Thursday, July 27, 2017

A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting

*This post contains affiliate links. I received an ARC of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review; all thoughts and opinions are my own.*

When I saw this book come through as a requested review, I had to jump on it because I have a daughter who is in the targeted reading age for it but also because she took a babysitting class this summer and it would be a fun read for her.

A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting - Joe Ballarini

The Last Kids on Earth meets Goosebumps in this hilarious new series about a secret society of babysitters who protect kids from the monsters that really do live under their beds!

When middle schooler Kelly Ferguson’s Halloween plans switch from party-going to babysitting, she thinks the scariest part of her night will be the death of her social life. But then Baby Jacob gets kidnapped by the Boogeyman’s minions and Kelly learns there’s a whole lot more to childcare than free snacks and Netflix. Like chasing shadow monsters, drop-kicking Toadies, and mastering monster-fighting moves like the Naptime Headlock and Playground Punch.

Now, with the help of an ancient handbook and a secret society of butt-kicking babysitters, Kelly sets out to destroy the Boogeyman before he brings Jacob’s nightmares to life. But when the monsters’ trail leads to her school’s big Halloween bash, Kelly will have to prove she can save the world—without totally embarrassing herself in front of her friends.

Packed with black-and-white illustrations and insider secrets from the world of monster hunting, A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting is full of tricks, treats, and terrifying twists!

This book was SO FUN!!! I grew up with R.L. Stine as my favorite author and the Goosebumps series was just becoming a thing so had this been out when I was a kid, I would have been all over it. My own kids (well, the two that can read) are big fans of Goosebumps so I wanted my daughter to read this right after me so I could get her opinion and she absolutely adored it.

The book centers around Kelly, who finds herself babysitting Baby Jacob (against her will) and she's certain this is going to be a walk around the park. As it turns out, it would lead her on an adventure like no other! Baby Jacob is kidnapped by the Boogeyman's hired help and with the help of Liz (professional babysitter, and Jacob's regular sitter) they set out to save Baby Jacob. Kelly meets the secret society of babysitter's who train vigorously to fight Toadies, and other things that go bump into the night, and her world won't ever be the same.

Here's what I loved: this is a FAST read for an adult but even my kids got through it quickly. The story starts almost immediately and it doesn't stop. There aren't any lulls to make you bored! The creatures and creativity around this secret society is something I think all kids would enjoy. Also, the book has some illustrations throughout and I think kids really appreciate that because it helps them visualize the characters easier.

The cons: This is actually book one in the series, and I'm worried that future books might get redundant? This acts as a stand alone, so if you don't want to invest in the series it's going to be OK, and while this book mentions seven (I think) monsters in it, this story only focuses on one. My guess is each subsequent book would center around a different monster, and if the guise is going to be baby gets stolen, baby sitter to the rescue, ending... it's going to be blah. I guess kids might not pick up on the repetition but adults reading along certainly would.

Honestly? It was a fun book and I think fans of Goosebumps most definitely will enjoy this!

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