Monsters Unleashed by John Kloepfer (review)
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Reviewed by
Kate Quealy-Gainer, Assistant Editor
Kloepfer, John Monsters Unleashed; illus. by Mark Oliver. Harper/HarperCollins, 2017[208p]
Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-06-229030-4 $16.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-06-229032-8 $8.99
Reviewed from galleys Ad Gr. 3–5

Sixth-grader Freddie wasn’t looking to wreak havoc when he used his school’s 3D printer; his models of monstrous creatures based on his three biggest bullies were just supposed to be funny. Now, however, they’ve become actual monsters and grown to monstrous size, and they’ve begun tearing apart both his school and city. The monsters bear some major resemblances in behavior to the three bullies (the overmuscled, jock-like lizard thing does share Jordan’s vanity, while the screeching, two-faced insect matches Nina’s constant attention seeking), so Freddie and his pal Manny manage to recruit the bullies’ help in exploiting the monsters’ weaknesses to get rid of them. This has the messagey feel of a creature feature afterschool special; the absurd fun in the premise of B-movie monsters made by the seriously malfunctioning 3D printer is overshadowed by the “bullies are people too” message. The monsters are the real stars here, though, lumbering around and causing [End Page 457] all sorts of chaos, and readers may appreciate the inventive steps the kids have to take to bring them down.

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