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The Onts: Secrets of Dripping Fang Book One
Dan Greenburg
Harcourt, 131 pages

The Onts: Secrets of Dripping Fang Book One
Dan Greenburg
Dan Greenburg is the creator of the Zack Files series of middle grade novels as well as the author of a number of bestselling adult books, the most well-known of which is How to Be a Jewish Mother. He lives in New York.

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Past Feature Reviews
A review by Jonathan Fesmire

Wally and Cheyenne Shufflemuffin are fraternal twins living at the Jolly Days Orphanage, a place that makes the Municipal Orphanage of Annie seem like a day spa. Wally's feet stink and Cheyenne is constantly sneezing, so no one wants to adopt them, until a pair of gaunt women, Dagmar and Hedy, come to the orphanage looking to adopt. Stinky feet and dripping noses are just what they want in children.

These tall sisters provide the Shufflemuffin twins with their own bedrooms, game systems, sweets, and kindness. Still, Wally knows that something is wrong. In the first place, they live in Dripping Fang Forest, where all manner of strange creatures are reported to live. A little reconnaissance proves that Wally is right, and that he and Cheyenne are in deep trouble.

Take a touch of Lemony Snicket, add in the supernatural and a few good twists, and you'll have an idea of what Secrets of Dripping Fang Book One: The Onts is like. The book is a good read, often dark, often humorous, and hard to put down. Chances are, you'll read it in one enjoyable sitting. It's children's novel for kids who like to be scared.

The Onts also sets the stage for a promising series. The children run into a handful of terrors in Dripping Fang Forest, but Dan Greenburg hints at more. The Onts may still succeed in their evil plans. They may even recapture the Shufflemuffin twins. The wolves, the black widow, the zombie, and more are still all around them in the forest.

The series continues with Secrets of Dripping Fang Book Two: Treachery and Betrayal at Jolly Days, which I am eager to read. If the first book is any indication, this series will be a fun addition to children's fantasy literature.

Copyright © 2005 by Jonathan Fesmire

Jonathan Fesmire has travelled to France, Germany, Estonia, Finland, and Ireland. He enjoys speaking French and learning bits of other foreign languages, but most of all, he loves writing, and has sold fiction to Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine, SpaceWays Weekly, Jackhammer, and others.

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