Leonard, M.G. Beetle Boy, 288 pages. Chicken House (Scholastic), 2016. $17. Language: G (3 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG (some fighting).
Darkus Cuttle already has had to deal with the death of his mother, but when his father disappears out of a locked room, he had better jump into action. Darkus moves in with his Uncle Max and next door to two crazy eccentric brothers who have a huge colony of multiple beetle species infesting their yard and home. There seems to be something special about the beetles, as Darkus discovers after one of them adopts him. Along with his friends Virginia and Bertolt, Darkus needs to discover the secret of the beetles and thwart a terrible enemy in order to save his father.
The title of the book is unfortunately off-putting. But if you can get a student to sit down and read the book they will find an exciting adventure. There is a nice shade of creepiness within the covers, but you will have to vigorously handsel this in order to get students to bite.
EL, MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher