The Beasties by William Sleator

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Synopsis

The master of suspense delivers a hard-core horror story to thrill and chill. Fans will get more than goose bumps from this terrifying tour de force by William Sleator. The nightmare begins when Doug's family moves to the desolate northern woods; soon he and his little sister, Colette, become caught up in a war between the area's loggers and a dying race of woodland creatures who depend on human body parts for their survival. Tunnels, tunnels, leading everywhere...even right into Doug and Colette's basement. But who built them? Could the rumors about the mysterious, bloodthirsty kidnappers called the Beasties possibly be true? Skeptical Doug doesn't buy it at first, even if an unusual number of the local inhabitants seem to be missing important pieces of their anatomies. But once he and his sister stumble into a cavernous opening and meet the Beastie scout named Fingers, Doug is forced to become a believer. Colette soon is indoctrinated into the society of the Family, an underground civilization of slimy, pale beings with crudely stitched-together body parts. Doug desperately hopes to remain an outsider, but it seems he has no choice. In fact, the Family needs him to make the biggest sacrifice of all. If he tries to escape, he faces an awful truth (one that readers, too, will learn): Once you have met the Beasties, you will never be safe again. Hailed by R. L. Stine as "one of my favorite young-adult writers,"
 

About William Sleator

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William Sleator was born on February 13, 1945 in Harve de Grace, Maryland. In 1967, he received a BA in English from Harvard University. He mainly wrote science fiction novels for young adults. His first novel, Blackbriar, was published in 1972. He wrote more than 30 books including House of Stairs, Interstellar Pig, The Green Futures of Tycho, Strange Attractors, The Spirit House, The Boy Who Couldn't Die, and The Phantom Limb. His picture book, The Angry Moon, won a Caldecott Award in 1971. He died on August 3, 2011 at the age of 66.
 
Published October 1, 1997 by Dutton Juvenile. 208 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Beasties

Kirkus Reviews

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Colette is unfazed, however, and when the pair discover a trapdoor in their backyard, she jumps down and makes friends with the beasties--or "the family," as they call themselves--subterranean sub-human life forms forced to borrow body parts from humans in order to survive.

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Publishers Weekly

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Strange creatures whose existence is threatened by loggers require human donors to survive.

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Publishers Weekly

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As the rather stereotypical pair of children (Doug is an athlete, Colette is a bookworm) begins to sympathize with the Beasties' plight, they are forced into ethically challenging positions throughout the book (e.g., Doug even donates one of his eyes to the creatures' new leader, who is blind).

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SF Site

Logging companies clear cutting some remote forest provide the backdrop for the story, and apparently even the driving force behind the actions of the beasties (the demented goblin surgeons).

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