The Mortification of Fovea Munson

Mary Winn Heider. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-4847-8054-1
In this lively middle grade caper, a 12-year-old girl has the experience of a lifetime when she reluctantly serves as summer receptionist for her parents’ cadaver lab, where doctors experiment on, and learn from, corpses. Fovea isn’t eager to be associated with the creepy business, especially since her classmates already call her Igor and make body-part jokes. Things take a turn for the outlandish when she discovers a trio of talking heads, and then things spiral out of control when a fourth head vanishes. To retrieve the wayward noggin, Fovea has to help fulfill the heads’ dream of becoming a barbershop quartet, which entails a wild midnight adventure with a host of colorful characters, including her death-obsessed grandmother and her former best friend. Despite the silly premise, this tale, Heider’s debut, actually plays its vaguely explained core conceit—talking heads hanging on to a semblance of life—in a straightforward if frenetic manner. Fovea is a normal girl existing in a suddenly off-kilter world, and her struggle to help her family and newfound friends is relatable and satisfying. Ages 8–12. Agent: Tina Dubois, ICM Partners. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/30/2018
Release date: 06/05/2018
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-368-00833-4
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