"The Wavering Werewolf" by David Lubar is the third book in the "Accidental Monster" series set in the town of Lewington. It's a town where strange things have been happening. Kids from the Washington Irving Elementary School have been turning into monsters -- literally.
In this book, the main character, Norman, is turned into a werewolf. He might be more surprised if his best friend, Sebastian, hadn't recently been turned into a vampire ("The Vanishing Vampire") and Sebastian's sister into a witch ("The Unwilling Witch"). The first book in the series, "Hyde and Shriek" was about a teacher who put the wrong ingredients into her morning smoothie and turned into a combo of mean substitute teacher Ms. Hyde and sweet sixth grade student Jackie.
Lubar's legendary humor and dry wit are in full force, yet the story is also often quite poignant. His main characters are unique, and Norman is no exception. When he is in a jam, he begins talking (on and on and on) about what he is interested in, and that immediately makes adults ignore him. Don't we all know someone like that -- someone who drones on and on about something that no one else in the world cares about? Norman has perfected the art and uses it as a weapon. Perhaps we should pay more attention when others do that -- to deflect attention, maybe?
The stories have a strong moral code in addition to the humor and thrills. Cruelty has consequences and apologizing is never out of style. While it's not necessary to have read the previous books in the series, they are so good -- why not start at the beginning and enjoy them in order?
The series is perfect for girls and boys from second grade through sixth. It's not difficult reading, so the younger kids will enjoy it, but it's also got enough "meat" in it that fifth and sixth graders who need slightly easier reading material will enjoy it without feeling as if they are reading books made for the younger ones.
Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by Tor for review purposes.
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