if it’s too difficult for grown-ups, write for children

Happy Book Birthday to Matthew Cody

I’m a day late for various personal reasons, but I’m so excited to congratulate author Matthew Cody on the release yesterday of HOW TO MERIT IN MONSTERS, the first book in the super fun and funny Strange Scout Tales:

A new chapter book series teeming with monsters, the biomes they roam, and the hopeless scout troop out to save them.

When a scout troop learns that their sleepaway camp is really a training ground for protecting the earth’s most endangered species–monsters–the lowest-ranked Troop D (or Troop Dweeb, as the other troops refer to them) is next in line to earn their Monster Merit Badges.

In How to Merit in Monsters, join Troop D on a mission to rescue the legendary Big Foot, whose water supply has been contaminated. With the help of their troop master and the ever-handy century-old Scout’s Handbook, they might just have a chance!

Early reviews are great, such as this one from Booklist:

Cody kicks off a series that brings Scouts, cryptids, and conservation together. Despite a confirmed aversion to the outdoors, nerdy 10-year-old Ben Beederman is sent to a co-ed Nature Scouts sleepaway camp where he joins a trio of misfits in Troop D. Beneath the floorboards of the shabby boys’ cabin, he finds a battered copy of The Scouts Handbook of Cryptozoology and Manners. The Nature Scouts have a secret branch, the Strange Scouts, dedicated to studying and caring for the chupacabra and other elusive creatures. Said manual quickly comes in handy as an important source of information on how to track and handle a shy but excitable bigfoot that has taken to rummaging through the camp. Lambe’s frequent cartoon illustrations add comical notes to Ben’s simply phrased, spaciously leaded narrative.

And Kirkus says, “Cody’s cryptozoological camper caper is a good kickoff for a new series aimed at those newly comfortable with chapters.”

Book Two in the series, THE LOCK NESS LOCK-IN, will follow in September, with a third title to come! Grab a copy for yourself or for a cool kid you know at IndieBound, your favorite local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or ask for it at your library. And follow Matt on Twitter @matthew_cody for more fun crytozoological facts!