Measle and the Wrathmonk by Ian Ogilvy
Twelve-year-old Measle Stubbs is a young orphaned boy living under the care of a horrible wrathmonk named Basil. The house is old, creaky and creepy. Strangers come in the house, but never seem to make their way out. Measle does not take showers because a mysterious green slime oozes out of the faucets throughout the house. As a result, Measle is a very smelly little boy. Being that the house produces very strange noises, and Measle sees weird things he cannot explain, he chooses to sleep on the floor of the kitchen.
In order to understand the true danger that our young hero is in, I should explain what a wrathmonk is and how to spot one. A wrathmonk is a wizard that has “gone bad” and as a result, is very evil. His powers are especially strong when he is angry. There is a black rain cloud that follows the wrathmonk wherever he goes, which makes it very easy to recognize a wrathmonk.
Basil hates everything and everyone, with one exception, his beloved train set in the attic. Measle is allowed to watch Basil play with the train set, but cannot touch it. One day, Measle comes up with a clever plan to get Basil to leave the house so he can finally play with the train set. When Basil realizes he has been tricked, he returns to the house and becomes very angry with Measle. He casts an evil spell on Measle, shrinking him to the size of a small figurine and places him inside of the train set. As Measle walks around the train set, he begins to realize that the figurines inside of the train set are real people, not plastic figurines. Measle hears one of the plastic figurines say that he is “hungry” and Measle feeds him a piece of carrot that he was keeping in his pocket for a snack. After Measle frees the man he explains that he was “frozen” because he ate the enchanted donut crumbs and drank the cursed lemonade that Basil left in the train set.
Once Measle has saved everyone in the train set, they realize that they have to find a place to hide from Basil’s pet bat, Cuddlebug. Now that they are no longer plastic figurines, Cuddlebug will come out at night and will try to eat them. They also know that they have to pretend that they are still frozen when Basil is around, so that he does not suspect that Measle is planning to help everyone escape from his evil clutches. When the time comes for Measle to face Basil, will Measle be victorious?
If you enjoyed Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events, then you will definitely like Measle and the Wrathmonk. The same absurd humor is found in Measle and the Wrathmonk, but is a less depressing than Series of Unfortunate Events. Measle and the Wrathmonk is the first book in the Measle series. If you are interested in reading the rest of the Measle books, the second book is Measle and the Dragodon and the third book is Measle and the Mallockee.