Tag: middle grades

Book Review: The Puppet’s Payback and Other Chilling Tales by Mary Downing Hahn

The Puppet’s Payback and Other Chilling Tales
Author: Mary Downing Hahn

Published: September 1, 2021
192 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

The author of wildly popular ghost stories, Mary Downing Hahn has created a group of tales for fans of her “scary but not too scary” books. Even the stories without actual ghosts are spooky. Each tale turns something ordinary—a pigeon, a white dress, a stranger on the bus, a puppet—into a sinister link to the supernatural. For the human characters, secrets from the past or careless behavior in the present can lead to serious trouble. All the stories have a young person as the central character, so all will resonate with young readers who enjoy the eerie, the creepy, and the otherworldly. In a concluding note, the author talks about how she came to write ghost stories.

Kim’s Review:

Another amazing kid’s horror book by Hahn! I really liked this anthology! The stories were all creepy and had me nervous without being too scary. This fits in perfectly with Scary Tales ( see our double review for the series here) and is a great way to introduce kids to horror. Perfect for Halloween!!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: Ghost: Thirteen Haunting Tales to Tell by Illustratus

Ghost: Thirteen Haunting Tales to Tell
Author: Illustratus

Published: August 13, 2019
160 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Ghost: Thirteen Haunting Tales to Tell is a ghost story collection for middle schoolers.

Featuring the only true ghost stories in existence (as the book itself will tell you), readers discover 13 eerie encounters that are perfect for sharing—if they dare.

With tales about a finger against the inside of a mirror, a wooded area where the trees look back, and a basement door blocked by a brick wall so thick it stifles the screams from below, this book is sure to haunt anyone who can’t resist a spooky story.

• Filled with creepy poems and tales
• Features striking, bone-chilling illustrations from Disney-Pixar talent
• Book contains all original stories

This haunting book will consume your imagination and keep readers of every age up long past their bedtimes.

• Great for those who can’t get enough of Halloween, ghost stories, scary movies, and all things spooky, as well as librarians and teachers looking for a thrilling read to share with students
• The perfect book to read by a campfire or during a slumber party—or alone under the covers in the middle of the night

Kim’s Review:

This is a great one for kids! It’s very Scary Stories, but definitely unique! The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous and I think I actually liked this anthology better, overall, than Scary Stories. The connection between all the stories was general enough that it didn’t affect the stories, but that everything felt like it all went together. The stories are short and simple and chilling! I really liked it a lot!!!!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Book Review: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden
Author:
Frances Hodgson Burnett

First Published: 1911
331 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

The plot centers round Mary Lennox, a young English girl who returns to England from India, having suffered the immense trauma by losing both her parents in a cholera epidemic. However, her memories of her parents are not pleasant, as they were a selfish, neglectful and pleasure-seeking couple. Mary is given to the care of her uncle Archibald Craven, whom she has never met. She travels to his home, Misselthwaite Manor located in the gloomy Yorkshire, a vast change from the sunny and warm climate she was used to. When she arrives, she is a rude, stubborn and given to stormy temper tantrums. However, her nature undergoes a gradual transformation when she learns of the tragedies that have befallen her strict and disciplinarian uncle whom she earlier feared and despised. Once when he’s away from home, Mary discovers a charming walled garden which is always kept locked. The mystery deepens when she hears sounds of sobbing from somewhere within her uncle’s vast mansion. The kindly servants ignore her queries or pretend they haven’t heard, spiking Mary’s curiosity.

Kim’s Review:

This book is a classic! Not the stuffy, hard to read type either. I remember the first time I read this book; it blew my teenage mind! Someone from my mom’s family gave me my first copy and I think I decided to read it when I didn’t have anything else to read. I was surprised by how much I liked it! Just recently, I realized how long it had been since I’ve read it, so I decided to read it again. It’s still a great story filled with wonderful characters and an amazing setting! Misselthwaite Manor is everything our gothic fantasy could desire! All the way down to mysterious cries throughout the halls and a mysterious recluse that stays hidden. I also love watching Mary grow into the little girl she was supposed to be from the beginning.

It’s not a parenting book but I think modern day parents could learn a lot from it. Overall, this is a book that everyone should read! I think kids would love it and I know it catapulted me into a deeper love of reading!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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