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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Dust & Grim offers examples of unusual funeral rituals. Kids will learn of funeral rites used in the past.
Families stick together in times of adversity. Rituals are important to society. Work with two people goes four times faster than with four.
Positive Role Models
Dustin and Molly are very mean to each other at the beginning of the book. They start treating each other better once they realize how much they need each other. Dustin is reserved and finicky, Molly outgoing and sarcastic. Both are brave and resourceful.
Most of the cast cues as White. Dustin's business partner, Vivacia, is Black, one supporting character cues as Latino.
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Violence & Scariness
Uncle Gordo drains the magic out of the cemetery, causing it to wither. Shades, door-wolves, and vampires attack Molly, Dustin, and their friends. Dustin breaks his arm.
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A handful of instances of "hell."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dust & Grim is a horror comedy written by Chuck Wendig, featuring long-lost siblings -- Molly Grim, 13, and her brother, Dustin Ashe, 18 -- who inherit a funeral home for monsters. Plenty of supernatural spookiness, but with a sense of humor. Violence includes magical showdowns with vampires and being chased by wolves. And there's a tiny bit of swearing: "hell" used a few times.
Is It Any Good?
Finding a unique voice for middle-grade characters can be difficult, but this lively horror comedy finds a welcome new angle. Author Chuck Wendig is a master of snappy patter and elegant plotting, and Dust & Grim puts his singular talents to good use. The idea of a funeral home for monsters is ingenious, the action scenes are well choreographed, and the mismatched siblings provide many touching moments as they try to suss out each others' motives, Although neatly self-contained, the narrative opens the possibility of further volumes, which should please middle-grade readers with a taste for the absurdly occult.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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