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The Boy Who Made Monsters

Book Synopsis

A one-of-a-kind tale of love, loss, laughter and hope, from award-winning author Jenny Pearson.

Benji McLaughlin is a visionary. He believes in things other people think are impossible, like that he and his brother Stanley will be happy living with their uncle, and that the Loch Lochy monster is real, and that his parents will come home safely one day.

So when he finds out that Uncle Hamish’s holiday business is struggling, Benji’s not worried. He has a visionary plan. Together with his new friends, Murdy and Mr Dog, he sets off to prove that the Loch Lochy monster exists, and bring tourists flooding in.

But Benji might have to confront different monsters to the one he expects.

Our Review Panel says...

Told with Jenny Pearson’s care and attention to detail, this new story set in Scotland weaves humour through complex themes of grief, friendship and moving on from things lost to the past.

When Benji and Stanley’s parents go missing at sea, they have to go and live with their Uncle Hamish, whom they have never met. Uncle Hamish lives with his dog, Mr Dog, on the shores of Loch Lochy and Benji soon realises that all is not ok for Uncle Hamish. When he meets local girl Murdy, Benji sets out to prove that the Loch Lochy Monster is real, so that tourists will come back to Loch Lochy once more.

There are lots of laughs in this story, mainly around Benji and Murdy’s attempts to capture an image of the Loch Lochy Monster. Their friendship is a strong focus, particularly Murdy’s support for Benji after what he has been through, along with their relationship with Mr Dog, who also provides the emotional support that pets are sometimes able to do in their own special way.

Sitting alongside the humour there are darker undertones that provide depth and complexity to the narrative. On the surface, Benji is a fun-loving boy who wants to help Uncle Hamish’s business to survive. But underneath, has he really come to terms with the loss of his parents? His brother, Stanley, is facing his own battles – he was on the boat when it capsized and his parents went missing. Uncle Hamish is facing the loss of his business, which has been in the family for years. Murdy is the target of local bullies. Yet this is a story with a lot of heart and, ultimately, with messages of hope.

 

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The Boy Who Made Monsters

the boy who made monsters

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