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Monster on the Hill

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about the book

Monster on the Hill


Imagine you are a typical 1860’s English tourist browsing in a gift shop during your vacation. Suddenly, out on the street, screams erupt and chaos ensues as a great beastie rampages through the village. But instead of being terrified, you’re thrilled. It’s a great show and the scary behemoth is awesome! After the fright, you plan to pick up a few action monster figures from the gift shop!

Every respectable country village has a resident monster that periodically rampages through the streets, threatening all the town’s people and tourists. So having a really good monster is important: the worse the monster, the prouder the town!

Stoker-on-Avon has a big problem. Their resident dragon, Rayburn, has a bad case of the blahs. The morose monster hasn’t rampaged in years and can’t roar, fly, or spit fire! The Stoker villagers are very embarrassed and are even vacationing in neighboring hamlets.

To become a proper horror, Rayburn needs a makeover, and that falls to the eccentric Dr. Charles Wilkie, a disgraced, slightly mad scientist. He’ll be aided by Timothy, an overly-optimistic street urchin who just follows along on a lark.

But how do you get a dragon to go monstering again? One way may be to take him to see his old school chums. But they better be quick about it. Now that Rayburn is out of town, something is eager to take his place…and this beastie definitely will not thrill anyone in Stoker-on-Avon!


about the author/artist

Rob Harrell


Rob Harrell lives in two worlds. In one, he is a famed figurative fine artist whose realistic renderings in oils on canvas are the type you find hanging in galleries, museums, and really swanky houses. In another world, he is an award-winning syndicated cartoonist whose comics appear in more than 140 newspapers worldwide.

The truth is, when he is working on a fine art piece, he feels guilty that he isn’t cartooning! Rob has worked for such big clients as Mad Magazine, Simon and Schuster, Time Inc, Volkswagen, and American Greeting. He is a fine arts graduate from The De Pauw University and the Ringling School of Art and Design.

He got serious about drawing comics in fourth grade. He and his friend Steve Farris would hang out in the basement and draw comics for hours. That was also when Rob sold his first comics. Along with Steve and another friend, the three put together their own monthly Mad-style humor rag. A yearly subscription was just 25 cents! Unfortunately, they did only one issue and got into big trouble!

He says the best part of being a comic artist is coming up with something funny every single day. It is also the hardest part of the job!

Author website
Author interview: A Nickel’s Worth
Author video interview

Also by Rob Harrell:
Life of Zarf : The Troll Who Cried Wolf (Life of Zarf, Book 2). Dial. September 2015.
Life of Zarf : The Trouble with Weasels (Life of Zarf, Book 1). Dial. 2014.

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life of zarf the trouble with weasels


Life of Zarf : The Trouble with Weasels (Life of Zarf, Book 1) by Rob Harrell
Zarf is a troll, and in his middle school that means he is at the bottom of the hierarchy, below the prince, the knights, ogres, giants, even the minstrels (the band geeks of his world). When the king disappears and the bully prince ascends the throne, life becomes even worse for Zarf, prompting him and his pig and jester’s son friends to go looking for the rightful king.