THE MONSTER AT RECESS, by Shira Potter, HeartLab Press Inc., Children’s Easy Reader


Meet misfit Sophie, too used to being bullied at Grey Stone Day School. Her classmates Julia and Molly tease her to no end and her teacher, Mrs. Cook ignores the bullying.
The playground at Grey Stone has a special secret though: it’s shared with the students of a monster school! Craving acceptance and diversity, and trying to defeat her feelings of fear towards these strange and colorful monsters, Sophie bravely steps into the unknown and meets a little monster at recess–and makes her first friend. Through her friendship with the monster, she develops stronger feelings of self-confidence and self-esteem.

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Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9780995044166
PRICE $12.95 (USD)


Thanks to NETGALLEY and HeartLab Press Inc. for providing me with this ARC to read and provide an honest review!

The cover drew me in to this easy reader. I was curious to see where the author would go with a world that consisted of both humans and monsters. In Sophie’s world, being different is bad. This is especially shown by Sophie having red hair and everyone else having brown. This is also shown by the attitude of others, especially the principal and her teacher, one who thought she colored her hair and had to stop, and the other who picked on her at times and ignored her at others.

Mean girls are present to add to the Protagonist’s pain. This book is chiefly about teasing, bullying and building friendships.

On the Protagonist’s side of the school, everyone is plain and boring, wearing the same thing, doing the same thing. On the monster side, everything is bright and colorful and being different is celebrated.

The Protagonist learns a valuable lesion by breaking a few rules and making decisions for herself as to what pleases and makes her happy.  She thinks she does this at a tremendous cost, the scorn and disapproval of the others. You’ll have to read the book to see how and what she does.

With issues the way they are in today’s society regarding bullying, this easy reader is a welcome addition to tools out there combating the problems kids are facing in schools, out in playgrounds and walking to and from home. I give the author a lot of credit. She found a new twist on a subject to draw in the younger spectrum of children just starting school. This book will help them understand to be more accepting, understanding and compassionate about the differences of one another. By placing this topic in an easy reader format, perhaps by getting them at a younger age will put off what is endured by many at an older age. We all want to belong, be accepted for who we are, even the youngest of our children.

I found a few issues with the book’s editing, especially an awkward moment at the beginning where one moment the author was discussing recess and in class, and the next the Protagonist is walking home.  A better lead-in to the change of setting would have made that part read smoother. Otherwise, very well done!

I give this book:


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