I WAS SENT AN ARC OF THIS BOOK IN RETURN FOR A FAIR AND UNBIASED REVIEW
‘Zadi held her breath as she closed the front door, a recycled lid from an old rubbish bin. The sharp click of the lock set her internal robot parts on edge.’
Zadi is part zombie, part fairy with a little bit of robot, which makes her a misfit monster. She lives with other misfit monsters, with their quirky parts in their makeshift town. They survive by hunting at the nearby hunting grounds taking items discarded by humans and making them into something useful. Hunting is risky because they could be captured by humans. Zadi is an excellent hunter and maker, but now she’s finding it difficult.
Something unusual has happened. There have been no new deliveries to the hunting grounds. This means there are no new items which can be used to recycle into something useful, and they are beginning to worry and fight with each other.
Can Zadi come up with a plan which will help the misfit monsters and bring them together as a community?
WHAT I THOUGHT
The thing that drew me to this book was the idea of ‘misfit monsters’ all living together and being a mis-mash of creatures/monsters, it’s something I’ve not seen before in any form apart from half-elf type people. And what a mix of people and races! Zombies, robots, fairies, goblins, pixies, minotour, dragon, computer, giant, and werewolf to name a few. It definitely helps that there is a list of all of the characters and what kind of misfit monster they are in the beginning, I used it as a reference point a few times when I got confused.
‘The Jumble Sale’ brilliantly shows a community where no one person is alike and at most are half similar to another person, and yet it doesn’t matter nor is it important enough to point out. It simply is and they accept other peoples foibles, Zadi’s best friend is part jester and is therefore excitable. Yes Zadi finds it tiring but she isn’t angry at her friend for it, it’s just part of who she is. It’s a great example of how people can get along and understand each others differences, I think the fact that it’s never mentioned is the best bit about it. It also helps that it’s a children’s book, if you were to take this community and age the story up to YA there would be more discussion of the diferences and how people react to it, just as there still is in our world right now. But for kids, you don’t need to explicit say “isn’t it good that all these different people can get along, shouldn’t our world be more like that?” because they’ll just accept that that’s Zadi’s world and move on with it. The different people living together isn’t important.
I loved that Zadi is an inventor and spends her time making different things from what human’s have thrown away. It’s great to see a female character tinkering and playing with science and engineering, the more we can normalise it in fiction and pop culture the more girls will be interested in STEM subjects. No one questions Zadi’s inventions and everyone knows that she’s one of the best hunters/inventors in the Misfit Monster community.
And Zadi so clearly loves what she’s doing and completely zones out the world while she’s busy tinkering and making things. While hunting she’s able to see an object and mentally working out how she can adapt it and turn it into something that’ll be useful.
It’s a great way to reinforce the idea of recycling for kids, we throw so much away that the idea that with a bit of work it could be turned into something else is an important one. People might not have the knowledge to do it themselves to begin with but they can work and grow.
WHY I READ IT
I was offered an ARC of this book (Advanced Readers Copy) by the publishers in return for an unbiased review. I agreed as I thought the idea of the MC being a robot/zombie/fairy hybrid sounded interesting and although I don’t read many books aimed at this age range I am a Brownie Leader at two groups so I have a good idea of what girls this age are looking for in books.
This is definitely one that I would have got for my cousins when they were a younger, and one I will recommend to my Brownies. It’s great fun, and I love Zadi and her lopsided smile. It’s a great book to show how communities are important, differences don’t matter, STEM is fun, and recycling is good.
The misfit monsters are adorable and I can’t wait to read about more of their adventures.
Am I glad I read it? Yes!
Did I enjoy it? Zadi is so adorable and earnest that it’s difficult not to enjoy.
Would I read again? Probably not, but ONLY because it is aimed at such a younger age than me. It was adorable and cute though so I might well decide to pick it up again.
Would I recommend? This is definitely one I’ll mention to my Brownies and one that I would recommend for friends who have family in the 8-11 range. Or to anyone who just wants a cute easy read. It’s fun and funny, why wouldn’t I recommend?
PopSugar: Published in 2019, about a hobby.
PLEASE let me know if you’ve got any little ones in your life that you think would enjoy this book. And thanks again to the publishers for sending me an advance copy.