Archive for Scary

How to Catch a Bogle by Catherine Jinks

How to Catch a BogleHave you ever felt like something was lurking in the darkness just waiting for a chance to slurp you up into its slimy cavernous mouth? Certainly it was just your imagination…right? Not if you ask Birdie McAdam. She’s a bogler’s apprentice and she knows all-too-well that bogles (monsters to you and me) definitely do exist, and they are devouring children all over London. Working with her mentor Alfred Bunce, Birdie uses her lilting voice to lure the heinous creatures out of their hiding places so that Alfred can destroy them with the help of the legendary Finn McCool’s sword. Birdie is proud to be a bogler’s girl, but a series of curious events is pointing Birdie’s life in a new direction, no matter how hard she tries to fight the change.

How to Catch a Bogle is a delightfully fast paced and fantastical story filled with interesting characters sure to capture the attention of even the most reluctant of readers. The characters, even the bogles, are well-developed and readers will likely find themselves drawn into this surreal version of London in the late 19th century. Jinks does a great job of bringing the ubiquitous imaginary monster-in-the-closet to life without being overly terrifying. Each of the bogles that Birdie and Alfred encounters is unique and grotesque both while alive and in its death. This book would make for a great classroom read aloud for grades 4 through 6. Or, if you have a struggling or reluctant reader in your midst, grab the superbly done audio version, pair it with the text and set him or her off to discover how much fun a book can be.

Posted by: Staci

Leave a comment »

Doll Bones by Holly Black, audiobook narrated by Nick Podehl

Doll BonesHalloween is quickly approaching, which makes this a great time to listen to a chilling adventure story revolving around three friends, a ghost, and a super creepy doll. Doll Bones (doesn’t the title alone just make you want to experience this story?) is the story of Zach, Poppy, and Alice – three best friends who have spent several years playing one ongoing game about a mythical land filled with mermaids, pirates, and an evil queen. However, at twelve years old some people, including Zach’s father, think it might be time to give up the game. After his father throws away all of his game characters, Zach is forced to tell Poppy and Alice that he is done with the game, but Poppy refuses to accept that the game is over.

In an attempt to lure Zach back into the game, Poppy steals a china doll known to the friends as “The Queen” from her mother’s collection, unwittingly awakening the spirit of a girl who died long ago, and setting off a chain of events that will change the friends’ lives forever. As their adventure unfolds, Zach, Poppy, and Alice must come to terms with what it means to grow up, including the possibility of growing apart. At the same time, the friends are also forced to reevaluate their relationships with their families. Not only must they face these realities, but they must do so while uncovering the disturbing truth about the death of the daughter of a great, albeit mentally unstable, pottery artist.

Holly Black has deftly woven a together a story that is part supernatural, part adventure, and part realistic fiction in Doll Bones. The main characters are genuine and relatable to anyone who is or ever has been balancing precariously on the edge between childhood and adulthood. Narrator Nick Podehl does a wonderful job bringing Black’s tale to life. His pace is spot on, and he effortlessly gives each character a unique and fitting voice.

Doll Bones is the perfect fit for readers in grades 5 through 7 who are looking for a hint of creepiness this Halloween season. It is just eerie enough to get your heart beating a bit faster, but won’t leave you feeling the need to sleep with the lights on. You may, however, want to toss a blanket over any dolls in the room.

Posted by: Staci

Leave a comment »

The Hunt for the Seventh by Christine Morton-Shaw

The Hunt for the SeventhWhat would you do if you heard voices that no one else hears and saw ghosts? I’d be leaving immediately but it isn’t that easy for Jim.

Jim, his younger sister, Sal, and his father have come to live in a great manor where his father will be the head gardener. Some areas of the manor are open to the public for touring but Jim’s family will live in a small turret and the children are warned by the mean owner, Lord Louis Minerva III, not to roam the grounds. There are security cameras everywhere and Lord Minerva will see them if they are trespassing.

From the beginning Jim hears voices and starts to see ghosts who talk to him, demand that he solve a mystery they have given him, and leave him clues. He gets no help from his father who doesn’t believe him and is still exhausted and depressed because his wife died recently. Jim decides he will have to solve the mystery himself. The manor is large with gardens, woods, bogs, a lake, various types of buildings and many frightening statues including memorial statues of the children who have died on the estate since 1826. His sister soon gets involved and also the autistic son of the Lord of the manor who is supposed to be away at school but skulks about the property unseen by the adults and guides Tom in gathering information.

This is a scary ghost story set in a very atmospheric location and is also an intriguing mystery. Recommended for children in grades 5 through 7.

Posted by: Fran W.

Leave a comment »

Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz

Splendors and GloomsIt’s the season for spooky books, and for kids who want a scare, ONLY a spooky book will do. Some children, though, want their creepy books to be creepy with a difference–not just cheap scares and cliffhangers, but something atmospheric that draws a reader fully into the world of the book. Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz is perfect for those readers. Schlitz takes us into the Gothic, foggy 150-years-ago world of Lizzie Rose and Parsifal, two children who work for Grisini, a not-at-all-nice puppeteer. When Grisini is hired to perform for the birthday party of rich Clara, a girl who seems to have everything (except siblings, all of whom have died), Lizzie Rose and Parsifal think their fortunes are looking up. Unfortunately, first Clara, and then Grisini disappear, and their lives take a turn for the desperate.

This book is beautifully, spookily written, with compelling characters and perfectly described settings. It won’t be for children who hate historical fiction, or anyone who wants a quick read, but for kids who want a long spooky night where they can enter another world, this is an excellent choice.

Posted by: Sarah

Leave a comment »

All the Lovely Bad Ones by Mary Downing Hahn

All the Lovely Bad OnesWith Halloween fast approaching it is time to crank up the creepiness with a good ghost story. Mary Downing Hahn has been sending chills up the spines of young readers for decades, and she does not disappoint with All the Lovely Bad Ones.

Twelve year old Travis and his sister Corey love stirring up mischief, but when their pranks go too far and they are no longer welcome back at summer camp, their parents decide to send the children to stay with their grandmother for the summer instead. Shortly after arriving at their grandmother’s rural Vermont inn, Travis and Corey learn that the inn has a history of paranormal activity. Armed with this newfound knowledge, a little dime store face paint, and some not-too-shabby acting skills on the part of Corey, Travis and his sister decide to liven things up by haunting the inn themselves. Their seemingly harmless prank wakes more than the inn’s guests, however, and as mischievous spirits begin ransacking the inn and a malevolent presence lurks in the shadows, Travis and Corey are soon forced to face the consequences of their actions. Having woken the spirits from their rest, Travis and Corey must now help to settle them once again…this time for good.

Hahn wastes no time getting to the action and quickly hooks readers. She manages to maintain a pace that is energetic and suspenseful, making this a hard book to put down. The characters, both alive and dead, are dynamic and well developed. Hahn successfully blends mystery, suspense, historical fiction, and the supernatural to create this chilling tale that is perfect for brave young readers from 4th to 7th grade.

Posted by: Staci

Leave a comment »

Over My Dead Body by Kate Klise

Over My Dead BodyThis book may take place in Ghastly, Illinois, but it is far from scary. This clever ghost story is about the unlikely relationship between a boy, a cat, a grumpy old man and an old ghost who all live together in a haunted house.

The Director of The International Movement for the Safety & Protection Of Our Kids & Youth (IMSPOOKY) is Dick Tater (note the name play!) who is out to rid the town of Halloween, ghost stories and anything to do with ghosts. This hardly makes sense to the inhabitants of the Spence Mansion at 43 Old Cemetery Road who have a thriving business writing and selling ghost stories. Mr. Tater uses his authority to break up this trio of ghost writers – at least that is what he thinks!

Told mostly in letters, newspaper articles and illustrations, this witty book will delight readers – especially those who are just looking for some ghostly fun!

Posted by: Wendy

Comments (1) »

The Curse of the Bane by Joseph Delaney

Curse of the BaneThis is book 2 in The Last Apprentice series. I normally do not recommend violent, scary books but occasionally I do like to read them and this is a series that I enjoy and it is October! The moon is bright, the nights are dark and moody and Halloween is right around the corner, so if you like gruesome, scary books this might be a series for you. But beware, it is not for the faint of heart. It is medieval and has a Spook whose job is to rid the country of witches and boggarts and other dark spirits. This particular book also has a Quisitor who gets rich by accusing people of witch craft and then convicting them and burning them at the stake and confiscating all their worldly goods. There is an evil spirit , the Bane, who lives in the catacombs under the cathedral . It is an ancient evil that was locked behind a silver gate but now is growing stronger and corrupting the priests and the people. The Spook was unable to totally defeat the bane when he was young but he has returned with his young apprentice, Tom, to try once again. Tom, though only an apprentice for 6 months is the seventh son of a seventh son and his mother is a good witch so he has lots of inner strength and has already had lots of experience. When the Spook is captured by the Quisitor it is up to Tom to save him and help him with his challenge. Recommended for stout hearted 6th graders and up.

Posted by: Fran W.

Leave a comment »