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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The story is based on alleged Mothman sightings in Ohio during the mid-1960s, Story gives a glimpse of the auction house business.
Strong messages about problem solving, having courage, facing your fears, and selflessness.
Positive Role Models
Josie is a smart, tenacious 12-year-old who ponders big questions, loves her family, and ultimately is willing to risk her life to save her family and others. Some of the family members are prone to sensationalizing the value of the auction items they sell to make money, but they mean well and are loyal and reliable as siblings. Parents are engaged and present. Some characters are otherwise simplistically good or evil.
Violence & Scariness
A haunting, creepy figure called Mothman terrorizes and intimidates. A man holds a gun on a man and woman, forcing the woman to choose which of them will live; he shoots one of them dead. Multiple discussions of deaths from disasters over the previous century; a man falls and breaks his leg; a girl's leg is injured by falling debris; a ghost moves objects around a room; mention of a past suicide, but it's not explicitly described.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mothman's Curse is an engrossing sci-fi/fantasy novel that reimagines the alleged Mothman sightings reported in Ohio during the mid-1960s, Here, three siblings discover the curse and try to solve its mystery and save their small Ohio town. There's suspense throughout, grief for a mother who passed away three years earlier, and a reference to a past suicide, but it's not explicitly described. In a flashback, a man holds a gun on a man and woman and forces the woman to choose which of them will live, then shoots one of them dead. But amid the hauntings, creepy old artifacts, and terrorizing Mothman character, the story celebrates problem solving and the value of selfless acts, and it presents fascinating moral and ethical dilemmas that will keep readers engaged throughout.
Is It Any Good?
This engrossing, meticulously considered mystery with an ethical dilemma at its core takes a while to build up steam but ultimately will keep readers on the edges of their seats. The characters are clever and well-developed, and the family's close-knit loyalties and auction business (people who used to pretend things were haunted to make a buck now find themselves smack-dab in the middle of a real haunting) add a fresh perspective to the genre.
It's fun to see how the kids solve the mystery and plot their survival, but readers also can wrestle with an ethical dilemma that may reveal their own thoughts about what it means to love and protect those closest to us. Throughout the novel, various characters react differently to the choice to save others or themselves. In the end, readers will find they've flexed some thinking muscles they wouldn't have expected from a tale about a flying mothman.
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.