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Monsters in the Mist

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When Glennon McCue moves into a lighthouse on a mysterious island not found on any maps, he must figure out why those who visit are never heard from again before he and his family fall victim to the island's curse. When Glennon McCue_'s father takes an overseas position, Glennon finds himself relocated from Minneapolis to his Uncle's light house on Isle Philipeaux, smack da When Glennon McCue moves into a lighthouse on a mysterious island not found on any maps, he must figure out why those who visit are never heard from again before he and his family fall victim to the island's curse. When Glennon McCue_'s father takes an overseas position, Glennon finds himself relocated from Minneapolis to his Uncle's light house on Isle Philipeaux, smack dab in the middle of Lake Superior surrounded by nothing but black, ominous waters. The place is frightening and becomes even more so when a storm rocks the island and a ship wrecks outside the lighthouse. Even worse, the survivors are terrified to learn they've washed up on the phantom isle. There are many stories about Isle Philipeaux; sailors wash ashore...and are never seen again. Suddenly, Glennon finds himself in the middle of a real-life ghost story, and unless he can figure out the mystery of the island... he and his family will be lost forever, too.


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When Glennon McCue moves into a lighthouse on a mysterious island not found on any maps, he must figure out why those who visit are never heard from again before he and his family fall victim to the island's curse. When Glennon McCue_'s father takes an overseas position, Glennon finds himself relocated from Minneapolis to his Uncle's light house on Isle Philipeaux, smack da When Glennon McCue moves into a lighthouse on a mysterious island not found on any maps, he must figure out why those who visit are never heard from again before he and his family fall victim to the island's curse. When Glennon McCue_'s father takes an overseas position, Glennon finds himself relocated from Minneapolis to his Uncle's light house on Isle Philipeaux, smack dab in the middle of Lake Superior surrounded by nothing but black, ominous waters. The place is frightening and becomes even more so when a storm rocks the island and a ship wrecks outside the lighthouse. Even worse, the survivors are terrified to learn they've washed up on the phantom isle. There are many stories about Isle Philipeaux; sailors wash ashore...and are never seen again. Suddenly, Glennon finds himself in the middle of a real-life ghost story, and unless he can figure out the mystery of the island... he and his family will be lost forever, too.

30 review for Monsters in the Mist

  1. 5 out of 5

    RoshReviews

    In a Nutshell: A middle-grade horror story that works on two levels – supernatural horror as well as real-life horror. I loved how seamlessly the author interwove these distinct elements. Story: 1989. Thirteen year old Glennon McCue’s father has taken an overseas position and his mother doesn’t want to stay in an empty house. Thus Glennon finds himself temporarily relocated, along with his mother and his fourteen year old sister Lee, to his Uncle Job’s house, which is on Isle Philippeaux, right i In a Nutshell: A middle-grade horror story that works on two levels – supernatural horror as well as real-life horror. I loved how seamlessly the author interwove these distinct elements. Story: 1989. Thirteen year old Glennon McCue’s father has taken an overseas position and his mother doesn’t want to stay in an empty house. Thus Glennon finds himself temporarily relocated, along with his mother and his fourteen year old sister Lee, to his Uncle Job’s house, which is on Isle Philippeaux, right in the middle of Lake Superior. Glennon gets an eerie feeling from the island and its surroundings and even from some of its denizens, but he isn’t able to pinpoint what’s wrong. When a storm rocks the island and a ship wrecks near the lighthouse where Job works, the survivors either act strange or are terrified of having reached this isle. What is the secret of Isle Philippeaux? Why isn’t anyone answering Glennon’s queries about the island? Will his family and he be safe? Read and find out. Where the book worked for me: 👻 I can’t read adult-level paranormal horror as I'm a big scaredy-cat. So this book fit in with my requirements perfectly. It has a scrumptious mix of paranormal elements, right from creepy animals to eerie forests to spooky graveyards to “unhuman humans”. There was no gore too, which I had expected as this is aimed at kids. The writing is very atmospheric. 👻 As I said, the book balances paranormal components with real-life horror. There is an underlying thread throughout the story that talks of mental abuse. This is just brilliantly done. It is so subtle that I was wondering how kids will even understand what lies behind Lee’s panic attacks and Glennon’s low self-esteem and their mom’s apparent aloofness. But the author’s note at the end will help children to understand the issue better. The entire story works on this dual level – defeating the paranormal haunting and defeating whatever is haunting from within. 👻 I loved the message the author sent across in her author’s note. 👻 There are so many wonderful characters in the story. Glennon and Lee obviously take the lead in being well-crafted and layered characters, but some of the people around them too are created well enough to make an impact within a few pages. 👻 The book casts a wonderful light on the role of adults and children and the interconnection between these. The point it makes – that it is not the child’s duty to protect the adult but vice versa – is so relevant. A lot of the untold elements made me feel sad. 👻 So many books romanticise lighthouses. But this book shows the reality of living around them. I liked this look into life on on island and especially the importance of a lighthouse. 👻 There is a really smart cat in the story. His name is Seamus. Give me a book with a cat or a dog in a good role and the story will automatically get bonus points. 👻 There’s a wonderful map at the start. Where the book could have worked better for me: ☠ It is a bit repetitive and too descriptive, especially when it comes to Glennon’s feelings and the events occurring around him. The book could have easily been trimmed by a few pages without losing its impact. The wordy writing style might bore some of its readers. ☠ There are a few things that remain unexplained. This isn’t related to closure or the ending but with some minor plot points that don’t make sense after the big reveal. The story is too dark for a children’s book, and I don’t just mean the paranormal elements. Then again, I was always a child who never picked up a horror book, and even now, I rarely touch one. So there will certainly be little readers out there looking for a quaint ghost story. This is the book for them. I relished it more for the familial issues and how Glennon overcomes his deepest fears. Definitely recommended to middle-grade readers of paranormal horror. 4.25 stars. My thanks to SOURCEBOOKS Kids and NetGalley for the DRC of “Monsters in the Mist”. This review is voluntary and contains my honest opinion about the book. *********************** Join me on the Facebook group, Readers Forever! , for more reviews, book-related discussions and fun.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kirsty Carson

    When Glennon McCues father takes an overseas position, Glennon finds himself relocated from Minneapolis to his Uncle's light house on Isle Philipeaux, smack dab in the middle of Lake Superior surrounded by nothing but black, ominous waters. The place is frightening and becomes even more so when a storm rocks the island and a ship wrecks outside the lighthouse. Even worse, the survivors are terrified to learn they've washed up on the phantom isle. There are many stories about Isle Philipeaux; sail When Glennon McCues father takes an overseas position, Glennon finds himself relocated from Minneapolis to his Uncle's light house on Isle Philipeaux, smack dab in the middle of Lake Superior surrounded by nothing but black, ominous waters. The place is frightening and becomes even more so when a storm rocks the island and a ship wrecks outside the lighthouse. Even worse, the survivors are terrified to learn they've washed up on the phantom isle. There are many stories about Isle Philipeaux; sailors wash ashore...and are never seen again. Suddenly, Glennon finds himself in the middle of a real-life ghost story, and unless he can figure out the mystery of the island... he and his family will be lost forever, too. Filled with fear and friendship Monsters of the Mist is a nautical themed middle grade horror that delves into traditional ghost story territory but also deals with more ‘real’ fears as well. Brandt’s protagonist Glennon (never Glenn) is faced with multiple problems ranging from looking after/saving his family, dealing with the ghosts on the isle and coming to terms with his traumatic and tumultuous relationship with his father. Brandt manages to deliver some very poignant and heart felt messages about family and relationships in her novel whilst also entertaining her readers with a little spook and spectre fest which is why I loved this book so much!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Belles Middle Grade Library

    Wow. So many feelings. This was amazing. A super creepy MG, with important & hard issues at its core. The way the author makes this such an enjoyable spooky story at the same time as weaving those hard topics into the story..where the ghosts, this place, hauntings all are representing real life issues in a way-brilliant. It’s very rare I see abuse talked about in MG. Granted, I don’t read a lot of contemporary where it would probably be. But I don’t think it’s a “contemporary only” subject. It i Wow. So many feelings. This was amazing. A super creepy MG, with important & hard issues at its core. The way the author makes this such an enjoyable spooky story at the same time as weaving those hard topics into the story..where the ghosts, this place, hauntings all are representing real life issues in a way-brilliant. It’s very rare I see abuse talked about in MG. Granted, I don’t read a lot of contemporary where it would probably be. But I don’t think it’s a “contemporary only” subject. It is something that needs to be talked about more in all genres. This author did so beautifully. This may be a fantasy/paranormal story, but when it all comes together in your head & you see the bigger picture of what every single part means-such an even bigger impact for me. As a kid I could’ve used books like this, & I would’ve been more drawn to a spooky book too. It’s perfect. I grew up thinking arguing, yelling, physical abuse was normal-between my mom & stepdad. I was never hit. Just verbal/emotional..which I’ve said before I think can be worse. Bruises heal, words go deeper. But it created a cycle that led me to be abused in every way in my adult relationships. Kids need to see stories like this that help them realize they’re not alone, they ARE worthy, & they deserve to feel safe & loved. No parent should ever make their child feel like they’re nothing. Calling them names, putting them down, making them afraid where they should feel safe. You take away their innocence & their childhood. I was lucky & broke the cycle, but it is SO HARD. Many can’t. Childhood has a big impact on the people we will become. It’s so important to show kids what is not ok & what is. What real love looks like, what they deserve & what they should never tolerate nor what they should ever do to others as well. This environment can make a stronger sibling bond just like in this book. My older brother protected me so much, & we went through so much together. I love Glennon & Lee’s relationship in here, & how they grew even closer when they opened up even more. I absolutely loved Glennon’s character growth/development. It made my heart so happy seeing how far he came. When he started to think maybe he WAS worthy & he WAS smart..I cried. So happy & proud of that kid. Uncle Job has my heart. That’s a REAL man-a man that knows what love looks like. I think the PTSD & anxiety rep with both kids was VERY well done. The authors note in the back going over these things even made me cry. Some wounds just never fully heal. That’s why kids should never be given this pain to begin with. It will never go away. ANYWAY, as for the spooky parts, etc. SO GOOD! I was not expecting to be so creeped out! Lol I loved it! The whole backstory of this place, & the people who live there..the lighthouses, the keepers, the rats, etc. So imaginative. Such an ATMOSPHERIC read as well. Vivid, detailed writing. The twists were so good. Of course great messages/lessons in here. Hurt people hurt people. Never makes it ok. Some people can’t deal with the monster they see in the mirror, so they get worse & make anyones lives that love them miserable. This was a book that made me remember & relive some of my own demons/monsters, but it was an amazing read. Makes me so happy there are authors like this who are putting out books that will help so many kids. Thank you-for them & for little me. Highly recommend! This just came out the other day too! Beautiful cover by Dan Burgess as well!💜

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nathaniel

    What I have grown to love about Brandt is the way her books build so softly, like a whisper that suddenly turns into a shout. The climax is kind of always there, in a sense, but when it finally hits everything slides into place so well. Monsters in the Mist was no exception. I was left guessing for much of the book, but there were also so many clues that all made sense at the end. I felt very satisfied when this book was over. It was really good. Another thing I love is the fact that this book doe What I have grown to love about Brandt is the way her books build so softly, like a whisper that suddenly turns into a shout. The climax is kind of always there, in a sense, but when it finally hits everything slides into place so well. Monsters in the Mist was no exception. I was left guessing for much of the book, but there were also so many clues that all made sense at the end. I felt very satisfied when this book was over. It was really good. Another thing I love is the fact that this book doesn't skip over some of the hardships of growing up with a distant or abusive parent. As an older reader, I was able to pick up signs that the character didn't see and it made me sad but I also LOVED the representation it held here. Children don't have to be protected from the knowledge that not every parent is a good parent. This is definitely another win from Juliana Brandt. Can't wait for her next release.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cristy Villemaire

    What an incredible and atmospheric story. Imagine having to stay in an island surrounded by the majestic and powerful waters of Lake Superior called Isle Philippeaux. We are introduced to Glennon McCue and his family, his sister Lee and mom. They are staying in one of the island's lighthouses with his Uncle Job until his dad comes back from teaching overseas. Glennon is definitely starting to feel a bit of cabin fever and tries to ride his bike as much as possible. He immediately starts sensing What an incredible and atmospheric story. Imagine having to stay in an island surrounded by the majestic and powerful waters of Lake Superior called Isle Philippeaux. We are introduced to Glennon McCue and his family, his sister Lee and mom. They are staying in one of the island's lighthouses with his Uncle Job until his dad comes back from teaching overseas. Glennon is definitely starting to feel a bit of cabin fever and tries to ride his bike as much as possible. He immediately starts sensing weird and unsettling events throughout the island. Soon he notices bizarre behavior from shipwrecked survivors and Glennon will have to face what is reality and what is not. Absolutely love how the author touches on sensitive topics like family issues, fear and post dramatic experiences. The book has such a rich atmosphere full of suspense and mystery, definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves middle grade and is looking for a unique story.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Keisha | A Book Like You

    ***Thank you so much to the author for sending me an advanced copy. This was one of my most anticipated spooky mg books for this year! BRIEF SYNOPSIS When Glennon McCue moves into a lighthouse on a mysterious island, he must figure out why those who visit are never heard from again… before he and his family fall victim to the island’s curse. star rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 scare rating: 👻👻/5 LIKES 🌊 Eerie seaside atmosphere. 🗺 The inclusion of a map. 👻 The combination of both a good ghost story and tangible, real ***Thank you so much to the author for sending me an advanced copy. This was one of my most anticipated spooky mg books for this year! BRIEF SYNOPSIS When Glennon McCue moves into a lighthouse on a mysterious island, he must figure out why those who visit are never heard from again… before he and his family fall victim to the island’s curse. star rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 scare rating: 👻👻/5 LIKES 🌊 Eerie seaside atmosphere. 🗺 The inclusion of a map. 👻 The combination of both a good ghost story and tangible, real-life fears. 💔 Glennon’s coming to terms with what was going on in his family. 📝 The author’s note regarding the hardhitting subject matter in the story. DISLIKES 👴🏻I found it a little strange that the main characters were 13 and 14 years-old in a middle grade novel (which are typically marketed for 8-12 year-olds). I definitely viewed the characters as younger while reading. 🤔 It was a bit unbelievable to me that it took so long for Glennon to realize what was happening in the island (specifically with the people).

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Vitalis

    This author's writing is always absolutely gorgeous, and this book is no exception! When Glennon's father takes a job overseas, his family goes to stay on an island. But strange things start to happen on the island, and Glennon soon finds himself trying to make sense of what he's seeing and experiencing--just like he's trying to make sense of the echoes of his father's cruel voice in his head. This story is creepy and heart-wrenching and an all around wonderful read. This author's writing is always absolutely gorgeous, and this book is no exception! When Glennon's father takes a job overseas, his family goes to stay on an island. But strange things start to happen on the island, and Glennon soon finds himself trying to make sense of what he's seeing and experiencing--just like he's trying to make sense of the echoes of his father's cruel voice in his head. This story is creepy and heart-wrenching and an all around wonderful read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Paperbacks

    Unfortunately this story just wasn't for me, I'm not a fan of ghost stories. It did hold my interest to finish it, but it was a little too creepy for being a middle grade book. *trigger warnings for subject matter on ptsd and verbal abuse. Glennon and his mom and sister arrive at an island to visit his uncle, what follows is mysterious creatures, scary situations and they need to figure out what is going on before they aren't able to leave the island....ever! Thank you to #netgalley for the copy. Unfortunately this story just wasn't for me, I'm not a fan of ghost stories. It did hold my interest to finish it, but it was a little too creepy for being a middle grade book. *trigger warnings for subject matter on ptsd and verbal abuse. Glennon and his mom and sister arrive at an island to visit his uncle, what follows is mysterious creatures, scary situations and they need to figure out what is going on before they aren't able to leave the island....ever! Thank you to #netgalley for the copy.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte

    an excellent pick if you want really creepy middle grade horror! don't read if you've planned a vacation to an island in Lake Superior. an excellent pick if you want really creepy middle grade horror! don't read if you've planned a vacation to an island in Lake Superior.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    Like many scary books for children, the main character of Monsters in the Mist faces off with external threats, the 'monsters' of the title. What made this story stand out for me, was the interweaving of the main character's internal battles with the external ones. Glennon, his mother, and sister have been staying on Isle Philippeaux with his Uncle Job for a couple of months. But as the time comes for them to get ready to leave, Glennon starts to realize that things are really, really wrong. The Like many scary books for children, the main character of Monsters in the Mist faces off with external threats, the 'monsters' of the title. What made this story stand out for me, was the interweaving of the main character's internal battles with the external ones. Glennon, his mother, and sister have been staying on Isle Philippeaux with his Uncle Job for a couple of months. But as the time comes for them to get ready to leave, Glennon starts to realize that things are really, really wrong. The crash of a ship on the rocks below the lighthouse where his uncle works and the arrival of the survivors gets Glennon thinking about what's really occurring on the island. While things on the island get more and more perilous, Glennon wrestles with his own personal issues and fears as well as those of his sister and mother. Only by confronting his own beliefs and lack of confidence will Glennon have any hope of saving himself and his family from the horrors of the island. This story revolves around fantastical elements, but the courage and determination that Glennon must develop in order to face the 'monsters' are very real. I appreciated the way the author blended the real and the make-believe to create a story that rings true in a lot of ways. Young readers who enjoy scary, creepy stories will find much to enjoy here in both primary and secondary characters and plotlines. In the end, it's Glennon's love of his family that keeps the book centered as he struggles with his foes but inside and out.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Read this review on Got Fiction? Book Blog I saw the publisher tweeting about this, and it looked perfect for my kiddo! She and I have been reading together every night, and if you saw my YA Month back in January, you’ll see her taste runs towards ghostly mysteries. Not scary, but definitely mysterious. This book sounded right up her alley. I immediately went over to Netgalley and requested it. Thankfully Sourcebooks approved me. My daughter is 8, and I will say I wouldn’t recommend this for the u Read this review on Got Fiction? Book Blog I saw the publisher tweeting about this, and it looked perfect for my kiddo! She and I have been reading together every night, and if you saw my YA Month back in January, you’ll see her taste runs towards ghostly mysteries. Not scary, but definitely mysterious. This book sounded right up her alley. I immediately went over to Netgalley and requested it. Thankfully Sourcebooks approved me. My daughter is 8, and I will say I wouldn’t recommend this for the under 10 age group. This book is intriguing, and exciting, and heart-poundingly intense. It also deals with some very heavy subject matter. Glennon, his sister Lee, their mom, and the family cat Seamus, all pack up and move to Isle Philippeaux, and island on Lake Superior. They will stay with their uncle Job while their dad is in Brussels teaching. Their mom doesn’t like to be alone while their dad is gone, and he travels a lot. Someone else we see in bits and pieces, in the way they walk on eggshells, on the way they freeze at the sound of anger, is that their dad is abusive. He may not have ever hit them, but his words are his weapon of choice, and the kids each have their own trauma to deal with. However, this is the 1980s, and it wasn’t commonly talked about. So they join their uncle for a few months. The goal is to leave at Christmas and head home. But someone has other plans. The island is weird. Glennon feels it immediately, but he’s learned to doubt himself, so every time something feels off, he ignores it, tells himself he’s making things up. Tells himself, in his father’s voice, to be logical. One night, a violent crash resonates on the island, and his uncle, one of the lighthouse keepers, takes his lantern and heads out to investigate. Glennon goes with him, and sees a ship crashed on the shoals of Isle Philippeaux. They can’t do anything to help, since the fog has rolled in and the storm is violent, but a rope is tossed out and 3 people climb up to safety. However, something feels wrong to Glennon. He can’t put his finger on it, but something feels wrong. He convinces himself he’s being illogical and silly. Until he realizes that his older sister is noticing too. The two of them band together to try to figure out what exactly is happening on the isle, and they find a few people to help them, but not without cost. As they try to figure out what haunts the isle, they need to face what haunts them as well. No one leaves the island unscathed. For Glennon, he needs to face the fact that his father is not the hero he wants him to be. And until he can do that, his family won’t be safe. Since this book hasn’t come out yet, I won’t spoil the mystery of this phantom island, but it’s an amazing twist, and I loved the way it was formed (the island and the plot). That being said, this subject matter was probably too advanced for my daughter, but we had some important conversations with it. I wish the author’s note was at the front of the book rather than the end. I think I would like another book that takes place on the cold waters of Lake Superior, and her phantom island Isle Philippeaux. There’s a lot that could be done with that as a series. Bring it into the future, or even take it to the past. I hope one day we get to revisit this mysterious island. Full of rich descriptions, and vivid realism, even amongst the ghosts, Ms. Brandt has created an intriguing island and an even more intriguing cast of characters. ***ARC courtesy of Sourcebooks via Netgalley

  12. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Read this review on Got Fiction? Book Blog I saw the publisher tweeting about this, and it looked perfect for my kiddo! She and I have been reading together every night, and if you saw my YA Month back in January, you’ll see her taste runs towards ghostly mysteries. Not scary, but definitely mysterious. This book sounded right up her alley. I immediately went over to Netgalley and requested it. Thankfully Sourcebooks approved me. My daughter is 8, and I will say I wouldn’t recommend this for the u Read this review on Got Fiction? Book Blog I saw the publisher tweeting about this, and it looked perfect for my kiddo! She and I have been reading together every night, and if you saw my YA Month back in January, you’ll see her taste runs towards ghostly mysteries. Not scary, but definitely mysterious. This book sounded right up her alley. I immediately went over to Netgalley and requested it. Thankfully Sourcebooks approved me. My daughter is 8, and I will say I wouldn’t recommend this for the under 10 age group. This book is intriguing, and exciting, and heart-poundingly intense. It also deals with some very heavy subject matter. Glennon, his sister Lee, their mom, and the family cat Seamus, all pack up and move to Isle Philippeaux, and island on Lake Superior. They will stay with their uncle Job while their dad is in Brussels teaching. Their mom doesn’t like to be alone while their dad is gone, and he travels a lot. Someone else we see in bits and pieces, in the way they walk on eggshells, on the way they freeze at the sound of anger, is that their dad is abusive. He may not have ever hit them, but his words are his weapon of choice, and the kids each have their own trauma to deal with. However, this is the 1980s, and it wasn’t commonly talked about. So they join their uncle for a few months. The goal is to leave at Christmas and head home. But someone has other plans. The island is weird. Glennon feels it immediately, but he’s learned to doubt himself, so every time something feels off, he ignores it, tells himself he’s making things up. Tells himself, in his father’s voice, to be logical. One night, a violent crash resonates on the island, and his uncle, one of the lighthouse keepers, takes his lantern and heads out to investigate. Glennon goes with him, and sees a ship crashed on the shoals of Isle Philippeaux. They can’t do anything to help, since the fog has rolled in and the storm is violent, but a rope is tossed out and 3 people climb up to safety. However, something feels wrong to Glennon. He can’t put his finger on it, but something feels wrong. He convinces himself he’s being illogical and silly. Until he realizes that his older sister is noticing too. The two of them band together to try to figure out what exactly is happening on the isle, and they find a few people to help them, but not without cost. As they try to figure out what haunts the isle, they need to face what haunts them as well. No one leaves the island unscathed. For Glennon, he needs to face the fact that his father is not the hero he wants him to be. And until he can do that, his family won’t be safe. Since this book hasn’t come out yet, I won’t spoil the mystery of this phantom island, but it’s an amazing twist, and I loved the way it was formed (the island and the plot). That being said, this subject matter was probably too advanced for my daughter, but we had some important conversations with it. I wish the author’s note was at the front of the book rather than the end. I think I would like another book that takes place on the cold waters of Lake Superior, and her phantom island Isle Philippeaux. There’s a lot that could be done with that as a series. Bring it into the future, or even take it to the past. I hope one day we get to revisit this mysterious island. Full of rich descriptions, and vivid realism, even amongst the ghosts, Ms. Brandt has created an intriguing island and an even more intriguing cast of characters. ***ARC courtesy of Sourcebooks via Netgalley

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    For the past few months, thirteen year old Glennon McCue has been living with his sister and mother on the mysterious Isle Philippeaux in the middle of Lake Superior. His dad is teaching overseas, and because their grandmother has passed away, Glennon’s Uncle Job has offered to host his family through the semester. As the day of their departure grows closer, though, strange events begin taking place on the island, leading Glennon and his family to meet unusual characters even as a general feelin For the past few months, thirteen year old Glennon McCue has been living with his sister and mother on the mysterious Isle Philippeaux in the middle of Lake Superior. His dad is teaching overseas, and because their grandmother has passed away, Glennon’s Uncle Job has offered to host his family through the semester. As the day of their departure grows closer, though, strange events begin taking place on the island, leading Glennon and his family to meet unusual characters even as a general feeling of wrongness settles over the isle itself. Ominous messages cause Glennon to investigate his surroundings more closely, and when it looks like the mysterious Waning may take place before they are able to depart the island, Glennon bravely seeks answers to his most pressing questions. Due to the complexity and depth of the storytelling, this book is best suited to more confident upper middle grade and young adult readers, especially those who enjoy tales that examine layers of the human mental condition. From the very beginning of this book, beautifully descriptive writing makes each moment in the narrative tangible, especially as myriad inanimate objects are personified. The story begins slowly, much like the placidity of a lake in the calm before a storm hits. As more details come to light, the intensity of the narrative increases, buffeting readers in the gales existing both outside the isle and inside Glennon’s own mind. Readers are carried along for the ride, and they will be compelled to determine what is really going on and where the boundary between reality and fiction truly lies. Clues emerge from unusual circumstances within the novel that provide some insight into how the story will play out, but readers are primarily working alongside Glennon to discover the truth of his situation. The stakes are high in this suspenseful upper middle grade novel. On its face, it is a spooky ghost story that incorporates ongoing feelings of danger and mystery throughout. Beneath this, though, is a sense of foreboding not just for the characters in Glennon’s immediate vicinity, but also for real players in Glennon’s life outside the isle. An author’s note at the end of the book speaks to the emotional abuse referenced throughout the novel, encouraging readers to seek support if they find themselves in a similar situation. The multifaceted approach taken in this novel transforms the story into one that can be interpreted at several levels and can, under the right circumstances, help guide readers toward healing. This is a powerful and thought-provoking novel for confident upper middle grade readers who enjoy novels with high-intensity storytelling.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Eule Luftschloss

    trigger warning (view spoiler)[ emotional abuse, PTSD, panic attacks (hide spoiler)] Shortly before his family is finally going home, leaving the creepy island, strange things begin to happen. A ship crashes into the cliffs, and the survivors seems... odd. Island life. This island in question is on Lake Superior, and the timing for reading this book could not have been better for me, as I recently delved deepd into the Youtube channel askamortician and watched Caitlin Doughty's video about Lake S trigger warning (view spoiler)[ emotional abuse, PTSD, panic attacks (hide spoiler)] Shortly before his family is finally going home, leaving the creepy island, strange things begin to happen. A ship crashes into the cliffs, and the survivors seems... odd. Island life. This island in question is on Lake Superior, and the timing for reading this book could not have been better for me, as I recently delved deepd into the Youtube channel askamortician and watched Caitlin Doughty's video about Lake Superior, a.k.a. the lake that never gives up her dead. It's winter, either it's raining and winds are racing across the island, or the mist surrounds everything and makes life feel muted. So far, Glennon and his sister mostly stayed indoors, and they're homeschooled for as long as they're with their uncle, their mother's brother, who works as a lightkeeper. Every single time Glennon or his sister head out, their mom reminds them to tell people that they're not strangers, they're with their uncle. They belong. Glennon is counting days till their departure. At first, because he wants to be reunited with his father, who has a posting overseas, but then he senses they need to get off the island, as quick as they can, because something's happening. And he's not sure what, so he doesn't know what to do about it. Which brings me something that made me very happy: When in doubt, Glennon goes to the library. YES! This book was creepy. Normally, I try to read horror books when it's dark, maybe by candlelight, in a secluded spot, but this was quite creepy in the daylight, while not being the only person in the room. I enjoyed it, and I'd like to read more by the author. What else I really liked: Before the usual acknowledgements, there's a note by the author explaining about abuse, PTSD, and healing. In a way the target audience can understand, and giving tips on how to get help. YES. This is how you handle sensitive material. The arc was provided by the publisher.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    I was in a mood for something creepy when I received a review request for Monster's in the Mist, and this certainly hit the spot. The story is one that slowly burns, we get to know Glennon, Lee and what brought them to Isle Philippeaux, but from there it grows in intensity. Glennon begins to unravel the mystery of the island and what he finds, well he has every reason to be scared of. Even I was scared for him and Lee. And the monsters of this story, well let's just say that the phantom ghosts a I was in a mood for something creepy when I received a review request for Monster's in the Mist, and this certainly hit the spot. The story is one that slowly burns, we get to know Glennon, Lee and what brought them to Isle Philippeaux, but from there it grows in intensity. Glennon begins to unravel the mystery of the island and what he finds, well he has every reason to be scared of. Even I was scared for him and Lee. And the monsters of this story, well let's just say that the phantom ghosts and the real-life monster that is present in Glennon's life was equally frightening. This story really does build in the horror department and has a lot of depth, delving into some pretty deep subjects, like PTSD, panic attacks and the overall pain of abuse. For Glennon and Lee it is the verbal abuse and raging anger that their dad displays toward them that is also present toward their mom. Glennon, Lee and their mom have each found their own ways to exist amongst this terrible emotional and verbally abusive situation. I really appreciated the author's letter to the reader at the end of the book explaining how not all abuse is physical, that the words Glennon's father used in the story were forms of verbal and emotionally abuse. I also especially liked the encouragement that Brandt offers for children who may recognize any of these actions to seek a trusted adults help, whether a trusted teacher or counselor. Finally, I felt the love that exists between these siblings, the way that they support each other and understand each other's needs. I'd recommend this to the readers who enjoyed A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, it had that same sort of feeling of confusion and sadness with the greater theme of finding the truth of what haunts them. Overall, the story left me optimistic about Glennon and Lee's future and I really wanted them to be free from the pain that was being inflicted on them. **A huge thank you to Sourcebooks for the E-ARC**

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joey Susan

    Thank you so much to Sourcebooks and Netgalley for the ebook to read and review. Glennon, his mom and sister Lee have moved to stay with their uncle on a really tiny island but as a shipwreck happens Glennon starts seeing things and the island becomes creepier add in his intrusive thoughts of all the detrimental things his father has told him and he feels he’s going insane. This was really not what I thought it was going to be at all, i didn’t enjoy this book at all. I’m sad to say that because i Thank you so much to Sourcebooks and Netgalley for the ebook to read and review. Glennon, his mom and sister Lee have moved to stay with their uncle on a really tiny island but as a shipwreck happens Glennon starts seeing things and the island becomes creepier add in his intrusive thoughts of all the detrimental things his father has told him and he feels he’s going insane. This was really not what I thought it was going to be at all, i didn’t enjoy this book at all. I’m sad to say that because it sounded really good to me, it has three elements I love a small island, lighthouses and horror/creepiness. It just wasn’t a story for me which is okay as someone else is going to love this book. I found I didn’t like any of the characters and that is literally the thing that makes it hard for me to sink into a story. They all sounded so very immature in comparison to ages they they were depicted as within the story. She did include some character progression in the story though as Glennon eventually figures out what was really happening behind the closed doors with his family. I also personally found the writing style to be really hard to get into and it was really not easy for me to wrap my head around, not sure why but it’s just how it was for me. I will say that the author has done a good job, she did create this really creepy small haunting island atmosphere, came up with a really creative storyline that I hadn’t really seen be done before. I can definitely see others reading this and being on the edge of their seats and wanting desperately to know more and having such a thrill reading this book. So just because this was not a book I personally could sink into and enjoy, really doesn’t mean that you won’t. That’s the greatest thing about books, there will always be people out there that will love them and some that don’t.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Critter

    I would like to thank Sourcebooks for providing me with an ARC through their Early Reads program. I really appreciate what Brandt was trying to do with this book. A major part of this book's theme is about abuse, and especially emotional abuse. I don't often get to see this in books, and certainly not in middle grade books. However, I just didn't love this book. The writing style didn't work for me and made it difficult for me to get into the book. It was slow paced, which does help to set up the I would like to thank Sourcebooks for providing me with an ARC through their Early Reads program. I really appreciate what Brandt was trying to do with this book. A major part of this book's theme is about abuse, and especially emotional abuse. I don't often get to see this in books, and certainly not in middle grade books. However, I just didn't love this book. The writing style didn't work for me and made it difficult for me to get into the book. It was slow paced, which does help to set up the background and begin to introduce the conflict, but it didn't hold my attention. I also didn't connect with the characters. Like some other reviewers, I felt the voices of the children in this story to seem less mature than what we were told they were. I did love the setting. Brandt did an amazing job describing the island and setting the tone of the book. The main issues and the setup were great. This book just did not personally work with my tastes. The theme was great and I'm really happy that Brandt covered emotional abuse because we don't often get to see in middle grade fiction.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Library Queen

    Full disclosure, I'm not normally into scary books at all, but I'm really enjoying the Small Spaces series, and I thought 'hey, maybe it's adult creepy books you don't like, maybe kids scary books would be interesting', so when I had a chance to read this, my brain went why not, and here I am. This book was set in the 80s, and it really felt like it, I kept thinking parts of this would definitely work as an 80s scary movie, right before the whole PG-13 rating came out and they were unsure exactly Full disclosure, I'm not normally into scary books at all, but I'm really enjoying the Small Spaces series, and I thought 'hey, maybe it's adult creepy books you don't like, maybe kids scary books would be interesting', so when I had a chance to read this, my brain went why not, and here I am. This book was set in the 80s, and it really felt like it, I kept thinking parts of this would definitely work as an 80s scary movie, right before the whole PG-13 rating came out and they were unsure exactly what would be age appropriate. I was not expecting to have feelings with this book either, this book did an excellent job of showing a more subtle form of abuse, set during a time when people didn't really view it as such. The monsters are genuinely scary, but the book reminds us not all monsters are supernatural and easy to spot. It was surprisingly deep for what I thought was just going to be a kiddie creep show, so bravo. I received this book from Sourcebooks Early Reads program, and I was not required to give it a review. All opinions are my own.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kayla Phaneuf

    ARC provided by Netgalley This book was so fun! I think this is a perfect "intro to horror" type story for young readers who love spooky or supernatural elements in stories. Juliana Brandt perfectly balances the darker sides of the thriller/horror genre with the fun and entertaining elements often found in middle grade novels. Horror is all about introducing deeper themes in a new and exciting and adventurous way, and I think she did that wonderfully with Monsters in the Mist. There's a lot of he ARC provided by Netgalley This book was so fun! I think this is a perfect "intro to horror" type story for young readers who love spooky or supernatural elements in stories. Juliana Brandt perfectly balances the darker sides of the thriller/horror genre with the fun and entertaining elements often found in middle grade novels. Horror is all about introducing deeper themes in a new and exciting and adventurous way, and I think she did that wonderfully with Monsters in the Mist. There's a lot of heavier elements: sickness, loneliness, death, grief, parental abuse, panic attacks, and fear, that are approached in a way that is really special and creative. I think this is a great way to help young readers talk about some of these bigger topics they might be experiencing in their own lives or see their friends experiencing. This would be a great October read!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kara

    Another middle grade from Juliana Brandt with plenty of heart and charm, this time with a touch of spooky. When a boat crashes off the coast of the island where Glennon's father is a lighthouse keeper, monsters show up soon after, he's sure of it, even if he doesn't completely believe in them as much as his younger sister Leeunah does. Can he figure out the mystery of the monsters in the mist before they hurt someone? I was extremely lucky to read an early version of this story, and I can't wait Another middle grade from Juliana Brandt with plenty of heart and charm, this time with a touch of spooky. When a boat crashes off the coast of the island where Glennon's father is a lighthouse keeper, monsters show up soon after, he's sure of it, even if he doesn't completely believe in them as much as his younger sister Leeunah does. Can he figure out the mystery of the monsters in the mist before they hurt someone? I was extremely lucky to read an early version of this story, and I can't wait to see its final form on bookshelves soon.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jay Gabler

    Is there such a thing as a "real life" phantom island? If there is, Isle Philippeaux qualifies. Until the 1820s, maps of Lake Superior placed a sizable island right in the middle of the lake. Mistaken double-mapping of Isle Royale is one plausible explanation for the error, but Juliana Brandt found herself contemplating a supernatural explanation. I interviewed Brandt for the Duluth News Tribune. Is there such a thing as a "real life" phantom island? If there is, Isle Philippeaux qualifies. Until the 1820s, maps of Lake Superior placed a sizable island right in the middle of the lake. Mistaken double-mapping of Isle Royale is one plausible explanation for the error, but Juliana Brandt found herself contemplating a supernatural explanation. I interviewed Brandt for the Duluth News Tribune.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Matt.

    Monsters in the Mist was a book that I was looking forward to reading since it was outside of my comfort zone. When I reached the halfway point I started having the feeling that I was forcing myself to read this. I ended up finishing this book and though it wasn't for me it is a well written piece of work. Thank you to NetGalley and SOURCEBOOKS Kids, Sourcebooks Young Readers for this advanced copy. Monsters in the Mist was a book that I was looking forward to reading since it was outside of my comfort zone. When I reached the halfway point I started having the feeling that I was forcing myself to read this. I ended up finishing this book and though it wasn't for me it is a well written piece of work. Thank you to NetGalley and SOURCEBOOKS Kids, Sourcebooks Young Readers for this advanced copy.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Wynn

    I won’t summarize as other readers have done that much better than I ever could. I recommend this ghost story to readers grade 4-5 and up. As an adult I found plenty of goosebumpy moments that were simply delicious! Lake Superior has quite a history of disasters that the author has used well in her telling. Brandt’s magical system on and in the Isle Philippeaux is creative and believable. IF I believed in ghosts, they would certainly be on that island.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Karen Bell

    I read this with my teen grandchild and was very pleased that I did not read it with the younger children. There was no gory scenes but the horror was psychological and would have led to many discussions I am not yet ready to have with the younger ones. As it was, we really enjoyed it and led to to very interesting conversations.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus A bit reminiscent of Gemeinhart's Scar Island or with a slight touch of Walker's The Ash House. I feel like I've read several about children moving to mysterious islands. Had its scary moments, and also some social issues. E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus A bit reminiscent of Gemeinhart's Scar Island or with a slight touch of Walker's The Ash House. I feel like I've read several about children moving to mysterious islands. Had its scary moments, and also some social issues.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    Full of shivery atmosphere and poignant remembrances, Monsters in the Mist is an otherworldly tale that gently and bravely explores how to confront the very things that haunt you.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    Fabulous!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Becca_bookworm

    Loved the ghost story and mystery.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ross

    Hello! I loved this book so so much. It was the perfect mix of funny and scary! I couldn't put it down Hello! I loved this book so so much. It was the perfect mix of funny and scary! I couldn't put it down

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