Lubar, David. The Wavering Werewolf: A Monsterific Tale
(Accidental Monsters #3)
January 14th 2014
(first published December 1997)
Review copy sent by publisher.
When Norman is attacked in the woods by a wolf and bitten lightly on the nose, his life starts to get weird. His palms itch all the time, he has a craving for meat, and on more than one occasion, he has wanted to go running after small animals. His best friend Sebastian understands, but no one else seems to. His mother wants him to use silver eating utensils, wolfsbane at the science fair makes him sick, and a creepy guy by the name of Teridakian keeps hunting him down and issuing vague threats. Norman meets Lew, who is in a similar predicament and sheds some light on the situation, which leads Norman to have to make a choice: does he want to stay a werewolf, or return to his humdrum human life?
Strengths: Having read a lot of really poorly written horror for younger children, I definitely appreciated Lubar's facility with words. This is a nice, short length for reluctant readers;I was just contemplating why so many zombie books are really long, when most of the students requesting zombie books want something more manageable! This has plenty of action, humor and a good ensemble cast of characters. Since this is book three, I need to look into getting the others in the series. Actually surprised this was not in my library when I got here in 2002; it might have been published originally in paperback.
Weaknesses: The circus/carnival of oddities seemed anachronistic to me. I can't see anyone today have displays of the Human Pincushion or Monkey Boy, with the people in cages. I know that such settings show up in fiction from time to time (Cirque du Freak), but this time, it struck me as wrong. Will students notice? No. They just wish they could find a creepy circus like that!