Home Sweet Horror

James Preller, illus. by Iacopo Bruno. Feiwel and Friends, $14.99 (112p) ISBN 978-1-250-01887-8
Preller (the Jigsaw Jones mysteries) serves up gasp-worthy scenes and chilling twists in this illustrated chapter book that launches the Scary Tales series. Suspense builds gradually: when eight-year-old Liam, his widowed father, and older sister, Kelly, arrive at their ominous-looking new home, he sees a flicker of light from an upstairs window; the next morning, he hears floorboards groaning, radiators hissing, and someone moaning. Preller raises the stakes as Liam, investigating a clanging noise in the basement, falls through a stair and feels “a thin, skeletal grip” on his dangling leg; later, Kelly and a friend attempt to summon Bloody Mary—a bit too successfully. Sound effects reproduced in large type amplify Liam’s fear, and Bruno’s heavily inked, etching-like pictures intensify the story’s spookiness. In contrast to the scary bits, Preller also gives the story a tender emotional undercurrent: the family is still aching from the death of the siblings’ mother, who may still be looking out for her family. Just enough chills to keep burgeoning readers flipping pages. I Scream, You Scream pubs simultaneously. Ages 7–10. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/20/2013
Release date: 07/09/2013
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FORMATS
Hardcover - 97 pages - 978-1-250-01886-1
Ebook - 112 pages - 978-1-250-03788-6
Prebound-Glued - 112 pages - 978-0-606-31893-8
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