June 27, 2016

Review: Curse of the the Were-Hyena by Bruce Hale

Title: Curse of the Were-Hyena (A Monstertown Mystery)
Author: Bruce Hale

What do you do when your favorite teacher starts turning into a were-hyena? 

a) Flee in terror? 
b) Try to cure him? 
c) Bring him carrion snacks? 

Mr. Chu, the coolest teacher ever, has developed some very unusual habits, like laughing hysterically for no reason, sniffing people's homework, and chasing chickens. When best friends Carlos and Benny decide to find out what's happening to him, they get caught up in some moonlight madness. And it looks like just the beginning of the weirdness that has arrived in the town of Monterrosa. . . . This first entry in a silly, sassy, and suspenseful new series will leave readers howling with laughter.

This is a fast paced, silly, fun book that will make readers giggle as they watch Carlos and Benny try and save their teacher.  I know I found myself giggling a few times - especially when they brought a chicken into the classroom!  As a teacher I can only imagine the craziness that would cause!  Fun!

I really liked Carlos and Benny.  They way they talked and went about their planning seemed very realistic (well as realistic as it could be with a were-hyena).  I could completely imagine them as 4th graders in any school.  At times they were really serious, but then they'd get side-tracked my something else.  Very typical! And the plans they came up with would, of course, seem good to a 4th grade, but would leave any grown-up shaking their head.  I liked that! I think kids would too because it would be something they could buy in to.  
There were a couple of things I wondered if they needed to be in the book.  One was the talk of dead bodies being chewed on.  I just didn't know if it was needed and for some younger kids it might be a bit much for them.  It was nothing that would make me shy away from the book, but something to be aware of when suggesting it.  

Finally - A fun start to what looks like the start of a fun new mystery series.  


  1. I used to know a bunch of elementary kids who wanted something a tad creepy, not sure on the dead body chomping, but there were quite a few who would have loved this.

  2. I can imagine this is funny from meeting Bruce once at a conference. He's a really funny guy.