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Author: Jennings, Garth
Nelson stumbles across an ancient machine that accidentally extracts the seven deadly sins from his own little soul--by turning them into ugly, cantankerous, and embarrassing creatures who follow him everywhere.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 6.60
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 185103
Kirkus Reviews (01/01/16)
School Library Journal (12/01/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (04/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 12/01/2015 Gr 4–6—Delightful and inventive, this original story entertains at every turn. On the face of it, Nelson Green seems to be an average 11-year-old Londoner, but then his 16-year-old sister, Celeste, goes missing in Spain, and he worries that it happened because she gave him her lucky necklace. When his parents leave to help search for Celeste, Nelson is sent to stay with his eccentric Uncle Pogo, who, following a devastating accident, gave up on being a rugby player and now plies his trade as a most unusual plumber. The resourceful Pogo has made his own ingenious prosthetic leg that is outfitted with multiple gadgets including a fully functioning phone. Working at the top of St. Paul's Cathedral, he enlists Nelson's help to crawl into a tiny room to fix a plumbing issue. While fixing the pipe, Nelson loses his balance and falls backward onto a table covered in metal spikes. Little does he know, but when he fell on the table, he activated the seven copper test tubes hidden beneath the table and what was in the test tubes is now alive and growing. The contents bubble over, and some strange and horrible-looking creatures come to life. Luckily, the seven little monsters are of the helpful, friendly variety. They and Nelson embark on a wild and wacky adventure to get Celeste back. Hilarious, madcap action combined with rich language will keep readers rapidly turning pages. Pen-and-ink sketches supplement this highly imaginative book that is part mystery, part adventure, and total fun. VERDICT A great purchase for middle grade fiction collections in need of clever, laugh-out-loud fantasy/adventure.—Laura Fields Eason, Parker Bennett Curry Elementary School, Bowling Green, KY - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/15/2016 There’s really no good time to learn that your older sister (and favorite person in the world) has gone missing. For 11-year-old Nelson, this harsh news greets him just before his entrance in the school play, while he’s crouched in a box and dressed as Hitler. After a disastrous performance, he finds himself bundled off to his weird Uncle Pogo’s, while his parents fly to Spain to help search for Celeste. Shell-shocked, Nelson arrives at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, where his plumber uncle is working. While tracking down a leak, the pair discovers a hidden room full of ancient machines, one of which Nelson falls against, only to have it extract seven deadly sins from his soul, incarnated as monsters that only the boy can see. Together, this oddball team sets out to bring Celeste home. Glib narration, ridiculous scenarios, a magical pendant, and toxic farts—all illustrated in squiggly spot art—will keep kids who like off-the-wall humor happily turning pages. Silliness prevails in Jennings’ debut, but Nelson’s genuine concern for his sister gives it heart. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 04/01/2016 Nelson relies on his older sister, Celeste, so when she disappears, the eleven-year-old decides he’ll have to rescue her; fortunately, he has the aid of the seven deadly sins, who appear as monsters, and whom Nelson accidentally brought into corporeal existence. Despite news reports suggesting that Celeste is dead, the sins say she’s still alive, so Nelson boards a plane from England to Brazil solo (save for the seven invisible monsters) to battle fish monsters and their mistress (his twisted aunt), and rescue his beloved sister. Nelson is a quiet, quirky kid who really needs some friends, so it is lovely that he finds them in the sins and also finds himself on this adventure; additionally, the monsters themselves, drawn Monsters, Inc. style as cartoonish, harmless beings who are there to save the day, are endearing. Unfortunately, the overwrought plot is just too much: there are narrative discrepancies that never quite line up, and the addition of a wacky uncle, a magic pendant, and poison water is overkill. Seven farting, wisecracking, sister-saving monsters can’t help but be good fun, though, so readers willing to wade through the confusing elements may still emerge pleased. AS - Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.