In the eerie town of Suds, children are disappearing. Some of them come back, unable to speak, their eyes turned grey, their hair turned white, their spirit sucked from them completely.
Poppy is visiting her Gran for the summer, her Gran has funny rules like all washing has to be in before 6pm, no sugar is to be left lying around the house and never, ever clean any windowsills.
When Poppy meets Erasmus, an odd boy who doesn't seem to have a filter, they start to unravel an ancient, terrifying secret that hides just under the town's sleepy veneer.
As they get closer to discovering the truth, Poppy realises that her Gran, her friends and her own life are in horrible danger.
I loved this novel, the writing is crisp and clear and Poppy is an amazing protagonist. She's clever, stubborn and doesn't back down from a fight. The great thing about this story are the secondary characters who really jump off the page with grit and spirit. Erasmus is hilarious, loyal and headstrong as is Poppy's Gran. Poppy's dynamic with her absentee father is very realistic and touching. The villains in this novel are truly terrifying, stuff that creeps into your dreams and spins them into nightmares. It's a fantastic tale that will become a modern classic in my opinion. Don't miss it!
After Jake is given a box by a mysterious stranger, he discovers it contains nothing but a severed finger.
It's not just any severed finger, however, it's an enchanted one that summons a grim reaper after him. After this event, Jake realises he can communicate and see ghosts, this puts him on a wild adventure with Stiffkey the undertaker, Cora, a ghost who likes to attack people with hockey sticks and a ghost fox known as Zorro. Together, they must right the wrong accidentally set in motion by Jake when he opened the haunted box. Their lives depend upon it!
This is a fun new series with ghosts, spectres and lots of laughs. This is a welcome addition to the Library that I manage because we have a huge population of students who crave books with both silly and smart humour and this has both. It also has a lot of danger and a few frights, it's a great read worth your time, I recommend it for ages 10 and up!
Jane Mckeene is born into a world of terror. Zombies, known as shamblers, have risen from the Civil War battlefields and torn the nation apart even further.
Jane is sent to special combat schools based on a government law known as the Native and Negro Reeducation Act, In the school she learns to dispose of the undead in an efficient manner.
Her and the other students are told that the area around Baltimore is shamble free, but when this turns out to be a lie, Jane and her friend Katherine are plunged into a conspiracy that will take them out west where shamblers aren't the only thing that's rotten.
I only gave this book two stars on Goodreads simply because I felt it was around 100 pages too long. I had such high hopes for it but nothing happens, it seems to be a string of mildly entertaining zombie attacks that are wedged into a huge amount of info dumps that go on for pages. It had a lot of promise in the beginning, but I have to say that the book is really boring which should have been near impossible when writing a book about zombies during the American Civil War.
Simon is a dog without a family. He survives with his friends Cliff the raccoon and Reynard the deer. Something has happened to the world, humans are gone, cities and towns burned to husks.
The animals have taken over and their mission is to scrounge for food in order to survive.
One day they meet Barnaby, another dog who has lost his family. Barnaby tells them there's another town nearby with humans in it. Simon becomes interested, hopeful that he'll find his family.
Together the four animals set off to find the new town. Barnaby turns out to be a controlling jerk, however and isolates Simon from the other animals.
When they come across an angry bear and a team of vicious coyotes, the trio's friendship is stressed to its limits.
Garbage Night is reminiscent of Sweet Tooth, another post-apocalyptic scenario involving animals. Garbage Night appears on the surface much less dark and disturbing than Sweet Tooth but it's a series that has the potential to go down that route.
The three animals' rapport is fun and interesting and I was genuinely concerned for their well-being as the story moved along. I wasn't aware of this series before but I'm glad I've come across it because I know a lot of students who enjoy things like Fallout, Fortnite and other similar games and this kind of scenario would be perfect for them, especially reluctant readers.
Highly recommended for ages 11 and up!
It's 1982. Mary is an orphan at Thornhill Institute for Children. She has selective mutism and spends all of her time in her room, writing in her diary and reading The Secret Garden.
She's also hiding. Hiding from a ferocious bully who makes her life at Thornhill a living hell. To cope, Mary spends even more time in her room making dolls. The dolls represent the friends she wished she had and also the people that she doesn't particularly like.
As more and more children find homes, Mary finds herself alone with the bully, who embarks upon a psychological torture that will bring Mary to the brink.
It's 2016. Ella's new home overlooks the ruins of Thornhill. She's intrigued by its dilapidated appearance and overgrown lawns. Lonely and bored, she decides to sneak under the "No Trespassing" signs and find out everything she can about this mysterious building.
Creepy and taught with a building foreboding, Thornhill is a must read for any horror or mystery fan. Mary's section is told through diary entries while Ella's is told entirely through illustrations. Each section is broken by black pages which only adds to the dark, empty feeling you get when you entre an abandoned building with a dark past. I recommend Thornhill for ages 12 and up!
Bryony Gray's portraits are becoming very popular in late 19th century London, but they come with a terrible price.
Locked in an attic by her aunt and uncle, Bryony spends her time dreaming of some sort of escape. Then there are the strange rumours that she sometimes hears, rumours about the people she has painted going missing.
During one of her paintings, things go very wrong. Bryony is angered by her overbearing and cruel aunt and she ruins the portrait. Little does she know that she has inadvertently awoken her family's long hidden curse.
The ruined portrait comes to life, tears its way through the canvas and makes its way down the London streets.
Horrified, Bryony sets off on her own adventure to finally solve her mysterious past. Along the way she meets some unlikely friends and some truly disturbing enemies.
With a fiery and smart protagonist and genuinely scary scenes, The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony Gray is a clever spin on The Portrait of Dorian Gray. With tons of twists and surprises and scenes that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end, it's a real treat that should not be missed by any mystery or horror fan. I recommend it for Ages 11 and up!
It's happened to all of us. You've placed something you own on the kitchen counter or coffee table - a book, a spoon, something simple and easily overlooked. Then, in the next instant, it's not there, or it's been moved to a strange location. You could've sworn that you hadn't touched it but the part of your brain that dispenses rational thought tells you that you're being silly, of course you must've moved it there, you just weren't thinking about it at the time.
This is the feeling that every single one of the victims in There's Someone Inside Your House experiences before their untimely demise. An oh there are a lot of untimely demises in this novel. Makani has just moved to Nebraska from Hawaii to live with her grandmother. She carries with her a troubling secret, but this soon takes the back burner once several of her classmates are viciously murdered one after another.
There are plenty of suspects, one of them being Ollie, a boy whom Makani has a past with. Makani can't help but still feel drawn to Ollie despite the rumours circling him like buzzards.
As the tension increases, and the murders get more and more grisly, Makani and her friends must try and figure out who is behind the crimes and why.
I have some older teens (and this book is definitely for older teens) in the library that will love this novel. It has everything they are looking for in a novel: murder, kissing, murder, kissing, foul language and more murder.
It's a quick, gory read with some good twists that teens will love.
The Call is my worst nightmare.
In a good way.
I devoured this novel in a few hours while waiting for a plane. I loved it.
It's a world where the adolescences of Ireland can be "Called" at any moment by the Sídhe, a race of fairies that live in a parallel universe that resides "underground."
The Sídhe aren't your run of the mill fairies that sprinkle dust around and attend tiny balls and sit on toadstools all day.
They are truly terrifying monsters, and when they "Call" a youth to their land, they rarely let them live. in fact, they ensure that they are hideously tortured and maimed. When a child is "Called", they simply vanish from thin air, leaving nothing but their clothes behind. They stay away for three minutes and four seconds, but in Sídhe it's much, much longer.
The land of the Sídhe is Dante's Inferno combined with something from Joe Hill's Locke & Key series. Twisted, depraved and sadistic, the Sídhe love to torture anyone they "Call". The creatures that don't adhere to the Sídhe's rule are usually ravenous and simply want to eat the children.
Those that survive the Sídhe are never the same, they are either disfigured or suffering from PTSD so severe they can't properly function.
Luckily, Ness and her classmates have been training for years, gleaning any information they can from the survivors so they can endure a "Call" and outlive the Sídhe's hideous land.
The Call is a pedal to the metal gore-fest that pits students against each other as they try to train rigidly enough to survive a horrible ordeal. All of them know that at any moment they can be "Called" and that they most likely won't survive. The anxiety and fear the students face are palpable in this novel and the horrors the Sídhe dish out are truly disturbing.
With a large group of students who love horror, I know that The Call is going to be one of our most popular books in the coming year!
When I was a kid I was obsessed with UFOs.
My dad witnessed the unexplained object streak across the sky at his home in Clark's Harbour Nova Scotia in 1967. It would be known as the Shag Harbour UFO incident because many locals claimed to have seen a craft crash into the ocean. Some told stories of thick orange foam covering the top of the water and Russian ships suddenly converging on the area.
Whatever it was, it was an experience shared by others and the stories remain to this day.
Encounters is all about a shared experience. Based on the Ruwa, Zimbabwe UFO incident when dozens of school children claimed to have seen silver discs land behind their school, Encounters follows the journey of six children that have their lives changed forever because of the alleged alien encounter.
The most fascinating UFO experiences that I have read about are the ones where the witnesses share some kind of collective unconscious aftermath - they have recurring nightmares that are eerily similar to each other, they daydream about the same thing and they often have an almost indescribable feeling of never being alone.
Wallace captures this experience perfectly. In Ruwa, the school children drew pictures of what they saw. The pictures that were drawn were almost identical to each other. In Encounters, The school children draw the same images and each have the itchy feeling that the creatures that they saw emerge from the ships were warning them about something.
For each of the six children, all suffering from turbulent home lives in some for or another, the warnings mean different things.
If you're fascinated with stories about people who've claimed to see UFOs, you simply can't ignore this book. Its tone is pitch perfect, a dream-like haze mingles with the boiling heat of the African sun, creating an eerie atmosphere that will stick in your guts for a long, long time.
Denizen Hardwick's having a tough week.
First, he's stuck in Crosscaper orphanage. That's not a huge deal because he's been there his whole life. He has no memory of his father. His only memory of his mother is that she smelled like strawberries and used to sing to her.
Then, on his thirteenth birthday, everything changes. Denizen gets a visitor, a mysterious man that tells him he's going to take him to see his long lost aunt.
On the way to see his aunt, something weird happens. The air becomes electric and his stomach feels queasy. The driver pulls the car over and steps out.
From the darkness emerges a creature, the stuff of Denizen's nightmares. The driver, known as Grey, kills the creature with a few barely audible words, driving it back into the dark with a blast of light.
From here, Denizen learns that his family belongs to an ancient band of Knights sworn to protect the earth from these creatures who live in another fold of reality. A dark, dark, fold that is getting stronger by the hour.
Denizen must learn ancient fighting techniques if he's going to join the Knights and help save the day.
A fast-paced electric series that is going to be super popular with the teens I work with!
I recommend this book to ages 11 and up!