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How to Make Friends and Monsters
Cover of How to Make Friends and Monsters
How to Make Friends and Monsters
by Ron Bates
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Howard Boward, a 13-year-old boy-genius with a chip on his shoulder is too smart for his own good. He has troubles making friends—possibly because he complains so much. Until one day a science experiment goes haywire, and Howard creates a best friend for himself—Franklin—who also happens to be a monster. Creating Franklin was an accident, not like Howard was playing God or anything—or so Howard tells himself. Franklin and Howard are having so much fun, Howard decides to create more "friends," using DNA from kids at school. Only, these friends aren't quite as friendly. Soon there's a major mess and Howard has to sort it all out before the monsters destroy their human counterparts. But terminating the monsters proves harder than he imagined. They didn't choose to be monsters; they can't go against their innate nature. Howard finds himself facing consequences for playing God. Getting rid of the monsters means learning to tame his own inner beast, and Howard begins to understand the meaning of free will and true friendship

Howard Boward, a 13-year-old boy-genius with a chip on his shoulder is too smart for his own good. He has troubles making friends—possibly because he complains so much. Until one day a science experiment goes haywire, and Howard creates a best friend for himself—Franklin—who also happens to be a monster. Creating Franklin was an accident, not like Howard was playing God or anything—or so Howard tells himself. Franklin and Howard are having so much fun, Howard decides to create more "friends," using DNA from kids at school. Only, these friends aren't quite as friendly. Soon there's a major mess and Howard has to sort it all out before the monsters destroy their human counterparts. But terminating the monsters proves harder than he imagined. They didn't choose to be monsters; they can't go against their innate nature. Howard finds himself facing consequences for playing God. Getting rid of the monsters means learning to tame his own inner beast, and Howard begins to understand the meaning of free will and true friendship

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  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.8
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Text Difficulty:
    3

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • Ron Bates is a novelist and humor columnist who writes about secret laboratories, monsters, bullies, robots, cafeteria food, and other perils of middle school. A former newspaper reporter, he is the author of How to Make Friends and Monsters, How to Survive Middle School and Monster Bots, the comic book series Brawn, and numerous poems and plays for kids who like to laugh. He lives in Texas.

Reviews-
  • DOGO Books nyanchica - Howard is just another typical teenage boy who thinks he is better than everyone else. But wouldn’t he? After all, he is a boy genius. He doesn’t have any friends, and , when an accident happens during a science experiment, he finds himself looking straight into the eyes of his new best friend…a monster named Franklin. Because Howard thinks Franklin is so awesome, he decides to make more monster friends by using the DNA from kids at school. What Howard and Franklin soon find out is that not all monsters are friendly, and he must somehow figure out a way to get rid of all of the monsters. Of course, that won’t be easy. “‘Foreign exchange student? From where? Mars?’ Uncle Ben said, looking at the tail sticking out of the baggy, oversized shorts.” Howard taught me that it’s not okay to think you are better than you probably are, especially if it means you are driving away everyone. Sometimes, it is best to be your true self and to accept others equally. In the end, you will find what true friendship is. The font is this book was so easy to read, and I wish more books would use it. I was so glad to add this book to my bookshelf! (I reviewed this book for City Book Reviews)
  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2013

    Gr 5-7-Seventh-grader Howard Boward is a friendless kid who sits by himself at the back of the cafeteria. He's plagued with a list of social crimes: he's skinny; has white hair that sticks straight up; loves science; wears a unitard as an experiment; and, worst of all, is smart. His worried mother gives him a copy of How to Make Friends, and he takes the book to heart. Advised to "Be Yourself," he sets up a lab in the garage and decides to make a friend. The result is Franklin Stine, a kind, lumbering creature made of Wonder Putty plus DNA from the hair of zoo animals and a kind schoolgirl. Disguised as a Canadian foreign exchange student, Franklin wows the coach and team with his football prowess. He's able to defend his creator from the bullying UPs ("uber-populars") while equally befriending them. Howard figures that Franklin's popularity means an end of their friendship. But Franklin gets Howard elected class president and ensures that he makes an unlikely football touchdown. Howard becomes How-Cool, beloved by the UPs while his loyalty and kindness are put to the test. Small cartoon-style illustrations are scattered throughout. Bates tells an entertaining and warmhearted tale concerning the struggles of middle-school friendships. Hilarious scenes and details and one-liners create a richly rewarding story.-Diane McCabe, John Muir Elementary, Santa Monica, CA

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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How to Make Friends and Monsters
Ron Bates
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