cover image Don’t Want to Be Your Monster

Don’t Want to Be Your Monster

Deke Moulton. Tundra, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-77488-049-4

In an introspective debut, Moulton weaves a lightly scary murder mystery that explores themes of acceptance and family as experienced by a pair of vampire siblings. Ten-year-old Adam and his older foster brother Victor, 14, live with their ancient adoptive vampire mothers. The brothers are the latest in a long line of children rescued and raised by their foster mothers, who hide the family’s paranormal abilities from the rest of their Pacific Northwest town. While Victor wants more than to live a quotidian life concealing his true self, Adam is preoccupied with worries surrounding how his vampiric nature could reflect on him if he were found out. Adam soon befriends mortal children Shoshana and Luis, while Victor develops an amicable rivalry with Luis’s older sister, Alejandra. As stabbed corpses start appearing in town, and details point to the killer being a vampire hunter, the brothers’ previously peaceful, if isolated, lives turn upside down. Frank and accessible prose proffers messaging surrounding what it means to be othered, offering myriad interpretations through Adam and Victor’s alternating POVs. Fans of the supernatural intersecting with the mundane will find this intriguing interpretation of the vampire mythos refreshing. Adam and Victor read as white; context clues indicate racial diversity among the supporting cast. Ages 10–14. Agent: Emily Forney, BookEnds Literary. (Aug.)