Publisher's Note:  

No doubt about it, little brothers can be monsters. When sixth grader Jake Doolittle finds a baby on the doorstep and his mother decides to keep it, those words are more than just an expression. Instead, they perfectly describe the way his new little brother, LD, sprouts pointy ears, thick fur, and fangs in moonlight.

Not only is LD a monster. . . . other monsters have plans for him. But together with his friend "Weird Lily" Carker, Jake isn't about to let anything happen to the baby. The little guy is still his brother, even if it turns out that LD may be the key to saving the world—or destroying it.

Soon Jake and Lily are on a perilous quest through Always October, a world populated with monsters ranging from the venomous to the ridiculous. Master of comic suspense Bruce Coville presents a tale of ominous dangers and hairbreadth escapes, of the conflict between forces of dark and light, and of the lengths to which one boy will go to save his brother—monster or not.

Always October

by Bruce Coville

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Overall Review:  

Always October by Bruce Coville is one of the rare pieces of fiction that takes a step away from a host of animal based novels and into gutsier territory.  However, it is not a scary book and children 9 and up should thoroughly enjoy it without any trouble.  Coville has a wonderful way of twisting elements of the story and reality together to form an intriguing and entertaining world of monsters, both good, bad, and ugly.  The plot was easy to follow and moved along at an appropriate pace for its target audience, and even managed to surprise me in one case, a rare feat for middle grade fiction.  Always October is an enjoyable read that should be enjoyed by young, adventurous readers.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language: 1 religious exclamation; 1 mild obscenity


Violence/Gore:   Several mild threats are issued; a character suffers a non-life threatening injury; there are several battles that involve injuries, but no deaths occur.  There are several scenes that are creepy and may frighten very young readers, particularly those with phobias of spiders or monsters in the closet.


Sex/Nudity:  One instance of a naked monster baby, no explicit detail.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Loss of parents, family

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Reviewed By Jackson
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