Parents' Guide to

The Eyemonger

By Mandie Caroll, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Creepy but thought-provoking tale about safety and privacy.

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This book is a thought-provoking, creative approach to teaching kids the value of privacy, but the implausible resolution may leave readers unsatisfied. The Eyemonger is truly creepy, in both story and pictures, which will appeal to many big kids. Books that tackle the serious issue of privacy are needed in kids' lit, and there's much to recommend about this book. Beckwith's steampunk-style art is excellent, atmospheric, and absorbing. Solove's rhyming text makes for a great read-aloud, and the story is mostly well-constructed. There's a gripping buildup of tension as the story approaches the climax, as Griffin, our hero, refuses to be spied on, the Eyemonger rages, and an army of rhinos charges toward Griffin.

Yet, the Eyemonger's lightening-quick change of heart feels unlikely given what readers know about the creature. Equally unbelievable is Griffin's lightening-quick forgiveness. Some kid readers will surely take it all in stride and not be bothered, but others may miss the overall important message of the book if hung up on why it was so easy for the conflict to be resolved. Still, this book has its place as a useful tool to start conversations about security, safety, surveillance, and privacy with big kids on the cusp of a life on the internet.

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