Daniel Kraus,
The Monster Variations
(Delacorte, 2009)

While this story is billed as horror, I would call The Monster Variations more of a coming-of-age tale. Harkening to a more innocent age, the three male protagonists live in a small town where everybody knows their names and each other's business. What's frightening is when one of the trio, Willie, loses his arm to a hit-and-run truck driver. He's lucky, though, as it could have been much worse. Someone is using a truck to murder young boys.

There's been a curfew since the accidents began occurring, but that doesn't stop our intrepid trio of 12-year-olds from doing what boys do. The choices they make will alter the course of their lives.

Daniel Kraus is a gifted writer whose work evokes reviewer comparisons to people such as William Faulkner ... but I'd urge you to stop thinking of him as someone else, though, and just enjoy the story. The Monster Variations is a finely crafted debut novel. While the billing recommends it for ages 10-12, I definitely enjoyed the book and think readers of all ages will as well.

book review by
Becky Kyle

23 October 2010

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new