Scary Tales Series by James Preller

Home Sweet HorrorCindy: Ooooooh, children’s librarians are going to love having this new scary series to offer their younger readers. It’s not often that you find horror written for the emerging readers. I read the first book in the series, Home Sweet Horror (Feiwel and Friends 2013) and it is a thriller with heart. Take an 8-year-old boy, add his older sister and distracted father and throw in the urban legend of the Bloody Mary image in a mirror all packaged in a creepy old house they’ve just moved into and you have the ingredients for a spooky tale. The haunting cover illustrations warn of the danger within…which includes more fabulous eye-popping black and white  illustrations by Iacopo Bruno. What’s not so evident until you get reading is that the story is balanced with the issue of the grieving family who still misses the mother who died two years earlier. The emotions of that…and a helping hand from beyond move things in a hopeful direction.

The book ends with some directions for summonsing Bloody Mary yourself, something that not all parents will endorse, but they can stick to books about pumpkins and scarecrows. This is for families who aren’t afraid of a few ghosts.

I ScreamLynn:  If I had a nickel for every time I had a kid request Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz I’d be buying my own chateau!  I love having these scary stories for the slightly younger readers who also want to read a shivery tale!  I read I Scream, You Scream, also in this series and it delivers the thrills too.  Samantha Carver LOVED amusement park rides and the scarier the better!  So she couldn’t be happier when she entered a contest to be among the first customers to ride The Greatest Thrill Ride Ever Created – the Dragon Tooth!    Sam is in line with her parents but when the winners are called forward they are the only ones allowed to go through the door.  The winners are going to be taken to another location to test the ride in top secret.  Sam notices that the winners are all children and their parents must stay behind.  Something is fishy!

Preller’s stories have just the right amount of scariness for young readers wanting to be safely frightened.  The design is going to grab attention too.  Stock up on plenty of copies as kids are going to gobble these up like trick-or-treat candy!

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees.

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