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Kids' book of the month

The Monstrous Child

Our pick for June is bestselling author Francesca Simon's dark and funny tale of Hel, an ordinary teenager who just so happens to be goddess of the underworld. A teen rant on an entirely epic scale, The Monstrous Child is Francesca's first novel for 12+ readers. 

Just one more thing. Before you reject me, before you hate me, remember: I never asked to be Hel’s queen.

Meet Hel. Hel gets sent to rule over the dead for all eternity. Most teenagers get sent to their rooms when the adults aren't happy. Most teenagers also doodle their crush's name in their diary when they miss them. Hel has to wait for someone to murder hers before she can see them again. But, then again, most teenagers don't get to rule an entire world either…

"A fierce and original book." Cressida Cowell

"Francesca Simon has taken the myth about Hel, Queen of the Norse Underworld, and turned it into a wholly original, hideously funny, curiously affecting black comedy about dysfunctional families…This is an extraordinary book, grim and cruel in places but with a wit and sophistication to its heroine which makes you root for her." Amanda Craig

Francesca Simon is universally known for the staggeringly popular Horrid Henry series. These books and CDs have sold over 20 million copies in the UK alone and are published in 27 countries. Her previous books, The Sleeping Army and The Lost Gods, were published to widespread critical acclaim.

She also joined us for an exclusive webchat, where she talked about the books that propelled her career to phenomenal heights. Read more here.

The Monstrous Child is published by Faber & Faber and is available online and from all good booksellers.