The Lore, Gore, and Science behind Your Favorite Monsters

  • Interest Level: Grade 4 - Grade 8
  • Reading Level: Grade 6

Bursting with blood, guts, history, and science, this book is a must-have for monster lovers of all ages

Could Dr. Frankenstein’s machine ever animate a body? Why should vampires drink from veins and not arteries? What body parts are best for zombies to eat? (It’s not brains.)

This fascinating encyclopedia of monsters delves into the history and science behind eight legendary creatures, from Bigfoot and the kraken to zombies and more. Find out each monster’s origin story and the real-world history that informed it, and then explore the science of each creature in fun and surprising ways. Tips and infographics—including monster anatomy, how to survive a vampire attack, and real-life giant creatures of the deep sea—make this a highly visual and fun-to-browse book.

“A fantastically researched, absolutely delectable approach to science education.”—starred, Booklist

“Informative and entertaining throughout for readers undead or otherwise.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

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Available at all major wholesalers and distributors. Save 25% off list price on hardcovers and ebooks when you buy direct! Digital purchases will be accessed on Lerner Digital Bookshelf. An account will be created for you after purchase.
Interest Level Grade 4 - Grade 8
Reading Level Grade 6
Genre Science
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Browseable Nonfiction
Copyright 2019
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Carolrhoda Books ®
Language English
Number of Pages 148
Publication Date 2019-09-03
Text Type Informational/Explanatory
BISACS JNF008000, JNF051190, JNF052030
Dewey 001.944
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 10.625 x 8.875
Lexile 1100
Guided Reading Level Z
Features Awards, Fast facts, Glossary, Index, Reviewed, Starred Reviews, and Table of contents

Author, Illustrator: Carlyn Beccia

Carlyn Beccia (pronounced Betcha) is an author, illustrator and graphic designer. Beccia's children's books, including Monstrous, The Raucous Royals, I Feel Better with a Frog in My Throat, and They Lost Their Heads, have won numerous awards including the Golden Kite Honor, the International Reading Association's Children's and Young Adult Book Award, and the Cybils Award. If you would like to know what she has in her zombie preparedness kit, visit her at

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  • Texas Topaz Reading List, Winner, 2021
  • Dogwood Book List for Nonfiction, Winner, 2020
  • YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, Winner, 2020
  • Maine Student Book Award, Long-listed, 2020
  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2020
  • Booklist Top of the List 2019, Winner, 2019
  • Kirkus Best Middle-Grade Book, Winner, 2019
  • Booklist Top 10 Sci-Tech Books for Youth, Winner, 2019
  • Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books, Winner, 2019


Shelf Awareness

“Beccia tickles her audience’s prefrontal cortexes with eye-opening biology, riveting physics, savory nutrition and more, to prove that ‘Science is stronger than fear.’”—Shelf Awareness

The Washington Post

“In ‘Monstrous,’ which is filled with Beccia’s sharp and funny illustrations, you can learn loads of basic monster facts (such as ‘Where to find the Kraken and other sea creatures’ and ‘The anatomy of Godzilla’), as well as more offbeat information (such as ‘How to communicate with a werewolf’ and ‘How to become as immortal as a vampire’).”—Washington Post

Publishers Weekly

“®eaders will savor details about how history, superstition, and human perception have inspired some of the most feared and beloved monster legends.”—Publishers Weekly

School Library Journal

“[T]he connections to history and science also make the text fascinating and, at times, laugh-out-loud funny.”—School Library Journal


“A fantastically researched, absolutely delectable approach to science education.”—starred, Booklist

Kirkus Reviews

“Informative and entertaining throughout for readers undead or otherwise.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews