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Book review: Middle grade novel 'Prosper Redding' is full of twists despite slow pace
"The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding" is by Alexandra Bracken. - photo by Hannah McDonald
"THE DREADFUL TALE OF PROSPER REDDING," by Alexandra Bracken, Disney-Hyperion, $16.99, 368 pages (f) (ages 9-12)

Prosper Redding is a bit of an outsider in his family in "The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding." First, theres the fact that, at 12 years old, hes the only failure the Redding family has ever had. In a family of exceptional people, Prosper is the one exception. While his twin sister succeeds in everything from sports to academics, Prosper struggles to stay awake in class and is beating his school record for the number of times hes visited the principals office.

But then theres also his recent discovery that hes the host for the newly awakened demon Alastor, who cursed his family about 300 years ago. Alastors only purpose in life is to once and for all destroy the family he once blessed with immeasurable success. All at once, its Prospers duty to protect himself from his own bloodthirsty family and protect his family from the bloodthirsty demon within himself.

To do that, Prosper will have to rely on the help of the uncle and the witch cousin he never knew he had. And hell have to go to a new school where his classmates are different and he has an 800-year-old demon shouting insults in his head all day. Prosper needs to hurry, though. Little does he know that Alastor is gaining more and more control over Prospers body every day and that his family doesnt have much time to lose.

Young adult author Alexandra Brackens first middle grade book may at times move a little slowly, but its otherwise a solid match for kids and parents who like a little humor with their scary stories. The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding is full of twists that will engage older kids, and it ends with a conclusion that will leave readers waiting for more.

"The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding" doesn't contain any violence, sexual content or objectionable language.