Beware what lurks beneath your bed. . . . It could lead to a monstrous adventure.


Thirteen-year-old aspiring screenwriter/director Lissa Black isn’t thrilled when her parents move the family from NYC to the sticks of Freeburg, PA. At first, it seems like her only entertainment will be playing the twisted version of Candyland called Monsterville found in her basement, and learning Boy Scout knots from her new neighbor Adam. But when a walk in the woods lands Lissa face-to-face with a swamp monster, and then a Sasquatch, she realizes that maybe Freeburg isn’t totally boring.

With Adam’s help, Lissa catches the culprit behind the drama: a shape-shifting goblin who’s escaped from the monster world of Down Below. At first, Lissa has big plans to use Blue as the star in her first real movie, but then monsters snatch her little sister on Halloween. Now Lissa and her new friends must venture Down Below to stage a rescue – and face the real Monsterville, which is anything but a game.

Monsterville is a fusion of The Boxtrolls, Jumanji, and Candyland, weaving together friendship, family, and monsters into a funny fantasy-horror brimming with heart from a great new middle grade voice.


School Library Journal

Gr 4-7 –Thirteen-year-old Lissa Black wants to make movies. She wants to win an Oscar for best picture. She wants to move back to New York, where her friends are putting on a school play that she wrote before her parents dragged her and her little sister, Haylie, to live in rural Freeburg, PA. Full of frustration, Lissa eventually makes friends with the neighbor boy, Adam, who makes it his mission to show Lissa that Freeburg is not as dull as she imagines. Events take a turn when Haylie goes missing, and Lissa sets out to rescue her sister from the land of monsters “Down Below.” This novel is not just a suspenseful monster story; it’s funny, too. Middle grade readers will appreciate that Lissa’s obstacles are not just of the creepy variety. She deals with annoying classmates, attempts to stay in touch with old friends, and finds ways to appreciate and accept change. The book ends with a nice setup for a sequel. VERDICT A solid addition for larger middle grade collections in need of humorous light fantasy.–Matthew Forster, Big Words, Clarkston, MI.

Peer (Published Author) Reviews

“What a fun read! The perfect book for the boy scout who wants to be prepared in Monsterville, for the monster who can’t decide what to become, and (of course) for the director who might have to take on a starring role.” —Kelly Jones, author of Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer

“An absolute delight. Full of humor with a fresh voice, and just plain fun to read.” —Penny Warner, two-time award-winning author of The Code Busters Club series

“Chutes and Ladders with monsters—and an aspiring filmmaker determined to capture them all. Sarah Reida’s Monsterville is creepy good fun! —Caitlen Rubino-Bradway, Mark Twain Award finalist for Ordinary Magic

“This book is the best fun, overflowing with humor and fabulous in its overturning of many movie cliches. While adults are chuckling at the jokes, kids will love puzzling over the chain of clues that lead Monsterville’s lovable heroes through the world of Down Below.” —Claire Fayers, author of Voyage to Magic North