Upir, a young vampire, has been sent to monster camp at the Neewollah graveyard, where he will take classes to work on his powers. It's a bit scary at first, but then he meets some new friends: Isabelle, a witch; Payne, a scarecrow with a pumpkin head; Gusty, a ghost; and Hawthorne, a green, hairy creature. They may be different from one another, but they quickly become friends.
In Upir and the Monster Gang by Sharron and Raymond Thornton, the kids have a lot more to deal with than just classes. First, there's Muriel and her gang of bullies. Then, there's the problem of strange things happening around camp, including kids getting hurt and disappearing. And finally, the friends all find themselves having the same exact dream. Something strange is going on.
Upir and the Monster Gang is a fun adventure that is full of action and excitement. But it is also a story about friendship and acceptance of others who are different. Without getting too serious about the topic, it also shows how kids can band together to overcome bullying. I think the story would appeal to ages 6 to 12 or so; I'm planning on sharing it with my 6 and 9 year olds. It has some tense moments but nothing too scary or disturbing.
One of my favorite aspects of this book is the illustrations by Raymond Thornton. They are stunning in their detail and originality. And they tie in perfectly with the story on every page.
My Rating: 5/5
Visit the author's Kickstarter page to see a video and an excerpt from the book.
This review was written based on a copy of Upir and the Monster Gang that I received from Pump Up Your Book in exchange for an honest review.