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Author: Grau, Sheila
[Book 2] Cursed to die on his sixteenth birthday, Runt Higgins must find answers at the Great Library, as Dr. Critchlore takes desperate measures to save his monster boarding school from being sold.
Dr. Critchlore's School For Minions, Bk. 2
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.80
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 181636
Kirkus Reviews (12/15/15)
School Library Journal (02/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (04/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 02/01/2016 Gr 4–6—In this second installment in the series, readers return to the quirky school for evil henchmen with favorite characters Runt, Syke, and the titular Dr. Critchlore. The adventure begins when a girl explorer-turned-monster recognizes Runt as family. Not knowing what this means, Runt sets out to discover from where the creature came and what this means about his long-lost relations. His quest is constantly waylaid by an ancient feud between sirens and mermaids, a fashion show, and a hostile takeover of his school. After a promising debut, this title pales a bit in comparison; a fashion show doesn't stir quite the same drama as zombies and dragons. The pacing is a bit slow and drags in the middle, but Grau's characters are likable and entertaining. Sutphin is back and delivers soundly with fantastic illustrations of EOs (that's Evil Overlords for the uninitiated) and enamored gorillas. While the book's conflicts resolve far too easily, Gorilla Tactics does end on a strong note and with a promise for a follow-up. Give to fans of the first book, lovers of fantastical humor, and advanced elementary school readers. VERDICT Purchase where the first volume was popular and where there is a need for advanced middle grade text with relatively clean and entertaining content.—Taylor Worley, Springfield Public Library, OR - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 04/01/2016 Since earning his spot in the Junior Henchman Training Program (in Dr. Critchlore’s School for Minions, BCCB 6/15), Runt has found life more hectic than ever. Aside from the opposing school’s trained gorillas, Girl Explorers who devour flesh, and a mystery around a Great Library, there’s also . . . a fashion show to put on. Critchlore has decided that the best way to save the school is to impress the Sirens, and the best way to do that is with fashion. Runt is a fabulous narrator, as his bumbling but systematic approach to lining up his problems and trying to resolve them keeps readers on track through this endearingly ridiculous plot. He is also amusingly inept during key moments, and many readers will sympathize with his failings, as when he fills the gift bags with things preteen boys might enjoy but would likely horrify adult women. Runt’s still cursed to die soon and still searching for his mysterious identity, but he’s keeping busy before he kicks the bucket. It’s a shame that some of his best friends get less page space in this sequel, but this continues to be a strongly diverse (even though we’re talking magical creatures, there’s a nice mix of cultures, skin tones, and personality types represented), clever, and high quality series that stands out amid the deluge of middle-school books about monsters. Clever chapter headings quoting minion and overlord philosophy and elegant illustrations don’t impact the central plot but add effective additional flavor notes. A school map provides a handy reference. AS - Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.