Book: Professor Gargoyle: Tales From Lovecraft Middle School #1 by Charles Gilman, Illustrations by Eugene Smith, Quirk Books, Middle Grade series, provided for review from Quirk, Hardcover 175 pages, On Sale Now
Professor Gargoyle is the first book in Quirk’s (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children) new middle grade series by Charles Gilman. The lenticular cover of the book is eye-catching, isn’t it? I think it should grab the attention of reluctant readers. Professor Gargoyle provides spine-tingling chills for the middle grade set, and is perfect for fans of R.L. Stine. I think this is a fast, fun read that all ages can enjoy this spooky time of year.
The book begins with 7th grader Robert Arthur starting his first day at Lovecraft Middle School. He’s really uneasy because due to redistricting he’s the only one of his friends attending this school. To make matters worse, he spots his old elementary school nemesis Glenn at Lovecraft. Glenn has no intentions to stop bullying Robert so his first day is off to a bad start. And, even though Lovecraft is a brand-new state-of-the-art school, why do things feel a little off there? Finding a rat in your locker certainly seems like a bad omen. Hey, was this school built on top of the Hellmouth? The school does get its name from H.P. Lovecraft, after all.
Robert loves to read so he is in for a treat with the massive and modern school library. But Robert finds a secret, dusty attic above the library that doesn’t fit in at all with the school’s contemporary aesthetic. He comes away with a two-headed rat hitch-hiking in his backpack that becomes his constant companion.
There are strange happenings going on at Lovecraft. Besides finding rats in the lockers, students are going missing. And Robert’s Science teacher Professor Goyle is acting quite bizarre and mysterious. He keeps all manner of strange animals in his classroom and has eccentric teaching methods. Robert just wants to fly under the radar at his new school but is getting pulled into these mysteries whether he likes it or not.
The book has a lot of creepy goings on and Gilman’s descriptive language of all the spiders and goo should appeal to the target audience. There are also illustrations of all the key moments to give you the full scary effect.
Even though I’m not the intended audience for this book I had a lot of fun reading it and it got me into the Halloween mood. The book should appeal to kids starting a new school or middle school, and addresses relevant topics to the age group such as bullying, gaining confidence and making friends. I’m interested in checking out the next book in the series, The Slither Sisters, in January.
The Giveaway has ended: Congrats to Mary who has won a copy of Professor Gargoyle!