The Monster Ring, by Bruce Coville, 1982, Book Review

14619799This is my favorite Halloween story, one I’ve shared with my kids this time of year a couple times. One that’s scary, yet appropriate, fun and yet, well…scary! Within, eleven-year-old Russell Crannaker is tired of putting up with Eddie. The school bully is continually stealing his lunch money and pushing him around. But that’s about to change.

One day, while running from Eddie, Russell gets lost (Kennituck Falls really isn’t that big) and winds up on a road he’s never seen before. Inside one particular shop, he purchases a ring with the power to turn him into a monster. It’s a ring he puts to good use, and a power that gets out of control! He has the best–and worst–Halloween of his life.

This is a pretty short read at only 100 pages, and perfectly appropriate as a read-aloud for kids as young as six (though it claims a reading audience of 8-12). There’s no blood, no language, and nothing occultic unless you count the mild incantation invoking “Powers Dark and Powers Bright” to change him into the monster. At one point, after changing back to human form, Russell does have to run across town in his birthday suit, but it’s pretty funny. It’s always my kids’ favorite part!

The Monster’s Ring is simply a clean, fun scare that never fails to tickle my imagination. In fact, it always leaves me with half a mind to go outside and howl at the moon. Pick it up this Halloween!

Also availabe as a Kindle audio download.

4 thoughts on “The Monster Ring, by Bruce Coville, 1982, Book Review

  1. I haven’t read that one but I’ve read (and reviewed) “Jennifer Murdley’s Toad” (good book) and “My Teacher is an Alien” (OK book) by Bruce Coville. I’ll look for your review if you read Jeremy Thatcher!

  2. I read your “Jennifer Murdley” review. That one doesn’t look too bad. I believe I read one of the “My Teacher…” books a while back. It didn’t make much of an impression on me. Maybe I’ll read “Jeremy Thatcher” in the spring. I really need to spend more time writing right now!

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