The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

Book Info
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
©2009 Simon & Schuster, New York, NY
ISBN 978-1416984481

Plot Summary
Since the death of his parents, Will Henry has worked as the assistant to Dr. Pelinore Warthrop. Dr. Warthrop is not a doctor of the medical sense, but a doctor of monstrumology – the study of monsters. While Will’s job is mostly that of a gofer, running errands and being at the doctor’s beck and call, he has been witness to monstrosities he never imagined could exist in real life. Late one night, a man arrives at their door with a particularly frightening find, which just may be the most dangerous that they have encountered to date. This event launches Will into the beginning of his career and undertakings as a junior monstrumologist.

Reader’s Annotation
The first book in a new horror series by Rick Yancey, The Monstrumologist follows the orphaned Will Henry on his terrifying adventures as the assistant to Pelinore Warthrop, a doctor of monstrumology – the study of monsters. Join them as the encounter the things nightmares are made of, that will surely make your skin crawl.

Critical Evaluation
Yancey developed an intriguing premise with The Monstrumologist and tells the story with no holds barred against the gruesome and horrific. The sheer blood and gore present in this book would make it unsuitable for most younger readers, and even a good many older teen and adult readers. One colleague mentioned that this book wound up being too scary for them and that they couldn’t even finish reading it, which set the stage for my need to experience this book myself. Yancey did not disappoint, telling a brilliant tale while making my skin crawl and my blood curdle. At over 400 pages, the book is a slightly challenging read and it certainly can be very dry at times, but I would tell any potential reader to stick with it and they won’t be disappointed.

Information about the Author
Since he was quite young, Rick knew he wanted to be a writer. After earning a degree in English from Roosevelt University in Chicago, Rick returned to his native Florida to pursue a career in the arts. While teaching part time and dabbling in the theater, he decided to take a job with the Internal Revenue Service, where he served as a revenue officer for over ten years. He continued to pursue his lifelong dream of being a full-time writer, however, finally leaving the IRS in 2004 upon the publication of his critically acclaimed memoir, Confessions of a Tax Collector. To date he has published six novels in addition to his memoir. Confessions of a Tax Collector, was  named by the Wall Street Journal as one of the five best books on taxes ever written.  His Alfred Kropp trilogy for young adults has been published in seventeen countries and was nominated for the prestigious Carnegie Medal, as well as garnering numerous awards since its inception in 2005. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed Teddy Ruzak mystery series for adults. In the fall of 2009, Simon & Schuster will launch his newest YA series, The Monstrumologist.

Rick is the proud father of three sons. He lives in Florida with his wife, Sandy.

Visit the author’s website.

Fantasy, Horror, Dark Fantasy

Curriculum Ties

Booktalking Ideas
Describe the kind of monster you might want to battle as a monstrumologist. (draw a picture)

Reading Level/ Interest Age

Challenge Issues

  • Gruesome violence

Defense options

  • Be aware of your library’s collection development policy.
  • Be familiar with the material in question, and the context of the questionable content.
  • Assert the principles of the ALA Library Bill of Rights, and standards of intellectual freedom.
  • Consult online book reviews, and others who have read the book.

Why Included?
I wanted to include some horror, and this seemed like a great up and coming horror series. I can’t wait for more to be released.


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