Janner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby, the Lost Jewels of Anniera, are hiding from Gnag the Nameless in the Green Hollows, one of the few places in the land of Aerwiar not overrun by the Fangs of Dang. But there's a big problem. Janner's little brotherheir to the throne of Annierahas grown a tail. And gray fur. Not to mention two pointed ears and long, dangerous fangs. To the suspicious folk of the Green Hollows, he looks like a monster.
But Janner knows better. His brother isn't as scary as he looks. He's perfectly harmless. Isn't he?
Full of characters rich in heart, smarts, and courage, The Monster in the Hollows is a tale children of all ages will cherish, families can read aloud, and readers' groups are sure to enjoy discussing for its many layers of meaning. Extra features include new interior illustrations from Joe Sutphin, funny footnotes, a map of the fantastical world, inventive appendices, and fanciful line art in the tradition of the original Frank L. Baum Wizard of Oz storybooks.
About the Author
Joe Sutphin was known in school as "that kid who can draw." He is the illustrator of Dr. Critchlore's School for Minions by Sheila Grau and the New York Times bestselling novel Word of Mouse by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein.
Read an Excerpt
A Smoldering Silence
It wasn’t a sound that woke Janner Igiby. It was a silence.
Something was wrong.
He strained into a sitting position, wincing at the pain in his neck, shoulders, and thighs. Every time he moved he was reminded of the claws and teeth that had caused his wounds.
He expected to see the bearer of those claws and teeth asleep in the bunk beside him, but his brother was gone. Sunlight fell through the porthole and slid to and fro across the empty mattress like a pendulum, keeping time with the rocking of the boat. The other bunk’s bedclothes were in a heap on the floor, which was typical; Kalmar never made his bed back in Glipwood, either. What wasn’t typical was his absence.
For weeks, Janner and Kalmar had lain in their bunks all day, Janner recovering from his wounds, Kalmar keeping him company. Every time Janner woke, he found his furry brother in his bunk, usually with a sketchbook in his lap. The skritch-skritch of Kalmar’s quill each morning was as comforting as birdsong. Janner liked to lie awake for a few minutes before he opened his eyes, listening to Kalmar’s breathing, reminding himself that the creature beside him was, in fact, his little brother. He still wasn’t used to the way he looked, covered in fur, or to the husky growl at the edge of his eleven-year-old voice. But his breathing was the same, and so were his eyes. If ever Janner doubted, he just had to look at those bright blue eyes to know that beneath the wolfish fur was a little boy.
Janner took a deep breath and swung his feet to the floor. His wounds stung. His thighs were wrapped in bandages, and he winced when he saw the dark stains there. Nia and Leeli would have to change the dressing again, and that meant more pain. Janner took a moment to muster the energy to stand, something he had seldom done alone since he’d been wounded. He shuddered at the cold memory: the shock of the icy water when he plunged in after Kalmar; the hot sting of claws digging into his thighs as the little Grey Fang kicked against his embrace; claws scraping against his back and tearing his shirt to shreds; and, worst of all, the sharp teeth as they bit into his shoulder and neck—his brother’s teeth.
The ship creaked and fell silent again. Since the day they had sailed away from the Ice Prairies, the ship had seemed like a living thing. It groaned like an old man sleeping; it coughed when the sails luffed; it sighed when they tacked into a happy wind. The crew shouted and laughed at all hours of the day, and even at night Janner was kept company by the slapping of waves against the hull and the murmur of sailors keeping watch.
And then there was the heartbeat of the ship: Podo Helmer. Janner’s peg-legged grandfather marched from fore to aft, starboard to port, the steady tap-clunk, tap-clunk of his footsteps beating deep into the night, keeping the ship alive and all its passengers with it. The old man’s voice boomed and bellowed, a presence so constant that if Janner ever wondered where Podo was, he had but to listen for a moment to hear either a barked command, a burst of laughter, or the beat of his wooden stump on the deck.
But now the ship’s heart had stopped beating, and that was the silence that had woken Janner. Neither the odd calm of the waters, nor the silence of the crew, nor even Kalmar’s absence was as troubling as the utter stillness of Podo Helmer. It was as if the old man had disappeared.
Then, as if to confirm Janner’s sense of dread, there came to his nostrils the unmistakable smell of smoke. Janner stood, too fast, and the pain in his legs, neck, and back made him dizzy. But he didn’t care. He had to find out what was happening on deck, even if just to be sure that he wasn’t stuck in a nightmare.
Janner took three steps toward the stairs and the hatch flew open. Light poured into the hold.