Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Today's Recommendsday Reading is Milrose Munce and the Den of Professional Help by Douglas Anthony Cooper.
After Milrose is given yet another detention for offering his teacher an answer that was just a bit too clever, his life takes an unexpected turn. He is sent to a hidden den in the school’s basement to receive Professional Help. Here, he and the quick-witted Arabella, a fellow captive, are put under round-the-clock supervision of the maniacal Massimo Natica. Fortunately for Milrose and Arabella, once they join forces with their ghostly friends, Massimo Natica doesn’t stand a chance.
An excerpt from the first chapter is available on Cooper's website for your enjoyment.
Milrose Munce is chock-full of highly enjoyable dark humor. The novel obviously is within the young adult genre and reads easily for all ages; however, some of the jokes particularly the word play will be thoroughly enjoyed by adults as well. Munce sees dead people, dead people that constantly pop up and play jokes on the living students within the school. Many people have likened this novel to Harry Potter; I definitely can see the similarities; however, I liken it more to Ronald Dahl's works, particularly The Witches. Every sideways comment had me splitting at the seams. The characters are darling, yes I just said darling ;p.
Everyday Milrose performs experiments with his third floor crew of ghastly friends and each day is just as enjoyable as the last until the entrance of "Professional Help." The faculty is becoming concerned that Milrose is slapping the air on the back, talking to the empty space, and otherwise acting...well in the need of professional help. Milrose is not alone in this plight, the lovely Arabella is also "gifted" with the sight. Arabella prefers the second floor poets to Milrose's band of science geeks. Both children are signed away into a counseling program which is supposed to cure them. Only, the professional turns out to not be professional at all. Massimo Natica is out to cure or obliterate them (his methods aren't exactly kosher), a certain end that neither child finds in the least bit acceptable. So begins the fight against the powers that be to survive and make it out still able to converse with their undead friends.
Cooper's slapstick humor keeps the pages turning. It is a refreshing light read. I literally had it read in a few hours. Though relatively devoid of romance, the paranormal definitely runs thick. Every time I catch a whiff of almonds I become a tad sentimental now. :) Crack the binding on a copy; you will not be disappointed.
Rating: 5/5 for all ages