Welcome! Today, I am taking a part in the blog tour for Bruce Hale’s “Curse of the Were Hyena!”
The Curse of the Were-Hyena
Written by Bruce Hale
224 pages – ages 8+
Published by Disney-Hperion on July 5, 2016
Synopsis from Publisher- “Two likable fourth graders–Carlos and Benny–are a little freaked out since their favorite teacher, Mr. Chu, has started acting strangely, like sniffing people’s homework, laughing hysterically, and chasing chickens. When they decide to find out what’s happening to him, they get caught up in some moonlight madness. And that’s just the beginning . . . .”
When I got the information for the blog tour, I was asked if I wanted anything”special” from Mr. Hale. Well, I couldn’t resist asking for his best photo of himself as a were-hyena and a description of his night as a were-hyena. Thinking Mr. Hale would politely pass on my request, I was surprised to get this back –
Who knew? Bruce Hale was a were-wolf in his earlier days! The picture was accompanied with a great story about his night as a were-
Born to howl
By Bruce Hale
I’ve always had a thing for werewolves. Maybe it’s innate in me. Or maybe it dates back to when, at nine years old, my buddies and I were watching The Wolf-man on TV, and my dad burst into the room wearing monster hands and my mom’s fur hat, howling away.
You don’t forget something like that.
Whatever the cause, this werewolf love has led me to watch lots of spooky movies and to write monster stories like my newest, THE CURSE OF THE WERE-HYENA. And once, it led me to get wolfy myself.
Back when I was living in Hawaii, a friend passed me a free ticket to the Honolulu Theatre for Youth’s costume ball fundraiser. As this was right before Halloween, my favorite time of year, I immediately agreed to go.
For days, I agonized over a costume. A professional children’s theater could generate some pretty cool outfits for the other attendees. What could I wear to keep up with them?
And then it hit me. Time to go full wolf-man.
With the help of a friend, I rounded up some fake hair and spirit gum, and shredded some old clothes. I put on some spooky makeup, and she painstakingly applied the hair to my clean-shaven face.
It looked great. With a wild howl, I hopped onto a borrowed motorbike and set out for the party. It wasn’t a long ride through that October night, but it was a memorable one.
I got so many double-takes from other drivers that I couldn’t help cracking up. What, they’d never seen a werewolf biker before?
Soon I reached the party, which was held in an old-timey mansion that could’ve doubled as a haunted house. I didn’t know anybody, which normally would’ve been a cause of concern.
But not this time.
I played the werewolf role to the hilt—howling, dancing like a wild man, and savaging the trays of appetizers. I even tried to sniff the people I met, not all of whom cared for this.
In short, I had a terrific time.
Other partiers tried to guess who I was under all that makeup and hair, but since they’d never met me before, all their guesses were wrong. I preserved my werewolf identity, never revealing my real name.
And when at last I mounted my motorbike and rode off under a gibbous moon, I rode with a smile. Many sons don’t want to end up just like their fathers, but when you’ve got a dad who’s a wolf-man, it’s just too much fun to resist.
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!!
The Full Moon of the Were-Hyena Howling Good Giveaway!
Author Bio: Edgar-nominated author Bruce Hale is passionate about inspiring reluctant readers to read. He has written or illustrated more than 35 seriously funny books for children, including the popular School for S.P.I.E.S. and Chet Gecko Mysteries series; as well as picture books such as Clark the Shark, Snoring Beauty, and Big Bad Baby. An actor and a Fulbright Scholar in Storytelling, Bruce is in demand as a speaker, having presented at conferences, universities, and schools around the world. Bruce’s book The Malted Falcon was an Edgar Award Finalist and Murder, My Tweet won the Little D Award for Humor Writing. He lives in Santa Barbara, California with his wife and dog.
What I Thought- I really am not into monster stories but I really liked Hale’s writing in his School for S.P.I.E.S. series and figured I’d give it a try. I am happy I did. Although the story is about a fictional monster, Hale made his characters realistic. The characters in the book are fourth-graders and the dialogue is spot on. The illustrations throughout the book are a good addition and are great for the story’s intended audience. While I do not normally read monster books, this one is less on the horror, and has a decent amount of humor tossed in it. It is good for kids who want a scary story that isn’t too scary. There are still stakes (as in plot stakes, not vampire stakes), but the book is completely appropriate for an 8-year-old+ audience. This is a great start to a new series!
Visit Mr. Hale’s website to get the discussion guide and activities!