The Slither Sisters: Tales from Lovecraft Middle School #2

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
The Slither Sisters: Tales from Lovecraft Middle School #2 Book Poster Image
Goofy comedy for young boys riffs on horror cliches.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

The Slither Sisters is an out-and-out horror comedy that pays little attention to how the real works. But it does impart lessons about bravery, loyalty, and leadership.

Positive Messages

As Rob Arthur runs for a spot on the student council, he learns that true leadership comes by thinking rationally about problems and finding realistic solutions to them. Playing on the greed and fear of voters does not lead to effective government.

Positive Role Models & Representations

As The Slither Sisters opens, Robert Arthur and Glen Torkells have abandoned their victim/bully relationship and are working together to protect the students of Lovecraft Middle School from monsters and demons from another dimension. As they face off against the titular monsters, they demonstrate bravery and resourcefulness.

Violence

What little violence there is in The Slither Sisters is very cartoonish. A giant snake attacks Robert in his bed, and he later battles a harpy at a school assembly.

Sex

Robert and Glenn are interested in spending time with some of the girls at the school dance, but they can't quite figure out how to do so.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Slither Sisters is a goofy horror comedy that picks up right where the first book in the series, Professor Gargoyle, left off. There are in-jokes for readers familiar with Greek mythology and the writing of H.P. Lovecraft, and no objectionable language or bloody violence, but there are attacks by snakes, demons, and a harpy. The mayhem is cartoonish and intended to be comic.

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What's the story?

Fresh from saving their school from a demonic teacher, Robert Arthur and former bully Glenn Torkells must contend with twin sisters who are actually snake-headed monsters from another dimension. The girls plan to win the student council race and then abduct the entire seventh grade. Aided by a ghostly girl and a two-headed rat, Robert and Arthur must find a way to upset the election without winding up captured by extradimensional monstrosities.

Is it any good?

THE SLITHER SISTERS: TALES FROM LOVECRAFT MIDDLE SCHOOL #2 matches the good-natured, horror comedy of the series' first volume. Robert and his former nemesis Glenn are a winning team, and their battles with creatures from horror fiction and mythology are action-packed and funny.

Some readers may wonder, however, whether the series will build into something more than just a chain of encounters with bizarre monsters. It would be good to see author Charles Gilman up the stakes in the next volume.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why stories featuring monsters, ghosts, and demons are so popular What aspects of horror stories lend themselves to comedy?

  • Does it ever seem as if parents, teachers, or school administrators have a side of themselves that they never reveal to students?

  • Is participating in student government worthwhile? What kinds of changes can students effect through organizations such as a student council?

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