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Book cover of Frankenbug

Frankenbug

by Steven Cousins

Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
Pages: 160
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780823414963






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Synopsis of Frankenbug

Inspired by the movie Frankenstein, bug-lover Adam Cricklestein decides to create a monster bug that will protect him from the school bully, Jeb McAllister.

Publishers Weekly

"All the kids in my class think I'm weird. They're right," opens this offbeat debut novel narrated by Adam Cricklestein, a self-described "bug freak." The boy spends his free time experimenting with bugs, tending to the bug menagerie that inhabits his bedroom or visiting with the curator of the insect room at a local museum. Most of his classmates leave him be, except for jeering Jeb, who cruelly tortures Adam's beloved bugs whenever he gets the chance. Inspired by the film Frankenstein, Adam decides to create a "monster bug" that will protect him from this bully. Adam uses strands of spider web to stitch together body parts of preserved, exotic insects he orders from a catalogue, then employs 100 fireflies to zap life into his newly created Frankenbug. After this multicolored flying creature attacks Jeb, the boy's police chief father vows to capture Jeb's assailant. Unfortunately, the showdown between Adam and the chief in the museum's insect room, where the boy has taken refuge with his pet, falls flat. Cousins's tale relies too much on one gag to fly. Ages 8-12. (Dec.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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Editorials

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly

"All the kids in my class think I'm weird. They're right," opens this offbeat debut novel narrated by Adam Cricklestein, a self-described "bug freak." The boy spends his free time experimenting with bugs, tending to the bug menagerie that inhabits his bedroom or visiting with the curator of the insect room at a local museum. Most of his classmates leave him be, except for jeering Jeb, who cruelly tortures Adam's beloved bugs whenever he gets the chance. Inspired by the film Frankenstein, Adam decides to create a "monster bug" that will protect him from this bully. Adam uses strands of spider web to stitch together body parts of preserved, exotic insects he orders from a catalogue, then employs 100 fireflies to zap life into his newly created Frankenbug. After this multicolored flying creature attacks Jeb, the boy's police chief father vows to capture Jeb's assailant. Unfortunately, the showdown between Adam and the chief in the museum's insect room, where the boy has taken refuge with his pet, falls flat. Cousins's tale relies too much on one gag to fly. Ages 8-12. (Dec.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

School Library Journal

Gr 4-6-Adam has been collecting insects since he was three and keeps them in a zoo in his room. His life is centered around them and most kids leave him alone, except Jeb McCallister, son of the police chief. After Jeb tortures and kills a moon moth, Adam decides he must get revenge. The movie Frankenstein gives him the idea to make and train an insect to protect him from the bully. After some careful research, he sketches out a monster bug and then orders 10 different specimens from a mail-order catalog, selecting "the giants and killers of the insect world." He spends several nights cutting the parts and sewing them together. Then he brings his monster to life, using lightning bugs. Ultimately "Frankie" scares Jeb, which causes his father to set out to capture this terrible pest. In the end, with the help of the museum curator and a friend, Mary Wolcroft, the truth about Jeb comes to the police chief's attention and Frankie has a safe home. Pseudo-science fiction is combined with realistic fiction, but bringing dead bugs to life may be too far-fetched for many readers. Even so, fascinating information about insects is included in this satisfying story of besting a school bully.-Debbie Feulner, Northwest Middle School, Greensboro, NC Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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