Read Always October by Bruce Coville Online

always-october

From Bruce Coville, the master of tween comic suspense, comes a tale of monsters, the bond between brothers, and saving the world.Jake's baby brother, LD, may be a monster (complete with fangs and fur!), but together with his best friend, Lily, Jake isn't going to let anything happen to that baby. Even if it turns out LD may be the key to saving the world—or destroying it.From Bruce Coville, the master of tween comic suspense, comes a tale of monsters, the bond between brothers, and saving the world.Jake's baby brother, LD, may be a monster (complete with fangs and fur!), but together with his best friend, Lily, Jake isn't going to let anything happen to that baby. Even if it turns out LD may be the key to saving the world—or destroying it. Soon Jake and Lily are on a perilous quest through Always October, a land populated with monsters.Perfect for fans of Bruce Coville's beloved books, such as Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher, the Unicorn Chronicles series, and My Teacher Is an Alien series....

Title : Always October
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780060890957
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 384 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Always October Reviews

  • Jen
    2019-03-15 06:23

    Cute middle grade read, but it didn't really grab me. I liked the alternating viewpoints between a boy and girl who were best friends and not interested in each other romantically. There were hints that it could happen in the future, but that was all you got, hints. I kind of felt sorry for the cat. I would resent having to (view spoiler)[ giving up my life to save someone who did something stupid/that they shouldn't have. I'm not referring to the ending, just something that happened about halfway into the book.Lil Dumpling was a cutie and I loved the poet monster. The adults I was rather ambivalent about because...."Harry Potter syndrome" ya'll. That's right, kids are kept in the dark about things because they'll be safer or it's none of their business or they'll find out when they're older. I HATE that.Not a bad book, but not one that kept me turning pages or up past a reasonable sleeping hour at night. It would most likely attract a higher middle reader, since it is larger than Coville's prior works. If you are a fan of his work, this might be up your ally. It just didn't do much for me.(hide spoiler)]

  • Mymcbooks
    2019-02-23 02:23

    My Review: When Jake decided to check on his new little brother that was left on their doorstep, he was shocked to see that the pajamas that LD was wearing when he went to sleep now laid a creature with bright green fur, pointed ears and a huge mouth full of glistening fangsBut Jake didn’t care that his new boy just turned into a monster. Jake and his friend Lily have to do all they can to keep LD safe from other monsters. Great book, if you love adventure you will like Always October. The ending seems to be left open for a second book. FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book HarperCollins Publishing in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion in any way.

  • Cathy
    2019-03-21 09:17

    Jake Doolittle is in the 6th grade, he lives with his mom. His dad left them a few years earlier, just like HIS dad had left when he was a kid. Jake's best friend Lily is the granddaughter of the town cemetery caretaker and their favorite hideout and "library" is one of the mausoleums on the cemetery grounds. One day, as they are hanging out in their "library" they hear some weird noises coming from behind it, but when they work up the courage to check, there's nothing there. That's when they notice that there's a huge storm coming and head home so they don't get in trouble for being out in the storm. That night, during the storm, there's a knock at Jake's door and when he goes to answer it, he finds no one there, but a baby in a basket has been left. There's a note too, asking them to care for her baby until she can come back for it. Jake's mom knows that she must help this desperate mother, she decides that they will keep the baby. This works out well for all three of them, because Jake and his mom immediately fall in love with Little Dumpling as they decide to call him, LD for short. LD also loves Jake and his mom and they quickly fall into a pattern of caring for him. One night during a full moon, Jake and LD are home alone while Jake's mom goes to a class, when something strange happens. LD turns into a small monster complete with fur, fangs and pointy ears! Scary!Things get even scarier the next full moon when real monsters come out of the closet. Jake and LD are able to get away from the monster coming out of the closet with the help of another monster, but Jake, LD, Lily and her Grandpa find themselves in "Always October" a place where it's perpetually October, autumn leaves, cool temperatures, and Halloween type monsters. They must keep LD safe, not die themselves, and finish a quest to find the object that will keep LD human in their world, all while escaping from the bad group of monsters that want to use LD to split the two worlds. But will a couple of kids be able to do that, basically on their own?This was a fun book! I loved the adventure of it. This book is written for kids ages 8-12, so it's fairly easy reading for an adult. I liked the story line, it kept me entertained, I liked the characters, I liked the idea that there's a separate place where the monsters do live. The one thing that kind of annoyed me was that there was one thing in the plot that never ended up wrapped up in the ending. I hope that there will be a second book, that tells us more about what happens to Jake, LD and Lily. This is a cute Halloween read for kids 8-12!

  • Book Twirps
    2019-03-15 08:26

    “Weird Lily” is a sixth grader. She enjoys hanging out in the cemetery (for which her grandfather is the caretaker) with her friend Jake. Lily and Jake have had a bit of a strange relationship. When they were in second grade, Lily professed to the class that she was going to marry Jake. Jake avoided her like the plague after that, but recently they’ve become good friends. When Jake’s dad up and leaves his family (much like his grandfather did when Jake’s father was about the age Jake is now), the kids at school treat him a little differently and he found a friend in Lily. They spend a lot of their time creeping around the old mausoleum despite Lily’s grandfather’s insistence that they stay away from it.One particularly creepy afternoon, Lily and Jake hear a scratching noise coming from behind one of the mausoleum walls. Later that night, Lily believes she sees a large, lumbering shape escaping the mausoleum, and a few minutes later, Jake and his mother find a baby on their doorstep with a mysterious note asking them to care for the baby until the mother can return.When a full moon hits, Jake discovers that LD (short for “Little Dumpling”) has changed into a blue-haired, fanged monster. If that’s not weird enough, on the next full moon, LD transforms again and Lily, Jake and their families find themselves trapped in an alternate universe known as “Always October”, where it’s — you guessed it — always October. The universe is filled with strange monsters (some good, some bad) and the group must fulfill a quest that will keep LD human. But the bad monsters in Always October have a plan of their own. They want to use LD to bridge the two worlds, and it’s up to Lily and Jake to stop this from happening.This book was a whole lot of fun. I don’t read a lot of middle grade, but when I do, I always find myself transported back to when I was a ten-year-old. It’s nice to reconnect to my younger, more innocent self.This book is filled with magic and light scares that will thrill young readers. Mr. Coville has crafted a mysterious, whacky world perfect for Halloween. The characters are all a lot of fun. I liked both Jake and Lily, but Lily was definitely my fave. I loved her weirdness. The story is told from alternating viewpoints which gives the reader a well-rounded view into the story. My only complaint was that there were a few loose ends that were left open. Of course, that could mean that there will be a sequel, which I would love to read.This is the perfect read for middle graders looking for a light scare this Halloween.

  • Natalie
    2019-03-11 01:34

    Lily and Jake have been best friends since Jake's father disappeared and he became a little different. Lily understands weird. She lives in a cemetery with her cantankerous grandfather and loves all things dark and creepy. She and Jake have a clubhouse in a mausoleum. One night a baby appears on Jake's doorstep with a pleading note from the mother, asking them to take care of the little guy. He is named Little Dumpling, or LD for short. Jake is babysitting on the night of the full moon and is quite shocked when LD transforms into a cooing, drooling baby monster. Jake and Lily discover that LD is from the world of Always October - a place that is built on the fears of all humans. It is populated with monsters, some nice and some not so nice. LD was whisked away to their world because he is the key to either destroying the worlds, or holding them together. Now Jake, Lily and their new friends must risk everything to save LD. To do that, they must brave the dangers of Always October and get LD back to Humana - their world.I enjoyed this book quite a bit. Coville is brilliant at writing stories that are just the right amount of spooky for children. The narration alternates between Lily and Jake, who are both likable characters. The book was left open for a fun sequel - yay! :)

  • Julia
    2019-03-19 05:22

    It was a great book, but now I need a sequel!The story gets to the heart of what I love about fantasy, with the focus on tikkun olam, healing the world. I also appreciate that, unlike many kids' fantasy novels, there are intelligent, competent adults. The children still have to face some challenges on their own, but it isn't because the adults in their lives are completely absent. The relationships between characters are complex, and the novel explores different responses to losing people you care about.

  • crocboy77
    2019-02-25 04:13

    This story is about a boy and a girl who get an unexpected delivery at their door step. This little being would be last one you would want to be responsible for! I loved this book and I would take it everywhere I went. I did get a bit spooked in some parts because I usually read it at night. For anybody who is a horror or monster lover, I guarantee you will love this book!

  • Angela
    2019-02-22 06:19

    I won this book as an ARC from GoodReads. Children to young adults are going to love this book. The characters are very fun and the story is well played. Everyone, including myself, will be looking to see if a sequel appears! Thanks for the fun read!

  • Jakenv
    2019-03-02 03:35

    Great book for young folks & young of heart. Story moves and conveys a message to take care of family & friends no matter how strange. This is aimed at Halloween reading but can be enjoyed all year. Will definitely be reading more from this author.

  • NVTony
    2019-03-03 08:22

    Perfect for Halloween. Actually any time these characters will make for a fun read. Place descriptions well constructed so you feel yourself immersed in plot places. Enough mystery to retain interest.

  • Amy
    2019-02-19 07:32

    Won in a Goodreads Giveaway and so glad I did. Great story, characters, and setting. Loved it and hope my 10 year old will read it this month as well.

  • Mykenzy Davis
    2019-03-11 05:37

    This book is great. I love how the author switches between Lily and Jake so we can see each other's point of view of the problem.

  • Alexa
    2019-03-11 01:27

    I don't normally read monsters books, but this one was awesome! Plenty of adventure, fantasy, fun, comic relief and amazing plot twists! An amazing tale, that there had better be a sequel to!

  • Hannah Givens
    2019-02-26 03:32

    It's interesting to see how Bruce Coville's writing has developed since I was a kid. For me, the plot and setting were very familiar so it kept feeling like a less-complex version of a lot of other stories, but I would've loved it when I was younger and current children probably will too. I like the idea of the "magical fantasy world that exists alongside ours" being horror- and Halloween-inspired. Mainly though I liked the slight move toward a more progressive story, (not necessarily a move away from Coville's earlier work but just in general). There are a lot of female characters, not relegated to specific roles. Family is a major theme, but it is for fathers, siblings, etc., and the family in question is basically a huge blended family of monsters and humans. Half-aunts and cousins from first marriages and all that kind of thing. And because humanity's fears are a big theme, there's a cool part about how afraid people are of women. There's also a really interesting concept of a monster in two bodies who insists he's just one monster, confounding everyone's attempts to pronoun him because they keep trying to use "they" when it's "him." It didn't quite get there for me -- there's a twist about the two-bodied monster, for instance. (view spoiler)[And it's never explained why the guy's monster form is two-bodied. (hide spoiler)] And although the big blended family and lack of lifelong monogamy is cool and realistic, it's still all straight couples. That kind of thing. So, that combined with the basicness of the plot meant this was just three stars for me. But again, an actual kid would probably really enjoy it, especially as part of that spooky/Halloween kind of fantasy trend. For kids who aren't quite ready for Skulduggery Pleasant.

  • Alexis W
    2019-03-14 08:16

    2017 seems to be the year where I have lots of favorites, and that's okay with me. I found this book in the children’s section of my downtown library whilst browsing with my stepsister. The title is what drew me in first, and I just loved the aesthetic of the book. Halloween is my favorite holiday, and I tend to have a penchant for the creepy. I didn't expect the story to be so in depth and amazing, it being a children's book. (But Neil Gaiman proved me wrong with The Graveyard Book, so who am I to judge.) I'm glad I didn't read the excerpt on the back (which I rarely do), because I realize now it had a spoiler. I guess it technically isn't, but I liked being surprised when LD became a monster that first time. I also like that instead of everything just going their way, they had to go on a quest. I love quests. I'm not sure why, but reading about them is just a lot of fun for me. The more perilous and peculiar, the better. All in all, an amazing book, no matter how old you are.

  • Blake
    2019-03-06 02:12

    I really rather wanted to give this book 3.5 stars. I rounded up to 4 because 3 would have been too low. I've read Bruce Coville since I was in the fifth grade, and I've always enjoyed his books. After a long gap during which I graduated from college and finished growing up, I started reading some of his books that I had either missed or had been published in the interim. I was a little apprehensive. A lot of things you really enjoyed as a child, you realize are actually kind of dumb when you revisit them as an adult. But I was surprised and delighted to find myself enjoying his books perhaps even more than I did in my youth. So I started reading this book with high expectations. It's usually not a good idea to have high expectations for anything. You're only opening yourself up to disappointment.The book wasn't bad. It had some elements that I really enjoyed. But it also had some glaring problems that made me question whether Bruce Coville actually wrote this book. Normally he has amazing characters, funny and interesting prose, and a solid plot. Most of the problems were with the plot. I never like it when people do stupid things that go against their character just to add drama to the story. I also don't like it when the beginning of the story let's you know that everything is going to work out okay. It's a first person narrative, so obviously the narrator survived to tell the tale (unless they are now telling the story as a ghost). Also, the reading public pretty well demands a happy ending, and they usually get one, more so in children's books. But this book went a step further and mentioned some things that make it obvious once you get about halfway through the book that all is well and has gone according to plan. When this information is revealed, so is the remaining plot of the rest of the book. The reader is given a road map of everything that is about to happen and what the dangers along the way will be. And since this book would have been rather boring without it, I knew the characters were going to have to make all the dumb mistakes necessary to add drama to the tale despite knowing what the consequences of their actions would be. And to top things off, I think the entire journey was rather unnecessary. It made it less appealing to read when I was thinking about the simple solution that could have solved their main problem. I won't mention the solution in case those who read this review still want to read the book. Perhaps you won't see it and it won't spoil the fun for you, if you can't get past all the other irritations.The biggest problem the book has is apparent from the very beginning. The book has two first person narrators. They switch off chapters supposedly taking turns writing the story down. I've seen this done before by this very same author. His first attempt at it was much more successful. The key to pulling of this trick is that each narrator needs to have his/her own very distinct voice. If this tale is being "written" by two different people, they would likely have their own style of describing things and saying things. In his Sixth Grade Alien series, the two first person narratives were vastly different. One was a normal human boy and the other was an alien. They perceived things and described things so differently that it wasn't hard to tell who "I" was at any given time. Except for the difference between male and female, both narrators in this book are the same age and from the same place. They see the world pretty much the same and use the same narrative voice. Sometimes, it was hard making the transition after each chapter break as to who was telling this part of the story. And they both had grandpas who had major roles in the story, both of whom they called grandpa. That got especially confusing when both grandpas were in the scene and we switched from one narrator to the other.This book had many really good moments. The first half of the book is easily the best half. The problems with the plot really start showing up once they enter the world of Always October, a world that was created by human imagination and human fears. The book is creative and imaginative like all of Bruce Coville's work. While the prose is generally really good, I have a hard time believing this is supposedly being written by two 12-year-olds. I know the characters aren't actually writing the story. Bruce Coville is, but if you're going to have one (or two) of your 12-year-old characters tell the story, then you might want to scale back some of the beautiful writing and rather adult insight. And the book lets you know that they're writing this down about one month after the events occurred, so they're not just remembering back on something that happened when they were young. If that were the case, it wouldn't matter how mature the prose was. This book really called for a third person limited viewpoint.The book was compelling enough in the beginning that I used the momentum I'd gained to carry me through to the end once I started noticing problems. I read it a lot more quickly than I intended to. I was actually going to read this on the side as I read other books, but it grabbed my attention enough that I set those other books down. And I really did care about the characters. Even when they were doing stupid things to get themselves into trouble, I couldn't put the book down until they were back on track and out of immediate danger. The book is definitely open for a sequel. And now that the groundwork has been laid, I can see how the sequel might be a lot better. I don't know if Bruce Coville will write one, however. His writing has slowed down a lot in the last several years. He took forever finishing up the Unicorn Chronicles and wrote little else during that time. I would love to see some more Magic Shop books. Those are among my favorite.

  • Lupita Fletes
    2019-02-20 05:33

    This book is really intresting and full of mystery which makes you want to read it and not get bored in the process. This book is about a kid named jacob he has no father because his father disappeared.Jacob is an only child living with his mum until one rainy day the door bell rang and their was a baby outside which name was Little Dumpling .He took it in and kept it but their was one problem with Little Dumpling, he turned into a monster with fangs and green hair all over his body.Now jacob and his friend Lily have to figure out if Little Dumpling is going to cause the end of the world or if he is the key to saving the world.

  • Tarissa
    2019-03-15 08:37

    This was a pretty fun adventure for me. Filled with fantastical imagination, monsters around every turn, and a pretty epic journey -- yeah, I liked it. I liked how the narration went back and forth between Jake and Lily; it was a pretty good writing tactic that kept me intrigued to hear what each character thought. There's even good backstory that really filled in the plot.Cons? Just a couple moments of mildly "rough" language being used.

  • Patty
    2019-03-04 04:33

    I just love Bruce Coville.The story of 2 friends, a boy and a girl, who begin to investigate what has happened in the boy's family. This takes them places they could only read about in books. Coville presents a wonderful fantasy world, Always October, full of monsters, danger, and the chance to change things.

  • Nykki
    2019-02-20 09:26

    Honestly this book was a gem of a find. The cover drew me in coupled with the title because obviously there is no better month than October, but the story kept us in. My son, (8) struggled in the beginning to stay interested, I, however did not. He is all in now and has several favorite characters.The cast of characters were fabulous and quirky.This is a definite must read imo!

  • PopClouds
    2019-03-15 05:10

    Haha I read this a looong time ago (I was like 10..?) and I remember really liking it.

  • Awake at Midnight
    2019-02-22 05:32

    Always October. The name alone reminds me of Ray Bradbury’s October Country or Roger Zelazny’s A Night in the Lonesome October.Lily Carker, whose grandfather Abraham (or “Gnarly”) runs the cemetery, and Jacob Doolitle who comes from a wealthy family, but also from a long line of absentee fathers become unlikely friends when they discover a mutual interest in scary stories. They actually meet to read them in a tomb in the cemetery. Since Jake’s dad left, he’s developed a little bit of OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) and he has special rituals such as tapping certain places on the wall on the way up the stairs or pressing his thumb to each of his fingers repeatedly. Lily knows that sometimes just being there and not saying a thing is the best thing you can do for a friend.Jake’s grandfather was Arthur Doolittle, author of a series of books about a monster world called Always October. The first book is called A World Made of Midnight. I can’t imagine a cooler name for a book. He also speaks about a concept called Tikkun Olam, repairing the world, a concept that works here on a lot of levels. Gnarly hates the Doolittle family in the beginning, but goes on a journey that helps him come to terms with why.I loved the puzzle-solving and cryptography that led to the discovery of Jacob’s father’s study in the tower of Jacob’s house, but that seemed to hit a dead end once Jacob and Lily found their way into Always October.The story is action-packed, and Coville shows a real talent with words when he waxes poetic. There is a reason he is one of the most beloved children’s book authors today. I became a fan after The Ghost Wore Gray, and have been a loyal follower through the Magic Shop series and made sure my kids knew all the tales of Moongobble the Magician. Always October is so much fun I couldn’t put it down, but I did have a few issues.I found the passage of time to be confusing between the worlds; Mrs. McSweeney said they needed to be home before Jake’s mother was, so had to hurry, yet that was forgotten as they traveled two nights across Always October. (They got home late, I bet.) I can just imagine what my mom would think if she got home one night and I was gone and the babysitter was gone and we both stayed gone for two days. Actually, the police would probably be involved at that point, too.Familial relationships were really hard to discern. I had to draw myself a genealogy chart before it all made sense, because the characters span three generations, and are all interrelated either through blood or friendship. A chart in the front of the book would have been great, but it also would have given away too much of the mystery too early. Rest assured, even if you don’t write it down you can figure out who’s who if you just go with the story.[SPOILER] Then I spotted what I believe is a major inconsistency. Coville had it all tied up: Lily alludes one night, in a private conversation with Luna, that the cat gave up her life in order to save her from the Forest of the Lost. A forest you could never leave once you left the trail. Luna Marie Eleganza the 6th should now be The Seventh, but that doesn’t actually happen until later when she conspicuously sacrifices one of her lives.Ultimately, I loved Always October, the characters, the world, the idea of October opening its arms to envelop us in its very being. I am glad Coville left the story open for a sequel. There was so much action in this one, I feel like I want to spend more time getting to know Jacob, Lily and Keegel Farzim over a cup of hot mulled cider. This is a must-read for those of us who live our everyday in Always October.For the full review: Awake at Midnight

  • Stacy Nyikos
    2019-03-18 03:19

    Always OctoberBruce CovilleMiddle GradeIn breaking with my world tour of literature from Down Under to Italy, I decided on a good, ole-fashioned monster book that doesn't even take place in this world...much, Always October by Bruce Coville.Admittedly, it would seem this has a Fall slant to it, but no!, Always October is another world, a world inhabited solely by monsters who arise from human nightmares. Ghoulish, right? But no! not ghoulish, not entirely. The monsters are actually nice, some of them anyway. Basic Plot: A baby is abandoned on Jacob's doorstep with a note asking that someone take care of it. Jacob and his mom take said baby in. He's sweet and adorable so they name him Little Dumpling. But alas, when the moon is full, Dumpling turns into a full-fledged monster.Methinks Coville has spent many an hour with small children.As it turns out, Little Dumpling isn't just your run of the mill abandoned on the doorstep monster-baby. He is actually the savior of the world of monsters and humans, and there are monsters out to get him. Jacob and his friend, Lily, must travel (are first chased, actually) to Always October, world of monsters, in an attempt to save Dumpling from the bad guys, only to discover they have to cross back into the world of humans and hide Dumpling to keep Always October and the human world from total annihilation. The journey there and back again is a monster-style Candy Land with a River of Doom and Bridge of Doom and Veil of Tears and Queen of Sorrow and CliffHouse. The action and fast-moving plot aren't what made me choose this book for my review, though (or the need for a good horror read during the doldrums of summer!). It is Coville's use of alternating first person POV between Lily and Jacob. I was excited to find a middle grade with alternating POV. I'd tried the trick before myself, and I was eager to see what someone with Coville's writing chops had done comparatively.To keep the characters and POV separate, each chapter is labeled (Jacob), (Lily), (Jacob), etc underneath the chapter title. Coville gives Lily a quirky metaphoric vocabulary with a decidedly B-horror movie bent, while Jacob has physical quirks, e.g. he has to tap the wall three times when going upstairs, or he taps his fingers against his thumb to calm down. It's a pretty ingenious approach, connecting with expressive trends within this middle grade age group. Nevertheless, I found myself flipping back to the front of the chapter to remind myself who was narrating, and I began to wonder why. Why does alternating POV work seemingly so much more easily in YA vs. MG? I came up with a couple of possible reasons: 1) the dual characters in YA, as in this MG, tend to divide up along gender lines, but in the YA case, love enters into the dynamic, and so we readers get two different viewpoints on love. 2) It helps that in the dual YA I've read, somebody usually is turning into, say, a werewolf, or other monster. The human/monster dichotomy goes a long way in keeping characters separate. 3) I've also read adult lit with alternating POV when both characters are of the same gender. Usually, in that case, age tends to differentiate characters and their views of the world are thus seen through the lens of more or less life experience.Despite these de facto differences that may make it easier to write more distinctly different older protagonists, I still believe alternating POV can work better in middle grade. I'd love to hear from anyone who has read Always October and whether they had the same experience, or if you've got a suggestion for a middle grade title in which the alternating POV worked well. I'm on the hunt!For more great summer adventures, paddle (here in the midwest anyway) over to Barrie Summy's website!

  • Denae Christine
    2019-03-17 04:32

    Reader thoughts: This was very fun. It sounds like a horror book from the content, but it was written like a comedy (with some small-town drama and a world just for monsters and one guy determined to unravel everything). Both MCs were great. Jake had a bit of OCD, and Lily is only impressed by everything normal humans would find horrific or gruesome (she is called "weird Lily" when we first meet her).LD was awesome! At first, I disliked that the cute baby turned into a monster (yes, the little green one on the cover), but LD grew on me.The reveals and family connections were predictable but not obvious. The final climax was very good (view spoiler)[, but I thought Jake should have had a little more trouble after dying. He acted like it was no big deal (his father wasn't even worried!) (hide spoiler)].Writer thoughts: The alternating first person povs were well done. I don't see this often. The Red Pyramid, Dragon Trials, The Last Knight, and Honor's Heir are the only ones I can recall reading which have tried this. The latter two did a fabulous job keeping the povs distinct and the characters' voices unique. With Jake and Lily, we had a good balance of gung-ho and timid.Aside from voice, the alternating chapters allowed for some great cliff-hangers and escalating tension. Lily might leave off at a shocking moment, and then Jake would pick up and blame her saying, "Of course she'd end it there." So fun, and it made the gripping story really seem a product of the characters rather than the machinations of the author. Plus, it allowed the author to remind the readers that the characters survived (at least long enough to write the book).The first line was perfect! We find out Jake turns into a monster. It matched the last couple lines so well, too, although I do wish (view spoiler)[we could find out what kind of monster Jake turns into. That question kept me turning pages for two days, and I still didn't get to know. Coville must be the ornery sort (hide spoiler)].

  • Hailey Peay
    2019-03-15 04:32

    I loved the book Always October by Bruce Coville. Some of the main characters are Jacob Doolittle, Lily Carker, and Little Dumpling. In the beginning of the book, Jake lives in a huge house that has been passed down through his ancestors. One night, Jake finds a baby on his doorstep, and his mother decides to keep him, although they don't want anyone to know about him. Jake and his mother have to raise the baby without Jake's father because he "disappeared" one day in a cave. Jacob's friend "Weird Lily" helps with raising LD after Jake finds that he grows fur. The two friends protect LD, as he is the key to saving the two worlds. The monster world has different sections, both positive and negative looking. A group of monsters come and try to capture LD, while Jacob tries to save him because they are barely brothers. One of the many life lessons in this book is to not judge a book by its cover. When LD turned into a monster first, Jake said he was still cute and gentle. Just because the little baby looked creepy, he was still perfectly fine. I absolutely loved this book by Bruce Coville, because the way the characters react to certain events, when the spider kidnapped them for example, and how they take care of each other. Lily and Jacob always seem to be there for each other when they need help. I also love how the author describes the two worlds. I would definitely suggest this book to everyone.

  • Andd Becker
    2019-03-13 02:12

    Bruce Coville's stunning 100th book will disappear from your bookshelf as young readers scramble to get in line to read it. Don't be surprised if the library's copies are always in circulation. Don't be surprised if the adventures of Lily and Jacob create in your children and in your students an intense interest in reading. Lily and Jacob write a journal about strange happenings in the human world and in the monster world, with their entries in alternating chapters. Their individual personalities and perspectives come through clearly; there is no mistaking one writer for the other. The dual 1st person narrative is an excellent framework for the multi-level plot. Always October is the monster-place to inhabit when you want to escape into a world of mystery, action, and danger. The chilling first sentence will grab your attention. The narrator-writers present background information about their weird families. Later they learn that there are some common links. The book ends in a way that makes me want to read more. Will there be a book two? Enjoy every page of this fast-paced adventure, especially if you are in the ages 8 to 12 bracket, the 3rd grade to 7th grade range.I am thankful for having received this book free through the goodreads FIRST READS program.

  • BookWormBlue22
    2019-03-03 07:34

    I read this book with my niece during the Halloween season of 2015. My niece is 12 and I thought this might be a cute little story that I would simply get through for her sake. While I found this to be an ADORABLE story I have to say that I absolutely loved this! This book brought back a love for middle grade books that I had forgotten I had. The world that Mr. Coville created was intriguing, creative and so Halloweenesque that I could hardly put this book down. The characters were well thought out, surprising and insanely creative. I like that both the main characters, while so young have experienced real world heart ache and drama. As an adult this made them very relatable from my point of view. And finally the story was so well written, it sucked me in from the first page! And while there was some predictability in the story, there were some surprises as well that I was not at all expecting. This is simply a wonderful story that does not get enough credit and love. I will be adding this one to my collection and I look forward to diving into more of Bruce Coville's books. Happy Reading!

  • Angela
    2019-03-12 09:10

    Filled with Coville's usual great imagination, this is a story of family, monsters, and a quest. I was instantly drawn to Jacob's character and liked the sensitive and natural way the author showed how the disappearance of his father transformed into constant fears and the need for rituals, in an OCD type manner. Lily wasn't a real favorite of mine mainly because I found her monster-themed exclamations irritating "cooler than Frankenstein's pink pajamas!", ugh. I'm sure kids will think this is neat and hilarious. While the story was dramatic with a number of dangerous stops on their quest, there was some comic relief provided by my favorite character Sploot Fah. There is a classic Bond-like climax where seconds are ticking down and success seems impossible--but the kids save the day with a surprising solution. There are a few twists at the end, things I never saw coming but were awesome. My only disappointment with this story is that there's no sequel. It's completely ripe for one and even gives us a little teaser/cliffhanger in the epilogue. Since it was published in 2012 I think it's safe to say that I'll never have the chance to venture back to Always October. Dang!

  • Barbara
    2019-03-20 07:31

    Sixth grader Jake Doolittle and his best friend Lily Carker alternate telling the story of a grand adventure they had. When a baby is left on Jake's doorstep, his mother is quick to take the baby in. Jake is just as charmed as she is by the little one, but on a moonlit night, the baby sprouts fangs and fur and resembles a monster more than a cuddly baby. The baby, affectionately known as Little Dumpling, is at the center of a battle between several monsters in a land called Always October, a place that Jake and Lily had always considered to be fiction, the literary imaginings of Jake's grandfather, but it turns out not to be. As the two friends move through dangerous places, they encounter plenty of suspense but also plenty of hilarity. Although the book isn't necessarily my cup of tea, many middle grade readers will love this one. I was annoyed by the shift in narration, which didn't offer as much difference in perspective as I expected.

  • Jaime Leroy
    2019-02-20 09:36

    This book is adorable and completely charming. We meet Jake who has a family full of mysteries. The men in his family seem to disappear and his “adopted” brother LD has recently turned into a monster, complete with fuzzy green hair and fangs. When Jake and his friend Lily accidentally step into a parallel universe called Always October, the story becomes really interesting. Jake works on discovering the secrets of his family while he and Lily try to keep LD safe from both worlds. Lots of humor, adventure, and suspense await readers with this book. My only concern is that the cover is childish looking. I am worried my middle schoolers may overlook the book to the young cover.Price: 16.99Suitability:Grades 3-6Illustrations: N/AGenre: Adventure/FantasyPossible censorship issues: N/ACall #: FIC COV