Chris Priestley, Curse of the Werewolf Boy (Maudlin Towers #1), Bloomsbury Australia, 1 Jan 2017, 237pp., $12.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781408873083
Maudlin Towers is a boarding school for the “Not Particularly Bright Sons of the Not Especially Wealthy” and its walls are riddled with intrigue and mystery. Mildew and his friend Sponge are not the most popular boys in the school – they are hopeless at sport and don’t shine academically – but they united against bullies and loyal to each other throughout. So, when Mildew sights a Viking with winged helmet and large axe in the school grounds, he and Sponge are plunged into a “time-travelling, brain boggling, mirth making adventure.”
Chris Priestley is a master storyteller, filling every page with suspense and quirkiness; the addition of his crazy unconventional illustrations really makes Curse of the Werewolf Boy a great rollicking read. Cleverly, within the chaos caused by ghosts, secrets and mystery, the relationship between our two outsiders, Mildew and Sponge, develops as Sponge gains confidence in decision-making and Mildew becomes less dominating. Good lessons learned.
Curse of the Werewolf Boy is one of numerous books by Chris Priestley. This is a great book for independent readers as well as for reading-out-loud to 5 to 10 year olds. The well-paced chapters provide the opportunity to read it in segments – that is, if you can put it down. I had to keep reading … cover to cover.
Reviewed by Jennifer Mors