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The Monstrous Child

Written by Francesca Simon

Books of the Month - <b>April</b> Fantasy / Magical Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 13+ readers Humorous Recommended Children's eBooks

LoveReading View on The Monstrous Child

Shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards, Children's Book category, 2016 - May 2016 Book of the Month Francesca Simon has chosen a singular heroine for her first novel for teenagers. Hel is Queen of the Norse underworld, but never has the eternal teenage cry, ‘It’s not fair’ been more justified. Offspring of giants and gods, she is despised by all; human to the waist, she’s a ‘corpse baby’ - her legs are dangling and gangrenous at birth. Despatched to the Underworld, harbinger of Asgard’s downfall, she nonetheless retains her sharp tongue, her cynicism, her sense of humour and that’s what makes the book so interesting: who wouldn’t want to spend time in this teenager’s company as she works out how to make the best of her situation, unwisely falls in love and reluctantly accepts her fate. It’s an extraordinary novel, dark and grim, but Hel’s energy and vitality will keep readers on her side. ~ Andrea Reece

The Costa Judges said: “An ancient anti-heroine is given a fierce modern voice in this story of gods, monsters and growing up.”

The Monstrous Child Synopsis

A stunning, operatic, epic drama, like no other. Meet Hel, an ordinary teenager - and goddess of the Underworld. Why is life so unfair? Hel tries to make the best of it, creating gleaming halls in her dark kingdom and welcoming the dead who she is forced to host for eternity. Until eternity itself is threatened. Francesca's first and wonderful foray into teen.

The Monstrous Child Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to the review by one of the Lovereading4kids editorial experts some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title. Click here to read their full reviews.

  • Rose Roberts, age 13 - 'It's one of those books that is so good you find it hard to describe. Emotional, this book is page-turning in a different way. It isn't full of action, but you read it at a speed as if it is.'
  • Katie Adeniji, age 16 - 'The Monstrous Child is an interesting read that - despite it's dark undertones - will intrigue a reader looking for a witty and cynical heroine to fall win love with.
  • Sidney Greenslade, age 13 - 'The Monstrous Child absorbed me completely. Compelling and incredibly, even scarily, vivid, I found myself utterly lost in Hel's beautifully described world.'
  • Eloise Mae Clarkson, age 14 - 'It was an enjoyable read and I would rate it five out of five stars.'
  • Ella Bourke, age 12 - 'Every single fantasy character you could think of lies within these pages. This book is not for the faint-hearted and not about lovable princesses.'
  • William Longlands, age 13 - 'The book is very descriptive and tells you lots so I would recommend it, especially if you want to find out about Norse Gods.'
  • Talia Jacobs, age 15 - 'The Monstrous Child is an interesting, gory read incorporating Norse Mythology! Great for 10-13 year olds. Hilarious and amusing, dark and gruesome, sorrowful and lovely, all in one!'
  • Chadwick, Melanie - 'A very dark tale based on Norse mythology which is steeped in death, disappointment and hatred.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'The world building in this book is exceptional, from the opening pages you know this is not going to be a light and fluffy read and with that known read on!'

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780571330270
Publication date: 05/01/2017
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780571330263
Publication date: 05/05/2016
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780571330263
Publication date: 5th May 2016
Author: Francesca Simon
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 304 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 13+ readers
Genres: Fantasy / Magical, Humorous
Recommendations: Books of the Month, eBooks
Other Categories: Reviewed by Children

About Francesca Simon

Francesca Simon was born in St Louis, Missouri, grew up in California, and attended both Yale and Oxford Universities, where she specialised in Medieval Studies. She worked as a freelance journalist, writing for the Sunday Times, Guardian, Mail on Sunday, Telegraph, and Vogue (US) and after her son Joshua was born in 1989, she started writing children’s books full time. One of the UK’s best-selling children’s writers, Francesca has published over 50 books, including the immensely popular HORRID HENRY series, which has now sold over fifteen milllion copies.Francesca won the Children’s Book of ...

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