Spooktacular Sunday review: Moo Moo Monster by Shane Saathoff
The Moo Moo Monster is a short, speculative fiction chapter book (93 pages) intended for ages 8-12.The story focuses on two young boys and their encounter with an urban legend turned true paranormal tale.
The story is based on an old urban legend in a small Illinois town.
A German immigrant, Wilhelm, comes to a small town in Illinois to live with his uncle on his farm, only to be left mournful when his uncle suddenly dies. While grieving for his uncle and the recent population growth of his farm town, Wilhelm turns to a forbidden source of comfort and creates a beast that will help protect his family's legacy and property. The beast does so but Wilhelm is destroyed in the process. As the decades go by, the beast's reputation grows in local lore and escalates when a small family moves into the old farmhouse. The family's children have their lives turned upside-down by the Moo Moo Monster as well as by another familiar presence to the farm as well.
Wilhelm is a man who has lost everything and now lives alone on his farm. He finds a book in the cellar that tells him of the family’s past and also gives him the ability to make his farm flourish. But when a highway threatens his existence he vows to take revenge and creates a monster that will protect his land from the people that are encroaching.
After all his efforts, Wilhelm is killed during the rising of his monster and completely disappears. Fifty years later Jacob, Steven and their mother move into the farm house. The Monster who appears only on full moons visits them soon after their arrival and scares the boys. But after searching the house the boys discover the books, and Steven becomes obsessed and finds out how to control the monster. But Jacob is worried about his brother as he seems distant and strange. Until Jacob finds out what really has happened to his brother and must figure out a way to save him.
This was a great short story, very suspenseful and perfect for teens. It reminded me of the books Scary Stories to Read in the Dark, as it was written well for younger readers, not scary, but made you feel a sense of creepiness. It would, in my opinion, be great for junior high and high school readers who are looking for a fun monster read. I can also imagine someone reading this out loud at a slumber party and adding sound affects to scare their friends! I thought that the characters were well developed and the story flowed very nicely. I really enjoyed it!
The Moo Moo Monsterwill be available soon as an ebook ($1.99) on the iBookstore, Nook, and Kindle.It is also available as a paperback on Lulu.com ($11.99, 19 page preview available on the link below) and will be on Amazon.com in late September (as paperback) as well.