Saturday, October 10, 2009


By Chris Wilson

Author: Scott Nickel
Illustrator: Enrique Corts
Publisher: Stone Arch Books
Genre: Horror

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 40
Color: Full color
ISBN-13: 978-1-59889-836-1

There’s trouble brewing at Lake Lobo (which is Spanish for “wolf”) after all these years. The Legend, which we are privy to thanks to the intro, tells of a menacing shape-shifter sporting one green eye (and an eye of another color) who will stop at nothing to have the lake to itself.

THE MONSTER OF LAKE LOBO is a fast-paced adventure from the get-go. On the first page of the story, we see fear in Kevin’s eye, leading the reader two pages later to the climactic two-page, single-panel image where Kevin faces the great menace. Who is the mysterious monster – the one who (as legend tells it) is a friend by day and a carnivorous stalker by night? Who is his nemesis, the protector of the lake, the defender? How will young Kevin tell the difference?

It is perfect for young, struggling or inexperienced readers. The action and mystery are high, the reading level is for early grades (1-3) and the images create a spooky, scary setting thanks to most of the scenes occurring at night and the fact that the background behind the panels is black rather than white. For students looking for an age-appropriate monster book, THE MONSTER OF LAKE LOBO will satisfy.

Chris’ Rating: Ages 8 and older
Publisher’s Reading Level: Grades 1-3
Publisher’s Interest Level: Grades 2-5
Guided Reading Level: K
Lexile: GN 420L
ATOS: 2.6
AR Quiz No.: 115410
Dewey: 741.5

Pay attention, kids. The clues are there, hidden in the art and text of the story. By the end, the kids should be able to make excellent predictions of who is the monster of Lake Lobo. They should also be able to support those predictions with specific examples from the story (page 12, panel 1; or perhaps page 14, panels 1-2).

This book is a great resource to practice those all-important reading skills (infer, predict, retell, connect, analyze, interpret) Because of the length, a teacher could easily read it aloud to the class using a document camera. I would suggest leaving it up so students could continue to refer to it. The students could easily work in small groups to discuss the five elements of fiction (character, setting, plot, theme, and style) as well as practice those reading skills listed above.


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