The Glow by Sofie Laguna

The Glow
Author: Sofie Laguna
Illustrator: Marc McBride
Published: February 28, 2023
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Readership: Middle Fiction
Rating: ★★★★
RRP: $16.99

I received a copy of The Glow from the publishers for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Megan and her best friend Li must team up and draw on all their creativity and courage to defeat a strange monster that threatens their town.

Megan is obsessed with drawing fantastical creatures and she shares them with her best friend Li who writes stories to go with the pictures. They are kindred spirits with big creative dreams.
One day everyone in town – except Megan and Li – is immobilised by a strange glow coming from their phones. Megan and Li are initially frightened and alarmed, but when they realise they are somehow immune, they set out to seek help.
Soon a battle unfolds, a thrilling battle that pits all of their creative energies against the terrible monster that has ensnared everyone else around them.
A wonderfully spooky novel from one of Australia’s finest writers, and beautifully illustrated by Marc McBride.

On the last day of school, Megan and Li discover that their friends and family have been captivated by the strange blue glow emanating from various devices. Only they seem to be unaffected and together set out to discover what’s behind the strange – possibly terrifying – phenomenon.

Megan and Li are great characters in this middle grade horror novel that contrasts the imaginations of artists (and writers) against the rising reliance on technology. There’s a sense of urgency in the story, as Megan and Li try to save the people they love by facing their fears and confronting what’s at the centre of The Glow. It’s a wild ride, with a well-written narrative combined with interesting and, at times, creepy illustrations throughout the book. I love how we get to see the monsters that Megan creates (that are fleshed out by Li’s writer’s mind) on page.

This would make for a great class read aloud – if you have a class who doesn’t mind creepy stories – but for older readers would be a great discussion starting point for the benefits and pitfalls of society’s reliance on technology. It could also be a great mentor text for writer’s notebooks, highlighting the importance not only of fleshing out your characters, but also their stories, when writing.


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