Kids will be happy to spend time in this particular haunted house.

FRIGHTFULLY FRIENDLY GHOSTIES

Who’s afraid of the big, bad…spider?

When the ever-frightened Pamela Fraidy is stuck in the attic with a leggy spider, it’s up to her fellow phantoms to work together and set her free. Tabitha Tumbly, poltergeist, Charlie Vapor, a courteous specter who can walk through walls, and Wither, a fearlessly emotional poetry-writing ghost, successfully do so. They are just a few of the amicable spirits who reside in the old house, also populated by “still-alives” who are always mean—they trap ghosts by closing doors and scream and shake whenever ghosts try to communicate! After efforts to befriend the still-alives fail, the ghosts call in a ghoul to send them on their way. But how to get rid of the ghoul once the job is done? Hint: A living creature with eight legs may hold the answer. Playful dialogue, gentle suspense, childlike characters, appealing black-and-white spot and full-page illustrations as well as an array of comic misunderstandings and themes of loyalty and friendship blend together nicely here in a chapter book that young readers will doubtlessly enjoy. Though the plot is a trifle thin and fragmented, even reluctant readers will giggle their way through as they see that misbehavior is often motivated by fear and that even the scariest adversary has vulnerabilities.

Kids will be happy to spend time in this particular haunted house. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-62365-026-1

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Mobius

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

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Simple text, short chapters, and plenty of illustrations will appeal to emerging readers who prefer just a little shiver...

THE HAUNTED HOUSE NEXT DOOR

From the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol series , Vol. 1

What happens if you move to a new town and your house is haunted? Andres is about to find out!

Andres Miedoso—his last name means “fearful” in Spanish—is “definitely not the coolest and bravest kid in the world.” In fact, Andres likes normal-boring and understands normal-boring, because he is normal-boring. But when the brown-skinned, curly haired Latino child and his family move to Kersville, he finds out his new home is anything but normal-boring. Fortunately, his next-door neighbor, a black boy named Desmond Cole who is the same age as Andres, is “the coolest, bravest kid in the world.” Desmond’s business as stated on his business card is “Ghost Patrol.” How lucky should a boy feel to live in a haunted house? Very—if you’re Desmond. Not so lucky if you’re Andres. But when the ghost eats a lasagna that makes him sick and tells them he’s been moving from house to house, Andres feels sorry and invites the ghost to stay as long as he promises “not to do any spooky stuff.” A deal is struck, a friendship is born, and a new series for chapter-book readers gets off to a good start.

Simple text, short chapters, and plenty of illustrations will appeal to emerging readers who prefer just a little shiver with their story—and to other readers too. (Suspense. 6-9)

Pub Date: Dec. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5344-1039-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

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No need to be afraid of monsters after reading this sweet and unusual friendship story.

MONSTER AND BOY

From the Monster and Boy series , Vol. 1

A boy discovers that monsters are real—and that one lives under his bed.

The monster and the boy—no names given—share a bedroom, but they have never met. The monster is nocturnal and has lived under the boy’s bed for many years; he knows the sound of the boy’s voice and loves the smell of his dirty socks. One night the boy’s mother reads her son a book about monsters, and she tells him that there is no such thing as monsters. Knowing this is untrue, the monster decides to introduce himself. Predictably, this doesn’t go as well as the monster expects, and when the boy screams, the monster swallows him in a panic. This is distressing for both the monster (who just lost his only friend) and the boy (who now finds himself trapped inside a stomach). Eventually the monster coughs the boy out—only to discover the boy is now grasshopper-sized. Humor ensues. In archly amusing fashion, the author breaks the fourth wall—this is marked by teal-colored page backgrounds—reassuring readers during potentially scary parts of the book, filling in background details, or collegially including them in aspects of the storytelling. Teal-flecked grayscale cartoons appear on almost every page, making this a solid choice for new independent readers. As depicted on the cover, the boy has tightly coiled brown curls and pink skin.

No need to be afraid of monsters after reading this sweet and unusual friendship story. (Fantasy. 6-9)

Pub Date: July 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-21783-7

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Godwin Books/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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