Anyone interested in the value of scary books for children ought to check out this article, recently published in the journal of the American Association of School Librarians:. Crawford, Philip Charles. Stine, a major influence on horror writing for children and teens.
To get up close and personal, take a look here. B's class for pointing out an excellent resource for R. Stine's Goosebumps series. There are lots of Halloween alphabet books, but a majority tend toward the cute or use branded characters or both. Jenni Kaye takes an original approach to choosing words to match each letter, as well. Highly recommended. Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things focuses on twelve year old Max Starling, the son of theatrical parents who withdraw him from school and then disappear on a journey, leaving him behind.
Max, who has always been told he is independent, now has to test that by living at home on his own and making money to eat and pay for lessons. With a thorough knowledge of the theatrical characters his parents had played and their costuming, he is able to successfully navigate the adult world using disguises, without giving away that he is living alone.
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This is the frame for the story, which consists of three mysteries that Max is asked to solve. While the mysteries are individual, they are also interconnected, with engaging if not always likable characters, and while events occasionally feel contrived, the solutions are not immediately clear. Voigt creates a setting rich in detail, beautifully complemented by illustrations by Iacopo Bruno, and her character development is solid. However, while some exposition and dialogue are necessary to establish these, it happens at the expense of the plot. Pages and pages of dialogue are devoted to the introduction of the second mystery, but nothing actually happens.
Max also spends a great deal of time brooding over his independence and separation from his parents without actually taking action. I think the target audience for the book will be impatient with this, as well. Although there are a few frightening moments, readers who are seeking out thrills and chills or a fast-paced plot will need to look elsewhere. The humor, intrigue, well-developed characters, and cliffhanger ending, however, will leave readers who like historical fiction and mysteries demanding more.
Reviewed by Kirsten Kowalewski. Random House Books for Young Readers, reprint. The premise of the Magic Tree House series is that siblings Jack and Annie have discovered a magical tree house that houses a library.
Opening any book will transport them to the time and place the book is about. Their mentor is Morgan le Fay, a magical librarian from Camelot, and through her and her assistants, Merlin the magician sends them on missions through mythical and historical times and places. The ghost of Jean Lafitte, and his ghostly pirate crew, arrives to terrorize all the kids, in what is actually a pretty terrifying scene for a seven year old reader. Luckily, a reluctant Dipper is able to distract the ghosts with his music. What happened instead was very frustrating for me. Jack and Annie are supposed to convince Dipper to get started on making music without revealing the future.
He is so stubborn that in order to convince him they break their own rules and show him the history book that brought them to New Orleans, to show him that he would become a famous jazz musician.
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Every book in this series is heavily researched, and this one is no different; she includes facts about Louis Armstrong in the back. Awkward Falls is a strange town, known for its sauerkraut and its Asylum for the Dangerously Insane. Josephine explores her new neighborhood and stumbles upon a run-down mansion house, which is home to a strange little boy called Thaddeus Hibble.
But the kids are in danger: the most dangerous inmate of the Asylum, Fetid Stenchley, has escaped and is heading their way…. I really enjoyed this book. As an adult, I found it a quirky and bizarre book. The humor in the book, and its two young protagonists, seem designed to appeal to a middle grade audience. The story is accompanied by black-and-white pencil sketches, and some of these are really quite creepy.
That said, it is an original tale with some unexpected twists — definitely a good read for fans of slightly darker fiction. Recommended for middle grade and tween audiences. Contains: references to cannibalism, murder, violence and medical experimentation. Reviewed by: Hannah Kate.
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Infestation b y Timothy J. Scholastic, Available: Paperback, Kindle edition. When Andy Greenwood finds himself on the wrong end of the law and he is sent to the Reclamation School for Boys, located in the middle of the New Mexico desert. He runs into the usual bullies and strange administrators pretty quickly, but when meets his new roommate, Pyro, he learns that the facilities were once more than just a reform school. Then, a tremor releases an insect horror as giant killer ants attack the school en masse. Bradley has created a wonderful homage to the creature feature and killer animal movies of the 50s and 60s, in a very readable and engaging manner that will work well for young adults.
Infestation definitely ought to be paired with the giant ant movie Them! And, keeping in mind that Bradley previously authored nonfiction on bugs, Infestation also provides an opportunity to connect kids with science and the natural world. This book is a must-add for both school media centers and public libraries. Highly recommended for ages 8 and up. Contains: references to domestic violence and violence. Review by The Monster Librarian. Robert Arthur becomes a victim of redistricting, stuck with having to go to the new school, Lovecraft Middle School, where he is separated from all his friends and familiar faces with the exception of Glen Torkells, a bully form his old school.
Robert soon finds that not everything is normal at Lovecraft Middle School, where rats swarm through the hallway and the library is an amazing place that houses it own secrets.
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Even the teachers are strange; the mysterious Professor Garfield Goyle is like no other teacher Robert has run into before. Charles Gilman has written an engaging book for young readers. The plot moves along at a decent pace, leaving enough questions that the reader will be enticed to turn to the next page looking for answers. The illustrations are a great complement to the story, and help visualize what is happening.
While the writings of H.
nvenmithinkma.ml P Lovecraft are definitely not for children, Charles Gilman has written an entertaining and very kid friendly book that is age appropriate in form and content. Review by the Monster Librarian. Please note that this review contains spoilers from the first book of the Scary School series. Monsters on the March is the 2nd book of the Scary School series and takes place shortly after the first book. Having been over a year since I read the first book in this series, I was excited to visit Scary School again.
I wasn't sure if this book would hold up to the fun adventures Derek took us through with the first book, but he didn't disappoint. The students are very excited about this, but the trip becomes a bit more dangerous than expected, especially for Charles Nukid, who gets lost from the group and ends up having the Monster King's daughter, Princess Zogette, fall in love with him.
You'd think having a Princess fall in love with you is a wonderful thing, right? But what if said Princess looks like a toad? If so, you have the same reaction that most of the students at Scary School have. Some of them might be a bit scary, so be prepared! There are other fun things to read and do on the Scary School website www. You definitely don't want to miss out on that fun! So, get your thinking cap on and head out to Scary School for another fun adventure. In order to find out if Charles Nukid is able to rid himself of Princess Zogette or end up marrying her, be sure to read Derek the Ghost's second book about Scary School.
I recommend this fun little read to everyone! Horrible Hauntings is a unique transmedia approach to providing an interactive reading experience that uses a technology called augmented reality.
The book itself is a gorgeously illustrated and designed hardcover nonfiction title, with a double page spread devoted to each of 10 different ghosts or hauntings. One page contains text, with an introductory paragraph in larger print, two to four more detailed paragraphs about the ghost, and photographs of related objects placed strategically on the page. The size of the type for the more detailed paragraphs was a little small for my eyes to focus on, but this is a book for year olds, and they probably have sharper eyes.
The opposite page is a gorgeous, full page illustration. The illustration does, however, look a little empty. This is where the augmented reality technology comes in.
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You can download an app for the book for your smartphone or tablet as long as it has a camera and when the app is active, you run the camera over the illustration and the ghost appears, in some cases leaping straight off the page at you! Quite possibly the creepiest one of these is the last page, devoted to the urban legend Bloody Mary, who appears in the mirror when you chant her name.
If you move the camera she moves too. The problem with the way this book is set up is first, that it requires an app for iPad or smartphone to take advantage of to fully experience the illustrations. Although the text appears on a well-designed page and is informative and interesting, it was almost completely neglected in favor of the ghosts. If you're looking for a unique gift for, say, All Hallow's Read, though, this is a great choice.
Reviewed by: Kirsten Kowalewski. Witches Handbook by Monica Carretero.