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Let’s just come right out and say it . . . stranger things do happen at Aberdasher Academy of Science. We’re talking weird science, with fantastical consequences such as slithering colossal Mongolian Death Worm, clashing medieval Bog People, ambushing Ayia Sea monster, and a ravaging mythical beast, just to name a few! Desperate to raise funds to save their favorite teacher’s Genomic department from closing, fourteen-year-old Johnny “Spigs” Spignola, Theresa Ray “T-Ray” Rogers, and Pablo “Peabo” Torres team up to crowdfund a lab experiment, but hastily use a mysterious DNA serum that astonishingly creates six pint-size, magical humanoids—the students affectionately call Creeples—who unleash mystical mayhem and comic-chaos. But even more shocking, a startling mystery emerges for these intrepid teens. Their noble but foolish actions uncover a shadowy insider’s evil plan to gain demonic supremacy from the academy’s hidden powers of ancient sorcery—and the Creeples unwittingly stand in the way! Urgency sets in for Spigs, T-Ray, and Peabo, and tests their friendship, as they battle monstrous supernatural entities, all the while decoding copious cryptic clues. And if they fail in their perilous quest, it’s ultimate doom for campus life, the Creeples . . . and all of humanity!
Pidgeon’s wildly entertaining debut brings together three unlikely friends who accidentally create some new friends in a science lab at school. Johnny Spignola (“Spigs”), Theresa Ray (“T-Ray”), and Pablo Torres (“Peabo”), three very different teens, are chosen to be the coveted Lab Rats, working on genomic research under Professor Sally Bodkins. However, not long after embarking on this adventure, they learn that the dean of the school has decided to discontinue the genomic department altogether. The trio knows that the professor’s work is important, so they decide to secretly raise money to complete it. Aiming for crowdfunding attention, they borrow a 3D bio-printer to whip up a real monkey ear. But when they don’t have everything they need, Spigs improvises with a secret serum—and doesn’t tell his friends when something goes wrong. The result is six troll-like beings they aptly name “Creeples.”

The Creeples bring the mania, humor, and constant action that kids love in a middle grade story. Each with their own personalities and magical abilities, causing constant mischief, they’ll keep kids glued to the page, wondering what catastrophe they’ll cause next, what inanimate object they’ll next bring to life. As the Lab Rats chase them all over campus, Pidgeon balances the fun with scary mystery, inviting readers to wonder what the dean and his goons are up to, and what will happen if he catches the Creeples first.

While middle-grade readers will be greatly entertained by the antics of all the fantastically created characters, some dialogue and concepts will be difficult for some younger readers to understand, such as a description of how the bio-printer works, or the inner-workings of the Dean’s plot, and a secret society. However, the sometimes challenging material doesn’t detract from the fun and can offer opportunity for discussing and learning with an adult. Middle-grade readers looking for wacky and fun science experiments gone wrong will adore the Creeples.

Takeaway: It’s science-lab mayhem as kids accidentally create troll-like Creeples.

Great for fans of: John Kloepfer’s Monsters Unleashed, Jennifer L. Holm’s The Fourteenth Goldfish.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: A
Editing: B
Marketing copy: A