Title: The Supernatural Society
Author: Rex Ogle
What's it about?
Will is not happy. His parents have recently divorced and now he's found himself moving with his mom from New York to East Emerson. Sure, moving to a little town in the middle of no where might not so bad, but, then again no one told him about the monsters hiding in plain sight, hidden do well that no one seems to be able to see them for what they are (his teacher is Mummy for heavens sakes!) and no one told him that, by moving there, his best friend in the world, his dog, is in danger like every other pet in East Emerson. And now that he's there, able to see what no one but him and his new friend can see, worried about his dog, he's left no choice but to embark on an adventure like none he's ever experienced. Let's hope he can trust the only two humans he's got on his side, his neighbors.
Favorite Character: Ivy and Linus. Ivy is strong, brave, courageous up for anything. She's not book smart, not because she's not intelligent, but because she would rather focus on sports and movies then books and facts. She's caring and accepting and pretty much up for anything.
Linus is the opposite of his sister. He's super smart. He's all about facts, science and calculations. He analyzes and makes calculated moves and is quit content with relying on science to tell him the truth about what is real and what isn't. He takes comfort in his encyclopedic knowledge of the world and happily lives in that comfort space.
Least Favorite Character: Will's mom. I get that she's going through some stuff and I totally understand that sometimes, we're not in the mood for our kids' stories and such but I hate the way she dismisses Will and, even more, how her reactions made him feel like he couldn't talk to her. As a mother that just didn't sit well with me.
Favorite Part: The beginning, The Grave Warning. This may sounds like an odd part to label as my favorite but I can't help it. At the start of the book, The Grave Warning, the narrator begs the reader to not the book in an attempt to protect the reader from the horrors to be found within this story. The letter kind of reminded me or the start of A Series of Unfortunate Events, with less dry, settle humor and more cartoonish humor. That letter, when I read it to my own 12 year old, actually made her giggle and want to read it herself!
Least Favorite Part: The start of the story, the first chapter. I know! I sound like I can't make up my mind, right? Well, first of all, the Grave Warning and the first chapter are not the same thing. Second of all, the reason I don't like the first chapter or so as much as the rest of the book is because it's pretty much Will and his mom and, well, as I've said, I get they are going through stuff but Will just feels awfully angsty and I don't love his mom. Honestly, I was a little worried that Will was going to to be that angry through the whole book. Spoiler alert! He chills a little. Actually he chills the perfect amount!
My biggest complaint is how it ended. I guess I should start with, this is the first in a series, which is important because the end of the book leads right into the next book which isn't out yet! And I may be 40 (and so not in the target age group) but I NEED the second book like, two weeks ago (Do you hear me, Mr. Rex Ogle?! I NEED it!)and, as it's not out until later this year (2022) I can't have it...yet.
With that said and out of my system, this book was fun, silly and cute. It had a sort of Scooby-Do feel to it with a slightly smaller crew and less crime solving dog, which I think is great for that age group, honestly. The scare factor is pretty low, the worst part, I think, is the anticipation of what is to come but, again, I'm a little older then the target age group so my "anticipation" generally was more akin to dead bodies...and the kind you see on shows like Bones and NCIS so probably not what 8-12 year old kiddos are anticipating.
I also kind of loved that the character most like a stereotypical jock (not super booksmart, more about fun, brawn and adventure then facts, logic and safety) was a girl. She also happens to be adopted from out of the country (Korea, I think). Linus, her brother is also adopted, making their family multi racial; a multicultural family who embraces the cultures that make up their entire family.
So, while Linus is a walking encyclopedia, dictionary and thesaurus all in one, calculating and Ivy runs in fists swinging first, asking question later, Will serves as a great equalizer. He kind of serves as the perfect mix of his two friends. All three are different. They all have their own strengths and weaknesses. They all bring something to the table that's vital for their success and safety which I love to see in children's, middle school and YA books especially.
I give this book a
But that's just what I think. What do you think? What did your middle schooler think? Let us know below!