Cover image for The monsters of Morley Manor
The monsters of Morley Manor
Coville, Bruce.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Diego : Harcourt, [2001]

Physical Description:
224 pages ; 22 cm
Anthony and his younger sister discover that the monster figures he got in an unusual box at an estate sale are alive, but they have no way of knowing that the "monsters" will lead them on fantastical adventures to other worlds in an effort to try to save Earth.
Reading Level:
770 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.3 7.0 54106.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.4 12 Quiz: 26010 Guided reading level: S.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Juvenile Fiction Science Fiction/Fantasy

On Order



What do you get when you mix together--
werewolves, vampires, mad scientists, wizards, aliens, alternate dimensions, tiny people, Transylvania, ancient curses, giant frogs, evil clones, ghosts, lawyers, shape-changers, fallen angels, journeys through hell, zombie warriors, body snatchers, and two clever kids in whose hands rests the fate of Earth?
--The latest madcap adventure-comedy-fantasy-mystery from bestselling novelist Bruce Coville, that's what.

Author Notes

Bruce Coville was born in Syracuse, New York, on May 16, 1950. He spent one year at Duke University in North Carolina. Coville started working seriously at becoming a writer when he was seventeen. He was not able to start selling stories right away, so he had many other jobs, including toymaker, gravedigger, cookware salesman, and assembly line worker. Eventually, Coville became an elementary teacher, and worked with second and fourth graders.

Coville married Katherine Dietz an artist, and they began trying to create books together. It wasn't until 1977 that they finally sold their first book, The Foolish Giant. They joined together on two other books after that, Sarah's Unicorn and The Monster's Ring, and followed them with Goblins in the Castle, Aliens Ate My Homework, and The World's Worst Fairy Godmother.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-6. The subtitle hits the nail on the head, as sixth-grader Anthony and his little sister Sarah find a box of small brass figurines at the estate sale of Morley Manor. When the figures get wet, they come alive as the Morleskievich family that includes a werehuman, a vampire, and a gorgeous snaky-haired siren. The Morleys, as they are now named, have a history that includes science, magic, time travel, and Transylvania; Anthony and Sarah find the fate of the civilized galaxy resting in their hands once the Morleys are restored to their full size. Ghosts, evil twins, aliens, an angel straight out of Dante, and a star-crossed love story are only a few of the elements in this cheerful mix of plot twists. And the final message? The power of a loving family. Not bad, that, and doused with a hefty supply of chuckles and shivers. --GraceAnne A. DeCandido

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-Let's face it: Coville is alien-oriented. In this tale, kids save the planet by employing friendly miniature monsters found in a creepy old house and de-spelled from their 50-year slumber and enlarged with water to help defeat (or at least keep at bay for now) unfriendly ones. Formerly serialized in five Coville-edited anthologies, this "extensively revised and expanded" version has been cobbled into an ostensibly coherent novel that has a write-as-you-go feel to it. It requires the patience-and flexibility-of loyal grade-school readers who must make discombobulating jumps from gothic (haunted house, ghosts) to magic/fantasy/sci-fi (spells, teleportation, stinky aliens) to metaphysical/religious (the pseudo-Stygian "Land of the Dead," soul-sucking guns) and even to timeless romance. Into this unique stylistic conflation Coville also inserts some puns, a frog-hypnotizing trick, and a few philosophical ruminations (such as, "The world is too vast and strange for any of us to understand all of it" or "What is a human?"). Readers will likely hear more from 12-year-old narrator Anthony, his sister, Sarah, and their feisty grandmother; the ex-enchanted Morleskievich family; wizard Wentar; and probably a few aliens, all revealed through the convoluted, unquestionably weird, but nevertheless highly addictive pen of this facile storyteller.-John Sigwald, Unger Memorial Library, Plainview, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Morley ManorIF SARAH HADN'T put the monkey in the bathtub, we might never have had to help the monsters get big. But she did, so we did, which, given the way things worked out, was probably just as well for everyone on the planet-especially the dead people.I bought the monsters at a garage sale. Actually, it was more like a whole house sale. And not just any house. It was Morley Manor, the huge old place at the end of Willow Street.Every kid in our town knew Morley Manor. It was the weirdest house in Owl's Roost, Nebraska, so scary we didn't even trick-or-treat there. It had three towers, leaded glass windows, and a big iron fence with spikes on the top-though you couldn't see that much of the fence, because the base was overgrown with enormous weeds. Each tower had a lightning rod, which is probably the only reason the place hadn't burned down. Lightning seemed to strike there a lot. My father used to claim that Morley Manor had its own weather system; not only was it darker and gloomier than anywhere else in town, it seemed to be the focus of every thunderstorm that passed through.I was in sixth grade the year Old Man Morley died. (I know it's not very polite to call him that, but it was the name everyone in town, including the old people, used.) He didn't leave a will, and as far as anyone knew he didn't have any relatives. So the state claimed the house and put it up for sale. Despite the fact that we all thought the place was weird, we were really upset to find out that the guy who finally bought it planned to tear the old mansion down and build a new house altogether."You can't blame him," said my mother, when we were discussing this in the back room of the flower shop that she and Dad own. "I can't imagine anyone wanting to live in that old monstrosity."She adjusted a chrysanthemum, looked at it critically, then pulled it out of the vase and threw it away.What she said about Morley Manor was true enough, I suppose. But I knew I was going to miss the house, since it was the most interesting place in town.Of course, being the most interesting place in Owl's Roost, Nebraska, isn't all that hard.Anyway, the weekend before the wreckers were supposed to start, my parents went to a florists convention in Los Angeles, leaving Gramma Walker to take care of me and my little sister, Sarah. Gramma had been staying with us a lot since Grampa died three months earlier, so Sarah and I were used to having her around. Gramma's pretty deaf, which can make it hard to talk to her. But we never minded when Mom and Dad left her to take care of us. Why would we, when she tended to bake cookies on a daily basis and was a lot less strict about us eating in the living room?That same weekend the new owner of Morley Manor had a sale to get rid of all the junk inside. Sarah and I figured he was going to use the money to pay the wreckers.The sale was on a Sunday afternoon. The demolition was supposed to start the next morning, which was Columbus D Excerpted from The Monsters of Morley Manor: A Madcap Adventure by Bruce Coville All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Morley Manor Monkey Business Just Add Water
The Family Morleskievich Gaspar's Story
TheFive Little Monsters and How They Grew A Wentar's Tale
TheStarry Door Waterguys
The Mother of All Frogs Where Is the Land of the Dead? A Family Divided
The Original Package Past Meets Present Family Reunion Ivanoma Grampa
The Flinduvian Plan
The Collecting Jar I Become a Flinduvian
The Haunted Body Martin's Story
The Red Haze Martin's Choice