Sarah Cannon, Author
Feiwel and Friends, Feb. 11, 2020
Suitable for Ages: 8-12
Themes: Monsters, Fantasy world, Magical creatures, Creativity, Friendship
Eli has a dream. He’s going to be the next Stephen King, and he’s just created his best monster yet!
Neha has a secret. Her notebook is filled with drawings of a fantasy world called Forest Creeks, and it’s become inhabited by wonderful imaginary creatures. But her new friends are in danger . . .
Court has a gift, both for finding trouble and for stopping it. And when she accidentally ends up with one of Neha’s drawings, she quickly realizes that the monsters raiding magical Forest Creeks are coming from Eli’s stories.
When these three creative kids come together, they accidentally create a doorway from Neha’s sketch book of Forest Creeks into the real world. Now every monster that Eli ever imagined has been unleashed upon their town! Only Eli really knows what his monsters are capable of doing. The kids must band together to save their town and a fantasy world from horror-story monsters that come to life.
Why I like this book:
Sarah Cannon’s novel, Twist, is an imaginative, scary and offbeat adventure story. Readers who love dark humor and wacky storytelling are in for a treat! There are quirky main characters they’ll root for and monsters lurking on every page. The story is fast-paced and combines a spirited narrative with clever wordplay. Fans of Cannon’s first novel, Oddity, will cheer for Twist.
I marvel at Cannon’s ability to build fantasy worlds with a strong realistic “twist.” The standout characters, Eli, Neha and Court are kids with real problems. They are a diverse group of students who deal with their own inner monsters: bullies, social anxiety and regular middle grade angst. But they are also very creative artists and writers, who realize that they have to work together to stop the mayhem they’ve released on their vulnerable town and Neha’s fantasy world, without the help of adults. Court is the problem-solver. There are other memorable characters — both human and magical — who contribute to the story.
The plot is dangerous and the tension palpable. Eli’s writer brain knows his monsters, especially Howler, who is murderous and has an evil glint in his eye. And there is Lichenthrope, who is designed to lie flat and undetectable in the forest until someone walks over top of him. Eli also knows exactly when the monsters will attack, so he has to act fast. But Neha’s adorable and mischievous Creeps are invading the town and must be located and protected from the monsters. The friends divvy up groups of Creeps and sneak them into their homes for protection. More mayhem! Time’s running out on their mission is to restore order.
Cannon’s story ending allows readers to imagine what happens next. OR, it may leave the door open for a sequel. I’ll let readers make their own conclusions.
Sarah Cannon, author of Oddity and Twist, has lived all over the US, but right now she calls Indiana home. She has a husband, three kids, and a misquided dog. Sarah hold a BS in education. She’s a nerdy knitting gardener who drinks a lot of coffee and eats a lot of raspberries. She is probably human. Visit Cannon at her website. There is a study guide for the classroom.
*Reviewed from a purchased copy.