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The Beast and the Bethany
Cover of The Beast and the Bethany
The Beast and the Bethany
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Lemony Snicket meets Roald Dahl in this "wickedly funny" (James Ponti, New York Times bestselling author), deliciously macabre, and highly illustrated tale of a hungry beast, a vain immortal man, and a...
Lemony Snicket meets Roald Dahl in this "wickedly funny" (James Ponti, New York Times bestselling author), deliciously macabre, and highly illustrated tale of a hungry beast, a vain immortal man, and a...
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Description-

  • Lemony Snicket meets Roald Dahl in this "wickedly funny" (James Ponti, New York Times bestselling author), deliciously macabre, and highly illustrated tale of a hungry beast, a vain immortal man, and a not-so-charming little girl who doesn't know she's about to be eaten.
    Beauty comes at a price. And no one knows that better than Ebenezer Tweezer, who has stayed beautiful for 511 years. How, you may wonder? Ebenezer simply has to feed the beast in the attic of his mansion. In return for meals of performing monkeys, statues of Winston Churchill, and the occasional cactus, Ebenezer gets potions that keep him young and beautiful, as well as other presents.

    But the beast grows ever greedier with each meal, and one day he announces that he'd like to eat a nice, juicy child next. Ebenezer has never done anything quite this terrible to hold onto his wonderful life. Still, he finds the absolutely snottiest, naughtiest, and most frankly unpleasant child he can and prepares to feed her to the beast.

    The child, Bethany, may just be more than Ebenezer bargained for. She's certainly a really rather rude houseguest, but Ebenezer still finds himself wishing she didn't have to be gobbled up after all. Could it be Bethany is less meal-worthy and more...friend-worthy?

About the Author-

  • Jack Meggitt-Phillips is an author, scriptwriter, and playwright whose work has been performed at The Roundhouse and featured on Radio 4. He is scriptwriter and presenter of The History of Advertising podcast. In his mind, Jack is an enormously talented ballroom dancer, however his enthusiasm far surpasses his actual talent. Jack lives in north London where he spends most of his time drinking peculiar teas and reading P.G. Wodehouse novels.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    October 1, 2020
    A droll tween take on The Picture of Dorian Gray. For more than five centuries, the superficially polite Ebenezer Tweezer has resided in an enormous house teeming with riches provided by an attic-dwelling beast. Their arrangement is simple: Ebenezer feeds the beast whatever it requests, and the beast vomits forth anything Ebenezer desires. What began with roast beef sandwiches soon gave way to more...unconventional fare, and the beast has vowed to withhold Ebenezer's 512th birthday present--an annual anti-aging potion--until it's served a human child. Following a few false starts, Ebenezer visits the contemptible Miss Fizzlewick's orphanage and adds Bethany, a churlish girl whose parents perished in a fire, to the beast's menu. Bethany's surly, sarcastic antics immediately make Ebenezer's life less than pleasurable, but the beast refuses to sup upon a scrawny child. Straightforward, third-person narration from Ebenezer's perspective neither preaches nor condescends, and a tight focus on titular characters makes pages fly by. As Ebenezer grows decrepit and battles a will demented as his own, he finds himself growing involuntarily fond of the girl he's fattening. Can this unlikely tandem outwit a truly inhuman monster? Meggitt-Phillips' ability to make readers squeal with delight, squirm in discomfort, and squawk with laughter make classical comparisons inevitable. Though wildly imaginative, the book is also ethnically homogenous, as nearly all characters are coded White. Bound to whet appetites. (Fantasy. 8-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    November 1, 2020

    Gr 3-6-At 511 years old, Ebenezer Tweezer has a wonderful life, despite doing nothing to deserve it. Every year he receives an anti-aging potion from a beast, and all he has to do in return is feed the beast whatever it wants-from statues to house cats to a rare purple-breasted parrot. But Ebenezer gets quite a shock when the beast decides what he really wants to try is a human child. Ebenezer adopts the obnoxious orphan Bethany, thinking she'll be easy to sacrifice. But much to their mutual surprise, the two have a lot to learn from each other. This book is delightful from the first sentence, reminiscent of Roald Dahl and Neil Gaiman at their cleverest. Ebenezer and Bethany are excellent foils, each despicable in their own way while slowly drawing out the other's best qualities. The story is at turns funny, shocking, and redemptive, and flows well through each twist. Side characters, while not taking up much scene time, are well developed and add depth. Follath's black-and-white illustrations emphasize the whimsical, and sometimes dark feel of the book. The ending, however, may give readers pause: While adding a darker tone, it feels out-of-place and opposes the hard-won redemption from the previous chapter. VERDICT This book will appeal to readers because of its clever humor, despicable characters, and shocking reveals. It will fit nicely alongside zanier books like those from Roald Dahl, Neil Gaiman's Fortunately, the Milk, and Lois Lowry's "The Willoughbys" series.-Kristin Brynsvold, Tuckahoe Elem. Sch., Arlington, VA

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 9, 2020
    Ebenezer Tweezer, “a terrible man with a wonderful life,” is a solitary, golden-haired person possessed of a Beast in his attic, who gives him his heart’s desires for a price: feasts in the form of rare objects and beasts. Approaching his 512th birthday, Ebenezer has most everything he wants—refrigerators full of food, a home “fifteen stories tall and twelve elephants wide”—save for the potion that keeps him young and handsome, which the Beast plans to withhold unless Ebenezer produces a human child for consumption. Acquiring Bethany Bogoff, an orphan who has been “nothing but trouble” since her parents died in a fire, Ebenezer finds himself saddled with a girl as contrary and spiteful as he is, one whom he has three days to fatten up as the two engage in a war of manipulations—over breakfasts, comics, and strong wills—until they find common ground. Debut author Meggitt-Phillips presents an archly told story filled with devious pranks and an appreciable, skillfully played redemption arc that heightens the emotional heft. Crisp black-and-white art by Follath (Joy) adds atmosphere. Ages 9–13. Author’s agent: Rachel Mann, Jo Unwin Literary.

  • Booklist

    November 1, 2020
    Grades 4-6 Dorian Gray had a portrait; Ebenezer Tweezer has a voracious Beast in the attic of his posh mansion that vomits up antiaging potions in exchange for whatever it demands. So it is that with his 512th birthday coming up, Ebenezer either has to bring the Beast a suitably plump child or die. Unfortunately, that child turns out to be Bethany--seemingly a perfect choice, being the most willful, obstinate, ill-tempered orphaned brat ever to bring misery to the lives of everyone at Miss Fizzlewick's Institute for Gentlemanly Boys and Ladylike Ladies. Why unfortunate? Because against their better judgements, Ebenezer and Bethany reluctantly take a liking to each other. In best Roald Dahl tradition, the Beast is a menacing, murderous monster. Better yet, dubbing the genuinely remorseful Ebenezer "the most good bad person I know," Bethany contrives by the end to give him one last, welcome chance at a better life. Sample ink-and-wash illustrations by Follath capture both the contemporary setting and the gothic flavor of this unexpectedly touching debut.

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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    Aladdin
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