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‘The Terribles #1: Welcome to Stubtoe Elementary’ (review)

Written and Illustrated by Travis Nichols
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers


I say this from time to time, but every once in a while (okay, maybe every other week), I swear that the assignment desk is throwing me a book to challenge my soul (by the way, quite of few of them have, yes I am thinking of you Dead Kings Have No Dreams).

When I looked at Travis Nichol’s The Terribles, I was overcome with grief. “No, this cannot be my life right now.” I thought to myself. So it was with great gnashing of teeth and grim determination that I set out to read The Terribles while waiting for my flight from West Palm Beach back to New York.

After a few pages, I was genuinely delighted, and my wife, who was seated next to me, peeked over my shoulder, as she is often prone to do, and asked me what I was reading; I responded with a gleeful smile on my face, “Something unexpectedly good.”

The Terribles might be monsters, but they’re also kids like you!

Well, sort of. This hilarious peek into the world of vampires, mummies, swamp things, and bigfoots is perfect for The Hotel Transylvania movie fans.

Instead of being one complete narrative from beginning to end (there is the main story, by the way, but it plays in the background), Travis explores the world of Creep’s Cove in alternating chapters.

These range from comics, poems, charts, and activities focused on various classic horror characters, vampires, mummies, aliens, werewolves, and so many more.

Granted, as an adult man, I do not believe I was the demographic Travis aimed to entertain.

However, I was highly entertained by this book and found myself smiling and laughing loudly in quite a few places.

If you have children in your life who are either elementary or middle school-aged, this book is a perfect treat!

Final Score: 5 out of 5 stars.


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