Middle Grade Monday #1: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken

middle grade monday


Hey everyone!  If you’ve been in our group TBR and Beyond for any time, you will know we’ve been doing a feature called Middle-grade Monday for about a year now and one of the first things I did when we decided to start a blog was see if anyone was doing a weekly middle-grade meme and there is! Carolina over at Fictionologst started one up and I couldn’t be more pleased! Go check her out if you want to participate in this meme as well.
I’m a massive middle-grade fan, and I’m always trying to get people to give it a shot! Hopefully these reviews will give you a better idea if you want to try out the books or not! That is the goal anyway! Let’s get to it!

5 books longer


My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Pages: 402
Pacing: Average/Normal
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Published: May, 29th 2018





Prosper is the only unexceptional Redding in his old and storied family history — that is, until he discovers the demon living inside him. Turns out Prosper’s great-great-great-great-great-something grandfather made — and then broke — a contract with a malefactor, a demon who exchanges fortune for eternal servitude. And, weirdly enough, four-thousand-year-old Alastor isn’t exactly the forgiving type. 

The fiend has reawakened with one purpose — to destroy the family whose success he ensured and who then betrayed him. With only days to break the curse and banish Alastor back to the demon realm, Prosper is playing unwilling host to the fiend, who delights in tormenting him with nasty insults and constant attempts trick him into a contract. Yeah, Prosper will take his future without a side of eternal servitude, thanks.

Little does Prosper know, the malefactor’s control over his body grows stronger with each passing night, and there’s a lot Alastor isn’t telling his dim-witted (but admittedly strong-willed) human host. – Synopsis from Goodreads 


“A soft heart only makes it easier for a knife to slip in.”

I want to kick myself for waiting so long to read this one! This is so up my alley and I loved every single minute of it.

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding is the perfect fall read.  The atmosphere is spooky and forbidding and the magic is dangerous.  I don’t think at this point I need to declare my love of middle-grade books – we all know that I love them and am a fairly well-versed reader in the area.  This is the kind of book that I would recommend to anyone in the YA community because I think it’s the perfect gateway book to show that middle-grade has mature, witty, strong written books with amazing soul to them.

I figured from the start I would love this book, it had me written all over it, so that part isn’t surprising to me at all.  What I didn’t expect was to fall in love with all of these amazing characters.  Our protagonist Prosper is completely relatable.  He’s a bit of a black sheep in his family, kind of a loser but probably the most interesting person in his town – isn’t that always the way? It turns out that a 4, 000 year old demon, Alastor, has taken up residence inside of poor Prosper and the town isn’t too pleased with it.

The characters are all well-developed but mysterious at the same time.  I was never sure of their motives and even when I found out their motives – I still didn’t trust anyone.  We meet some cool eccentric characters as the story goes along, my favorite being Prosper’s cousin Nell, who just happens to be a witch.  She is adorable and I loved how confident and determined she was.  It also made me so happy to see the inclusion of LGBTQIA+ in this story, in such a way that it wasn’t focused on.  It was just presented as perfectly normal and everyday.  I loved it and I am so happy to see more and more of this showing up in middle-grade novels.  YAS!

Alastor is by far my favorite character, I can’t help it! I can’t remember laughing so much in a book in awhile.  Yes, this book is laugh-out-loud funny and it’s all because of Alastor.  He’s constantly disgusted and furious at humans and what the world looks like today and his commentary is always priceless.  There seriously needs to be a little quote book, just for Alastor.

I recommend this book, even if you are reluctant to pick up a middle-grade.  It doesn’t get much more fun than this and it’s a great book for all ages.  Don’t miss out on this treasure of a novel.  I’m so excited for the next book in 2019.