This fast-paced read will keep readers on the edge of their seats!
Someone is killing boys in a small town. The murder weapon is a truck, and the only protection is a curfew enacted to keep kids off the streets. But it’s summer—and that alone is worth the risk of staying out late for James, Willie, and Reggie.
Willie, who lost his arm in the first hit-and-run attack, finds it hard to keep up with his two best friends as they leave childhood behind. All of them are changing, hounded by their parents, hunted by the killer, and haunted by the “monster,” a dead thing that guards the dangerous gateway between youth and manhood. But that’s not all: shadowing the boys everywhere is Mel Herman, the mysterious and brilliant bully whose dark secrets may hold the key to their survival. As the summer burns away, these forces collide, and it will take compassion, brains, and guts for the boys to overcome their demons—and not become monsters themselves.
In this chilling and poignant debut novel, Daniel Kraus deftly explores the choices boys grapple with and the revelations that occur as they become men.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Monster Variations|
|Release Date: 08-11-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Children's Books|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||The Monster Variations|
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The Monster Variations
This was all James was thinking as he muscled the wheel left and pulled the car across yellow lines, pocked cement, a sleet of gravel and dust. Five minutes and a tank of gas and he would be on the road--no more stops until he saw the university rise from the hills. Then these towns, all of them, would be behind him and his new life would begin. He might never come back.
But first, fuel. James was just thirty minutes outside of town, in an even smaller township made up of little more than one sleepy tavern, a scattering of silos reaching up from competing cornfields, and a single derelict gas station contaminating the leafy countryside. There had been filling stations back in his hometown, three of them, but he had wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible. James aimed his vehicle at the fuel pump. These small towns, he thought, tasting rust in the air and feeling the sting of burnt oil in his nostrils. Goodbye to them forever.
The tassel from his graduation cap swung from his rearview mirror, and as he rolled the car up next to the pump, it bounced and twirled, striking out the sunlight, then blinding him with it, as it had been doing since he had set out, as it had been doing ever since graduation. His friends hung their tassels from their rearviews, so he did as well, but all summer it had been a constant, dangling annoyance that would not quit reminding him of the town he was leaving and the bright future that everyone kept assuring him was waiting for him just up the road, just a few short hours away.
James struck the tassel with the back of his hand. It exploded into a pom-pom as cheery as the crowd of parents that had applauded when he had given...