Teacher's Pest: Tales from Lovecraft Middle School #3

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
Teacher's Pest: Tales from Lovecraft Middle School #3 Book Poster Image
Bug-monsters offer light horror hijinks in third volume.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Teacher's Pest is a comedy that pays little attention to how the real works. But there are some details about insect characteristics (and bug-monsters).

Positive Messages

Teacher's Pest is an out-and-out horror comedy, but it does impart lessons about bravery, loyalty, and leadership. Even in the face of a supernatural menace, a diverse group of friends can triumph, if they show courage and watch out for one another.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The relationship between Robert and Glenn, former schoolyard enemies, continues to evolve in this volume. Robert learns more about Glen's homelife, and this fresh perspective helps their friendship grow.

Violence

What little violence Teacher's Pest contains is cartoonish and not likely to be disturbing, even to the most sensitive readers.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Teacher's Pest is another goofy installment in this silly horror series. There are squirmy insects aplenty, plus a host of monsters from another dimension, but the mayhem they cause is mostly played for laughs. There is no objectionable language, use of illegal substances, or sexual content.

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What's the story?

Having battled demons and snake-monsters, Robert Arthur and Glen Torkells must now face off against a new antagonist, student council president Howard Mergler, who is actually a disgusting bug-monster in disguise. Hordes of wasps, roaches, and lice are infesting the middle school, and no one will believe that there is a connection to the supernatural. Aided by a ghostly girl and a two-headed rat, Robert and Glen must stop the six-legged apocalypse on their own.

Is it any good?

TEACHER'S PEST continues the humorous middle-school horror adventure begun in Professor Gargoyle and The Slither Sisters. It maintains the series' mix of goofy humor and monster mayhem and is likely to satisfy its core audience. But after three installments, some readers may want more of a sense that the overarching narrative is escalating to some kind of payoff, rather than just as series of encounters with random monster archetypes.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes a good horror story, and what makes a good horror comedy. What's both funny and creepy about bugs and bug-monsters in Teacher's Pest?

  • Can you imagine any of your teachers or classmates being monsters from another dimension?

  •  How do you feel about the way the Tales from Lovecraft Middle School series is going? Think you'll stick with it?

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