“Dr. Critchlore’s School for Minions” is a kids’ book that tells the story of Runt Higgins, a human, and his best friend Syke, a female werewolf who left for a different minion school. Syke chose to leave Dr. Critchlore’s school because he had killed her mother. Syke’s mother was a hamadryad, (a type of fairy), and Dr. Critchlore had burned down a hamadryad settlement to make room for a Boulderball field. Boulderball is a complex game that author Sheila Grau and Illustrator Joe Sutphin came up with.
Runt leaves his spot at Dr. Critchlore’s school to find Syke. Syke is attending Dr. Pravus’s School for Minions, and tensions are heating up as Pravus accuses Critchlore of killing off all of his 35 Winged Gorillas, an endangered species. Meanwhile, Runt discovers that he is of the royal family Arinaat, which was killed in a military coup. His family’s land was shared among the generals (whom he doesn’t know). He also has a curse telling that he will die when he turns sixteen. And, to make it worse, he has a tethering curse to make sure that he stays within range of the death curse. His professor at Critchlore’s school hated him, but he got along with other people like the cooks. Dr. Pravus from Syke’s school was put down on his knees to plead before the wizard council for the recreation of the giant minion. A giant, unstoppable minion that caused havoc on the Earth before they were defeated. Only he, Dr. Pravus knew the formula to make one. It was when he had the council’s attention, that he accused his nemesis, Dr. Critchlore, of killing the gorillas.
This book is about how Runt faces dangers like dragons, Yetis, and giant polar birds trying to find Syke. It has a lot of pictures, but is still a chapter book. I recommend this book for anyone ages 9-12 because anyone younger than 9 might not be able to follow the plot, and kids older than 12 would not enjoy the amount of fantasy. This was a very good book to read, and I enjoyed it a lot.