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by Dean Lorey

Age Range: 8 - 16

Pub Date: Aug. 21st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-06-134042-0
Publisher: HarperCollins

Wild imagination and a formulaic plot provide lots of fun and excitement as a boy faces his nightmares in reality. Isolated, lonely Charlie has dreams that leave his room in a shambles as monsters under the bed emerge to tear up the place. Charlie has a gift for connecting with the netherworld, where a menagerie of nasty beasties strives to get into the real world. He winds up in an organization dedicated to fighting the fiends. Guided by de rigueur eccentric professors and odd fellow students, Charlie struggles to control his gift before he unintentionally lets loose all the forces of Hell. Lorey invents a plethora of marvelous creatures, most notably the “Trout of Truth,” along with his over-the-top humans. If the one-dimensional personalities remain somewhat standard-issue in their quirkiness, so what? It’s Men in Black for kids. Pure entertainment with no thinking required—and that’s just fine. (Fiction. 8-16)