. He’s the worst character. Monty’s the best. I liked how it looks at bullying and how difficult it is for children to move to a new house a lot.’ Girl, aged 11
‘I think Monty is fun and easy to like. He has the sort of problems a lot of kids have when they start a new school, but he finds a very ‘interesting’ way of dealing with it! I followed most of it although a few of the words were new to me.’ Boy, aged 12
‘A well-written, well-edited adventure story for 9 – 12 year olds. The writing style and vocab is age-appropriate, and I didn’t spot any errors. Lots of pace and very funny in parts, the children in my class thought this was a superb story.’ Primary, teacher, aged 45
‘I felt sorry for the boy always moving school. That must be tough. I liked the story and how the boy created a sort of Frankenstein. That was clever. The mystery is also good. I think this author is a clever writer.’ Boy, aged 11

To Sum It Up:
‘A clever, superbly written story for 9 – 12 year olds. Fast-paced, funny and packed full of excitement. A BRONZE MEDAL WINNER and highly recommended.’ The Wishing Shelf Book Awards

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