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  • Today, "The Monsters of Rookhaven" by Pádraig Kenny, published on January 20, 2022 by Lumen Editions.

Anne-So "Echos de Mots", youth literary blogger and contributor to the

20 Minutes

Books reading group, recommends

Les Monstres de Rookhaven

 by Pádraig Kenny, volume 1 of which was released on January 20, 2022 by Éditions Lumen.

His favorite quote:

Goret belongs neither to the past, nor to the present, nor to the future, because he lives outside of time, he sees what others cannot see and knows what they ignore.

There is one thing in particular that he knows for sure: he knows that he will be free very soon.

Why this book?

  • Because

    Les Monstres de Rookhaven

    is a children's novel

    in which we discover Mirabelle and her family of "monsters". Together, they live in the shelter of the human world in a mansion covered with a magical veil concealing them. Formerly hunted by men, the monsters have made a pact with the villagers: in exchange for food, they promise not to bite the inhabitants and to remain hidden. One day, a tear in the veil allows two orphaned and very very human children, Jem and Tom, to enter their world...

  • Because this novel deals with subjects that can be found regularly

    in children's stories such as: mourning, friendship, family, tolerance, self-discovery and overcoming fear.

    Despite the themes often discussed, the novel is nonetheless original thanks to the very special Mirabelle family, but also thanks to a shivering atmosphere that sometimes gave me the impression of being in the Adams family mansion.

  • Because Edward Bettison's black and white illustrations,

    sublime and dark, perfectly complement this gothic tale. The object book – as often with Lumen editions – is a little gem and perfectly reflects the story. The novel can sometimes be really disturbing – even can scare the most nervous of us but I will not admit anything – and the work of the illustrator is really striking when it comes to supporting this strange atmosphere.

  • Because if this gothic tale can sometimes make us shiver,

    the author has found a perfect balance in his narration and the novel can also be deeply touching. Indeed, a certain beauty and infinite sweetness emerges in the relationships between the characters and in their descriptions. You quickly fall under the spell of this little world and you quickly realize that you should not trust appearances and that the real monsters are not always those who look like them.

  • Because it's an absolutely brilliant children's novel halfway


    The Adams Family


    Miss Peregrine and Peculiar Children


    The dark and misty atmosphere will appeal to young daredevils and the many superbly crafted characters seem to come to life under the still efficient pen of Pádraig Kenny.

    There is a certain beauty and an infinite sweetness in this novel which reminds young and old alike of what is really important.

The essentials in 2 minutes

The plot.

 While Mirabelle and her family of monsters live peacefully in a magically hidden mansion in the middle of the forest, two human orphans come to turn their daily lives upside down.

Unfortunately, a serious danger lurks and threatens to upset the course of things.


 The characters are the young Mirabelle and her "monstrous" family as well as Jem and Tom, two human orphans.


 The novel takes place mainly within the family of Mirabelle, in the mansion beyond the veil.

The time.

 The novel begins a week before the talkative Tom and the thoughtful Jem invite themselves to the Manor in the hopes of sleeping somewhere other than a car and finding something to eat.

The author.

 Pádraig Kenny is an Irish writer from Newbridge in County Kildare.

He also wrote the equally touching Les Orphelins de Métal, also published by Lumen in France.

Edward Bettison is an English graphic designer and illustrator.

This book was read with

 pleasure by Anne-So Echos de Mots, blogger specializing in children's and teenage literature.

“For me, reading can be as much a personal pleasure in which one runs to take refuge as an excuse to discuss and meet other readers.

I am a lover of words always interested in new discoveries.


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