Showing posts with label Middle Grade Horror. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Middle Grade Horror. Show all posts

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Student Saturday: Girl In The Lake by India Hill Brown


Genre: Middle Grade, Horror
Student Reviewer:

This book was a great read, it had the perfect number of thrillers and twists for it to remain interesting throughout. Main characters have true personalities, and it feels like you are in the story experiencing the events as you read.

  The main character Celeste had failed her previous swimming lesson, so she feels apprehensive about her upcoming trip to her grandparents' lake house. This story also weaves in the history of segregation and has a great message along with the bone chilling ghost aspect of the story. The characters can be relatable, which is great and makes you feel more connected.  This also reminds me of a similar story my brother had told me a while back about a ghost.

  This story is not too scary but has a good plot, the details make this story outstanding, and the curveballs keep you entertained while still having a great, consistent development. One of the best horror/ghost stories I have read so far, this book is great for people who like books with a strong message with some fun twists. I would definitely read it again!

Monday, June 13, 2022

The Forgotten Girl by India Hill Brown

Genre: Horror, Middle Grade, Mystery
Source: I purchased a copy

India Hill Brown has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I purchased this book after reading "The Girl In the Lake.  I love a good ghost story.  The difference between other ghost stories and the type that this author writes is the historical message.  Her characters are African American.  Her ghost stories came about because of an injustice. In the case of this story, Iris and her neighbor and best friend Daniel break the rules and go out the night of the first snow. To make matters worse they sneak into the forest across the street so their parents won't see them. What they end up finding while making snow angels is a grave of a young girl named Avery. Now Iris is being haunted. The grave is that of a young girl who was buried in a segregated cemetery. Avery doesn't want to be forgotten. That is why she is haunting Iris.  

If you think this is a long gone issue think again. Iris knows what it is like to be forgotten. She is the captain of her middle school's step team.  Her mom notices on the TV news her middle school and all the club captains being recognized. That is, all except her and her step team. It seems that they are always being forgotten. Emails just seem to get lost. I know for a lot of people who are white like me they often don't see the big deal in this. I do. I have never understood why people feel they should judge other's worth based on their skin color.  I am aware there are many African American Cemeteries that have been run down, forgotten about, or evern worse. bulldozed away to make room for other buildings.  I like the fact that this author isn't afraid to to address these issues. If there is one thing I hope her books do for the kids who read them is spur them into noticing these injustices and working toward a solution. I look forward to many more books by this author, and I look forward to putting them into the hands of my students. Awesome book!

Saturday, June 4, 2022

The Girl In The Lake by India Hill Brown


Genre:  Middle Grade, Mystery/Horror
Source: I purchased a copy

Celeste and her brother Owen are spending the summer at their grandparent's lake house along with their cousins Daisy and Capri.  Celeste is not interested in spending tine at the lake. She can't swim. She failed her swim test. Her brother Owen loves the idea of swimming since he passed his test. He is not interested in hiking with his grandfather. He has a fear of mountain lions. He doesn't know if there are any, but why take a risk?  Daisy is the kind and courteous one but she fears storms. Capri is a lot like Celeste. She fears failure.  Will these four learn to face their fears? What does a ghost who looks like Celeste have to do with everything that is happening at the lake house?
I bought this book for my classroom from the book fair. Before I had a chance to take it home and read it a student asked to check it out. I ended up buying a second one and taking it home so that I could read it. I just now got around to it.  I now know why my students kept telling me I needed to read this book. I read it in under three hours. It was that good.  Great mystery/horror story. Kept me on the edge of my seat.   I highly recommend this book.


Tuesday, January 25, 2022

What Waits In The Water by Kieran Scott

Genre: Middle Grade, Horror
Source: I own a copy

Hannah and her new step-sister are total opposites. Hannah is a swimmer and loves the water. Katie can't swim and plays softball.  When Hannah is invited to her best friend Jacob's lake house she is excited. She and Jacob have been best friends since they were very young. She had heard so much about their lake house. Hannah had not planned on her new step-sister tagging along. On the way down to where they will meet Jacob, Hannah realizes there is something between Jacob and Katie. It isn't bad enough she has to spend the weekend with her step-sister there. She learn there are no parents and Jacob has invited two other friends.

Strange things happen. Hannah is racing Jacob when she is suddenly pulled under water. Later she sees something she identifies as a monster. The new friend Colin seems attracted to her. He is the one who tells the story of the drownings in the lake. When Hannah, Katie and Jacob visit the burned island across the lake Hannah finds a box with a diary. It is the diary of a girl who has gone missing.  Was she a victim of the lake? Hannah and Katie watch as their new friend Alessandra is pulled under the water. She surfaces and screams for help before she disappears.  All Hannah and Katie want is off the island.

This was definitely a very creepy, edge of your seat book. I read it in a little over two hours. I have spent a lot of time talking about it to my students. That is how good this book is. Now I must read the other book "What Waits in the Woods". I am sure it will be just as good.

Friday, June 12, 2020

The Wicked Tree by Kristin Thorsness

Genre: Middle Grade, Mystery, Horror
Source: I won a copy from LibraryThing. The opinions expressed here are my own

Tav and his mom have moved back to her old home estate due to finances. Four years before, Tav's father died in a fire and Tav feels responsible. When they move back to the old family estate he decides his great-grandmother is not very likable and his cousin Millie is nuts. She keeps talking about an old book and the woods. Mrs. Green the housekeeper and her daughter Harper also lives in the estate. She has forbidden her daughter from going into the woods.  Tav's mother thinks it is okay for Tav to go into the woods. Tav begins having dreams about an old tree, then he sees a boy in one of the cabins he discovered in the woods. Harper is drug into the mystery because she wants to help Edward, the boy whose picture is in the photo album Millie showed him. Somehow this kid has been on the property for over a hundred years. 

This story is full of creepy mystery with an undercurrent of Tav wanting to do the right thing, the brave thing to hopefully find forgiveness. It would be so easy to get excited and write spoilers so I will stop here and just say that you really need to read this book. 

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Sea Change by Iain Rowan

Middle Grade, Young Adult, Horror
Source:  I won a copy from LibraryThing

John knows what it’s like to be bullied. Yet he does nothing when another kid is bullied. Plagued with guilt his mother sends him to spend some time with his sister in a fishing village. Have things really changed? When he arrives and gets off the bus the first thing he sees is a boy with a snarl.  Then he meets Simon and Sal. The three become best friends. But something is seeking John out. Something needs his help. It seems to be the worst bully of all.  Will John help or will he finally stop running?

This book starts out with a bullying incident that leads to John being shipped to his sisters for a while. Then things turn creepy.  You have a small fishing town. Dark legends and tales.  What I loved about this story was the message of learning to stand on your own two feet and face your fears. The idea of standing up to bullies. The idea is that if you take revenge on the bullies then you yourself become the bully.  I also loved that John is introduced to an old man through his sister’s friend Alan who runs the local bookstore. This is where John learns about the town's legends and the evil that is there. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Monsterland Reanimated by Michael Okon

Genre: Middle Grade, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Horror

Source:  I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

While going through a notebook I found a handful of book reviews I had written but had not posted. What you will find for the next few days will be those reviews.

In the first book we find a situation that has gone terribly wrong. By gathering up zombies, werewolves and vampires and putting them into one area and opening it up to the public Victor Konrad has created a situation that almost destroys the world.

Reading this is like watching a movie. I think it would make a wonderful movie.  You have it all, governments that do things for the wrong reasons, scientists who have their own agendas, people who are greedy and looking for power. You know in the movies when all of these things come together you are going to have the ride of your life. This book is no different.  The author even addresses the issue of stereotyping people.  Wyatt and his friends and family are out to save their town from what is coming.  The author introduced a new monster to the book, the Glob.  I grew up watching every Saturday night a show called, “Nightmare Theater”. One of the most terrifying things a young middle school aged kid can watch, ALONE, is a blob that devours people.  This book brought back those horrifying, yet wonderful memories.  This is a book you can easily lose yourself in and read in one sitting. Highly recommended.