The writing team of Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple have created numerous gems. Yet, Monster Academy is still in the coal stage. It greatly reminded me of the story Ghoul School by Kevin O’Malley. Had I read Monster Academy first, I would have probably preferred it, yet, I did not. So, if you like Ghoul School (previous reviewed here) you’ll like this (and the reverse is true too, of course).
The premise is simple: a “naughty monster” (which of course, means that they are the best monster) comes to school. Their only word is NO! and their talent causing trouble. When the (not so surprising) ending occurs SURPRISE they are not just the best monster, but they are the scariest thing to a monster!
Illustrator John McKinley has created some fun illustrations. I admit, the cyclops student, Spec, has a certain appeal (even if… or because… his glasses are positioned unique manner). Yet the story is several clichés: Frank N. Stein is the principal. Miss Mummy is a mummy. The other part is there is a small second to help with “counting” (not to actual teach, but a practical showing) where poor Vic is “a zero” as he has not lost any teeth yet. They never come out and tell Vic it is okay to not have lost any teeth yet. That he is not a zero.
The theme of helping each other becomes the main theme, when Vic does lose one of his fangs. Yet, seems too little too late. Yet, if you are looking for a new Halloween or school story treat, this could be it.