Review, Giveaway & Extract: The Monsters of Rookhaven

BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations

This week marks the publication of The Monsters of Rookhaven (available here) - A thought-provoking, chilling and beautifully written novel by Pádraig Kenny (author of TIN) and stunningly illustrated by Edward Bettison.

Read on for a review of The Monsters of Rookhaven, an illustrated extract and a giveaway to win one of five copies.

Book Title: The Monsters of Rookhaven (available here)

Author: Pádraig Kenny

Illustrator: Edward Bettison

Publisher: Macmillan

Publication Date: September 2020

Most Suitable For: Upper KS2+

Reviewed by: Kristen Hopwood


Mirabelle is part of ‘the family’ living in the House of Rookhaven - but they are no ordinary family. Led by Uncle Enoch, the members of the family are not what they first appear: Mirabelle doesn’t age; Odd can come and go through portals as he pleases; Dotty and Daisy are twins who can walk through walls. The house is separated from the outside world by the Glamour and only Dr. Ellenby and Mr Fletcher (humans from the local village) can pass through by using a special key. That is, until siblings Jem and Tom accidentally find their way through a hole in the Glamour.

Mirabelle finds them among some bone-eating plants and takes them up to the house, much to the resistance of the rest of the family. However, Tom is very ill, and the family have no choice but to let him recover at the house. The hole in the Glamour has also let through something much more threatening to the family than humans...

I found this to be an incredibly compelling read. The writing is wonderfully descriptive, and the illustrations perfectly capture the creepiness of the story. The characters are complex, and I loved that there were always new things to discover about them as the story progressed. The Monsters of Rookhaven shows that people are not necessarily what they first appear to be, and that people’s actions often have good intentions behind them, even if the outcome is not what they had hoped. It's a gripping story that explores the theme of difference and evokes empathy through the eyes of a delightfully imaginative cast of characters.

With magic, monsters, friendship and hope, this is a wonderful middle-grade read and one I will certainly be recommending to my Year 6 class. Most definitely one of the best books I have read this year.

You can order The Monsters of Rookhaven online or from your local bookshop.



Click here to read the first two chapters of The Monsters of Rookhaven.

Download extract.


Book Giveaway

Thanks to the publishers at Macmillan, we have FIVE copies of The Monsters of Rookhaven to give away to our followers.

There are two ways to enter:

1. Twitter entry - To enter, follow @booksfortopics and RT the giveaway tweet.

2. Instagram entry - Follow @booksfortopics on Instagram & TAG in the giveaway post's comments a friend who may also like to win this book for their home or school library.

You can enter both ways for two entries! Giveaway closes 11.59pm 28th Sept (UK) -- terms and conditions here.


You can order The Monsters of Rookhaven online or from your local bookshop.

Many thanks to the publishers for sending us a review copy and to Review Panel member Kristen for reviewing. Check out the other stops on the blog tour, too.


Where next? > Visit our Reading for Pleasure Hub

> Browse our Topic Booklists

> View our printable year group booklists.

> See our Books of the Month.


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