Study Guide

Here Be Monsters! An Adventure Involving Magic, Trolls, and Other Creatures; The Ratbridge Chronicles Volume 1 Rules and Order

By Alan Snow

Rules and Order

The conflicts between rules-followers and rules-breakers generate a lot of the plot twists in Here Be Monsters! Pirates versus police… Cheese Guild minions versus the lawyer… kleptomaniac boxtrolls versus the town guard… you name it, we've got it.

When it comes to social order more generally, we get asked to think about a lot of big issues in this book. When is stealing okay? If you need to feed your family, does that make stealing more okay than if you're a pirate? When should we trust—or not trust—the police? Who do you complain to if the police are clearly taking bribes from the corrupt Cheese Guild? These and other questions about rules and order are worth turning over in your head as you enjoy the silliness and fun in this book.

Questions About Rules and Order

  1. How does Willbury use his understanding of the law to help others?
  2. Why do the boxtrolls break so many rules about stealing?
  3. How would you characterize the criminal law system of Ratbridge?
  4. In a fight between the pirates and the police, who do you think would win?

Chew on This

Breaking the rules to help a loved one—like when Arthur steals food to feed Grandfather—is always okay.

Rules that humans make only seem to apply to the, well, human characters in this book.