A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that clever, fast-moving, well-crafted horror fantasy Man Made Boy presents re-imagined creatures and characters from mythology and literature in the modern world. The language is often rough, with many instances of "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," and their variants, plus "hell," "damn," "piss," and "bastard," which may make some readers uncomfortable. Sexual content isn't as intense as the language, although it's acknowledged that the teen protagonist has slept with his girlfriend. Teen characters indulge in underage drinking in a couple of scenes. As you'd expect in a story about monsters, there's violence (monster attacks and beating by mind-controlled humans), but there's little dwelling on the details.
What's the story?
The son of Frankenstein's monster and his bride, Boy chafes under the routine that keeps him tethered to The Show, the New York City-based troupe of monsters hiding in plain sight from humanity. When Boy learns that his family plans to ship him off to Europe, he runs away, embarking on a cross-country road trip, rooming with a local computer hacker, Dumpster-diving on the New Jersey Turnpike, and working for special effects experts in Los Angeles. As he learns about modern America and the eternal mysteries of love, Boy also must prepare for confrontations with formidable foes, including a rogue computer program that wants him all to itself.
Is it any good?
Like its patchwork protagonist, MAN MADE BOY is constructed out of unwieldy parts that work better together than they probably should. Monster story, road-trip adventure, cyberpunk caper -- the plot shifts from mode to mode but somehow keeps running smoothly. Clumsy, impetuous, caring, and vulnerable, Boy is a well-realized creation, and some intriguing, outlandish figures from pop culture and myth make up the supporting cast. Author Jon Skovron keeps the action and the teen angst in perfect balance, delivering unforeseeable plot twists and emotion-filled encounters. The language is rougher than it really needs to be, but a rich, fun mix of humor and horror rewards readers who can look past the cursing.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why stories about monsters are so powerful. Why do readers and authors keep coming back to movies and books about vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures?
Why is the idea of a cross-country road trip appealing to so many young people? What does traveling from coast to coast by car symbolize for some people?
Do you ever wish you could turn off your emotions? What might be the consequences of doing so?
- Author: Jon Skovron
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and underdogs, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires, Robots
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Viking Juvenile
- Publication date: October 22, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 368
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.