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Blogging On History, Science, and Education

A Book for Summer Reading

My grandson, Casey Hakim, soon to enter 5th grade, recommends a book titled, "Here Be Monsters!" Written and illustrated by Alan Snow, it is subtitled: "An adventure involving magic, trolls, and other creatures." It was first published in Great Britain by Oxford University Press, who happen to be the publishers of "A History of US" (in England known as "A History of Them").
Casey tells me the book is set in the English town of Ratbridge, located in northeast Bumbleshire, on the banks of the River Rat, in the 19th century. Some details from Wikipedia: “Ratbridge is already so over-industrialized that certain industries have collapsed due to the depletion of natural resources. . . . the technology for what we would call incandescent lighting, radio, television, heavier-than-air flight, and even virtual reality has been developed, albeit secretly.
“Arthur lives with his adoptive grandfather, William, in the complex network of tunnels beneath Ratbridge. William went underground after being unjustly accused of attempted murder. Arthur emerges at sundown in search of food, aided by a pair of hand-cranked mechanical wings. He also carries a doll—an effigy of his grandfather with his wings—which serves as a walkie-talkie. . . On one [evening] expedition Arthur witnesses an illegal cheese hunt. He follows the hunters and the captured cheeses back to the Cheese Hall. Arthur's wings are stolen, and he is almost captured, by Archibald Snatcher, the leader of the once-powerful Cheese Guild. Arthur is rescued by Fish, a boxtroll, who takes Arthur to meet his friend, Willbury Nibble. Willbury is the proprietor of a former pet shop called Here Be Monsters.”
What happens next? You’ll have to read the book to find out. Or you can wait for the movie, which is set for release in 2014. I’m not waiting.
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