Book Review + Giveaway: The Crabtree Monsters

Title: The Crabtree Monsters | Author: Chris Wieland | Genre: Middle Grade | Publisher: Smart Aleck Press | Publication Date: May 2022

Book Description: Moving from Los Angeles to tiny Crabtree, Michigan, is the last thing thirteen-year-old Kat Dylan wants to do. Crabtree’s seen better days and isn’t what you call welcoming. Worse, the move means living with her gruff Grandpa Nick, the town’s police chief, and having to look after her little brother, Alec.

And that’s before Kat and Alec find themselves in the middle of a bank holdup by the Monster Gang—four robbers in monster masks. Before the heist is over, the kids lose their cash and Alec comes within a hair of losing his life. When it is all over, Grandpa Nick goes to jail, accused of being one of the robbers himself.

Suddenly, this boring little town isn’t so boring anymore. Kat’s determined to find out who the men are behind the masks, and she’s going to need help. But exposing the robbers could have big consequences. The deeper Kat goes, the more she learns life is about making choices, including some that are a matter of life and death.

My Thoughts: From unexpected moves to a violent bank robbery and a thwarted escape plan, The Crabtree Monsters is non-stop action! Kat is an outspoken, self-assured 13-year-old who takes control of every aspect of her life. With her parents out of the picture, Kat must fend not only for herself, but for her younger brother while trying to clear the name of her guardian and grandfather. All of the evidence points to Grandpa Nick as the ringleader of the notorious and dangerous Monster Gang. There’s murder, grand theft auto, trespassing, breaking and entering and a slew of other misdemeanours that follow in the wake of the teen as she forges her own path through Crabtree.

With lots of dry humour and charged comebacks, the dialogue in this middle grade novel is especially contentious between Kat and anyone she’s talking to. The plot goes beyond what readers might expect in middle grade in ways such as the protagonist being suspended, apprehended from a crime scene or even going to jail. And just when readers think it can’t get any worse, Kat creates a catastrophe that gets her and her family even deeper in trouble. Crabtree has never seen anything like Kat Dylan.

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About the Author: Chris Wieland is an award-winning writer and filmmaker. He is also the father of two fierce children, including a tough, smart tween who helped him find the voice of his protagonist, Kat Dylan. He lives in Southern California with his family.

Author Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | TikTok

Giveaway: Enter for a chance to win a signed copy of The Crabtree Monsters and a $50 Barnes & Noble Gift Card! Click here for the entry form: https://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/2022/06/the-crabtree-monsters-awareness-tour. Good luck!


Tour Schedule:

Tuesday, June 14, 2022
The Children’s Book Review
Book review of The Crabtree Monsters

Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
An article by Chris Wieland


Thursday, June 16, 2022
The Fairview Review
Book review of The Crabtree Monsters


Friday, June 17, 2022
The Momma Spot
Book review of The Crabtree Monsters

Monday, June 20, 2022
Because I Said So
Book review of The Crabtree Monsters

Tuesday, June 21, 2022
The Children’s Book Review
A Growing Readers Podcast Interview with Chris Wieland


Wednesday, June 22, 2022
icefairy’s Treasure Chest
Book review of The Crabtree Monsters

Thursday, June 23, 2022
Lisa’s Reading
Book review of The Crabtree Monsters

Friday, June 24, 2022
J.R.s Book Reviews
Book review of The Crabtree Monsters

Monday, June 27, 2022
Tales of a Wanna-Be Superhero Mom
Book review of The Crabtree Monsters


Tuesday, June 28, 2022
The Children’s Book Review
Instagram Video Review


Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Barbara Ann Mojica
Book review of The Crabtree Monsters

Thursday, June 30, 2022
Shooting Stars Mag
An interview with Chris Wieland


Friday, July 1, 2022
Writer with Wanderlust
Book review of The Crabtree Monsters

A sincere thank you to the author and publisher for a copy of this book. I reviewed this book in partnership with The Children’s Book Review.