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Book Review

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 togeth…

Always October

by Bruce Coville

Overall Book 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

Alcohol / Drug Use:


Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

An accountant and CPA by profession, I found myself a book reviewer for Squeaky Clean Reads by happenstance. When the opportunity came to transform that website into Compass Book Ratings, I was excited to seize it and meld my business background with my love of books. As the mother of three teenage sons, I have read a large number of children and young adult books and I believe that there is great value in a content review service. As much as we would love to read everything our children read, there just isn’t enough time. I also appreciate being able to select books for myself that are really worth my precious and limited reading time. I believe there is a book out there for everyone–they just have to find it!