- Publisher: Quirk Books
- Format: Hardback | 160 pages
- Dimensions: 126mm x 180mm x 20mm | 340g
- Publication date: 25 September 2012
- Publication City/Country: Philadelphia
- ISBN 10: 1594745919
- ISBN 13: 9781594745911
- Illustrations note: Illustrations Throughout
- Sales rank: 216,191
Our hero is 11-year-old Robert Arthur, and he's among the first students entering the brand new Lovecraft Middle School (LMS). The town is a buzz over the extraordinary new facility and its many state-of-the-art features. Solar panels! Radiant floor heating! Wireless internet! Digital smart-boards in every classroom! LMS is truly the school of the future. Better still, it's a totally green building, constructed almost entirely of recycled materials. But Robert soon discovers some strange mysteries. Rats in the lockers. A student goes missing. And he encounters an old section in the school library - a corridor full of worm-eaten, antiquated books. How did such a musty dusty room end up in a brand new school? Even worse, Robert's new science professor is behaving really strangely - it will become clear over the course of the book that the professor has been consumed by some kind of demon/wraith/spirit, that it's transforming him into a monster from the inside-out. Robert tries to unravel these mysteries with some help from his new friend Karina Ortiz - but soon she presents him with yet another conundrum: Why has he never seen Karina outside the walls of Lovecraft Middle School? The answers to all of these riddles lie in the fact that LMS was constructed almost entirely of recycled materials - but these materials came from the abandoned Tillinghast mansion, a large ancestral home and hotbed of weirdo paranormal activity. After decades of unpaid taxes, violent episodes, and unexplained phenomena, the state government tore down the hospital but then essentially REBUILT the same materials into a new building. And thus Lovecraft Middle School was born. By the end of this first volume, Robert will vanquish Professor Gargoyle and learn the creepy origin story of LMS. But his troubles are just beginning. There's something odd about the lunch lady in the cafeteria ...and report cards are getting mailed home next week!
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Charles Gilman lives in Philadelphia. This is his first book for young readers. Eugene Smith has illustrated several titles for Quirk, including Sense and Sensiblity and Sea Monsters, The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook, and Secret Lives of the Supreme Court.
By Brenna Staats 26 Feb 2013
Professor Gargoyle is an incomparable middle grade read - and fortunately the beginning of what is sure to be an invaluable and exemplary series. Personally, I think it's a great idea to introduce younger readers to all sorts of books - and a middle grade take on Lovecraftian horror serves up plenty of fun with some shocking and creepy twist.
Reasons to Read:
1. Fun horror - but not conventional horror:
I appreciate Lovecraft-inspired stories because it's exactly the kind of horror I really enjoy. This isn't what most of us are used to, and for anyone concerned about nightmares or gore, you don't need to be when it comes to Professor Gargoyle. It's shocking at times and a bit twisted and it's just enough to give you some creepy tingling in your spine but nothing that's over the top or gratuitous. Honestly, some of the creepier parts of the story are positively BRILLIANT.
2. Appropriate illustrations for the story:
A good illustration is not only pleasing to the eye but it actually enhances the reading experience as well. Eugene Smith is remarkable with illustrations that combine the needs of both a middle grade book and one that has some scarier aspects to the plot. The lenticular cover is also a great way to really get a feel for the book and I think it adds to the overall experience.
3. One of the most creative and thrilling middle grade books I've read:
The story is fast-paced, and totally bursting with creativity. I enjoyed the few nods to typical Lovecraftian adventures and creatures. But placing these in a younger setting is going to hold a lot of appeal with younger readers looking for something more uncommon, and for older readers both those who are familiar with horror a la Lovecraft and those who are completely new to it and would just like a taste. I adored the haunted school as a setting, and Karina is one character that I found particularly intriguing.
I wish there had been a bit more depth to the story overall though. I think a bit more could have been added to the plot to give it more meaning and significance, although this may be addressed later on in later books from the series as overarching themes and ideas are addressed.
It really is something that is great for readers looking for something besides the standard paranormal or contemporary books out there.
Review copy received from Quirk Books/Random House Canada for review; no other compensation was received.
"Middle school memories won't be the same once you jump into Charles Gilman's "Tales From Lovecraft Middle School "series."--"Florida Times-Union" "The lenticular covers alone makes the "Tales From Lovercraft Middle School" books worth buying. But the books are really good, too."--"Super Punch"" " ..".highly entertaining..."--"Horror News" "Ideal for middle schoolers or older, it's an action-packed paranormal treat, with lots of weird, unexplainable happenings."--"Lansing State Journal" "This first entry in a series is a fun read...The mysteries of Lovecraft offer plenty of excitement, and reluctant readers will likely stick around to see just how this story ends."--"School Library Journal" ""Tales from Lovecraft Middle School "is perfect for younger paranormal fans and a great way to have a good time that scares you just enough to keep the pages turning."--"BookSlut" "These books are hilarious and gross and charming and bizarre and, basically, totally entertaining."--Ben H. Winters, author "The Mystery of the Everything" and T"he Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman," a Bank Street Best Book of 2011 and an Edgar Award nominee ""Professor Gargoyle "has all the hints and trappings of H.P.'s world, with a slight bit of danger, a good dosage of strange and peculiar monsters, and a great setting! We've all had a weird teacher during our years in school, so every young reader can totally identify with the first book in the series ... [And] the lenticular covers are amazing! ... I cannot imagine any kid walking by these books in the store or library and not picking it up for a closer look!"--Wired.com's GeekDad" """"Spooky illustrations and a unique book cover add to the horror of the strange world of Lovecraft Middle School, and no self-respecting kid would want to miss enrolling in this exciting series."--Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books & Hobbies, Oscoda, MI" " "Author Charles Gilman spins a web that draws in the reader with plot twists that are occasionally jarring and alarming..."--"Montreal Gazette"" " "If you liked Quirk's earlier publication, "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children "(and who didn't?), you'll gobble this one up. Or down. Whichever way a gobble goes.""--Asbury Park Press "blog ..".fans of Goosebumps and other lightly creepy fare will look forward to spending more time with a series that even manages to find the dark side of recycling."--"Publishers Weekly"
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