I’m coming to you today with some more mini reviews…
Since it’s the season of our witchy, spooky friends, I thought I’d round up some of the spooky books I’ve read recently! I didn’t think I read a lot of spooky books (I’m not a massive Halloween fan tbh), but I’ve been sent some brilliant choices this year and I’ve had an absolute blast reading these ones!
A massive thank you to all the publishers for sending me copies of these books – you’re all brilliant!
Mason Mooney: Paranormal Detective – Seaerra Miller
Published September 1st 2020 by Flying Eye Books
“Paranormal Investigator Mason Mooney is heartless, both figuratively and literally. He’s on a mission to prove to the Paranormal Society that he’s the best paranormal investigator around, but they’re not so sure. And they’re not the only ones. Join Mason as he tackles ghosts, witches and grumpy teenagers to prove once and for all who the REAL talent in the world of paranormal creatures is. If anyone can take on the ghosts in the Grimbrook’s haunted house – it’s him. And no one else. But with an evil curse looming over him and the house’s inhabitants, is Mason a bit out of his depth? Or is this just the challenge he needs to finally see some sense?“
I had seen this on twitter for weeks from some of my brilliant teacher friends and when a copy floated through my door (I say floated, I mean BUMPED), I was OVER THE BLOODY MOON. This book is ALL kinds of brilliant. Just reading it, you’re filled with all kinds of brilliance. This is filled with quips and humour. It’s funny. It’s dark. It’s gorgeously illustrated! I was DELIGHTED to hear that there was going to be more from Mason; I truly can not wait! Reading through this, it gives off just the right amount of spooky. A teenage paranormal investigator is summoned to help a girl having ghostly problems in her house! This is just great! I will also tell you that it has FLOWN around my classroom. As soon as one of them had read it, they couldn’t stop talking about it! Massive massive winner in my eyes!
Malice in Underland – Jenni Jennings
Published October 1st 2020 by Scholastic
“Meet Malice Morbid Malign. She’s from Underland, land of sorcery, spooks and skulduggery. But, she and her family live in Topside and mischief is their business… And the business of mischief is a very serious matter!
The Malign family hate books, they hate bathing, and they especially HATE helping. But when grandad ghosts mysteriously start disappearing, including her own beloved grandad, Malice has no choice but to help. She partners up with her Uncle Vexatious, to solve the case of the missing grandad-ghosts.“
When this dropped through my door, I was instantly taken by the title and the cover – I LOVE A COVER WITH A CUT OUT. It was a book I picked up on a whim (I must’ve been feeling in a spooky mood that day) and let me tell you, I really really enjoyed it! This has got a brilliant sense of family, which I absolutely adored. The mystery nature of this book kept me guessing and curious throughout! You can’t beat a good ‘guess who/whodunnit’ kind of story! I loved all of the illustrations throughout too; a lot of kids will really get into this story because of the brilliant illustrations by Hannah Peck. A brilliantly fun story about a young girl who doesn’t feel like she fits in, who finds that she can follow her heart and learn to stand out (and that it’s a good thing!). One of my Y6s has just finished this and she’s set me on a task of finding books similar to this!
The Beast and the Bethany – Jack Meggitt-Phillips
Published October 1st 2020 by Egmont
“Ebenezer Tweezer is a youthful 511-year-old. He keeps a beast in the attic of his mansion, who he feeds all manner of things (including performing monkeys, his pet cat and the occasional cactus) and in return the beast vomits out presents for Ebenezer, as well as potions which keep him young and beautiful. But the beast grows ever greedier, and soon only a nice, juicy child will do. So when Ebenezer encounters orphan Bethany, it seems like (everlasting) life will go on as normal. But Bethany is not your average orphan…”
Honestly, I knew nothing about this book when I received it (which tbh is what I prefer… I go into most books blind!) so when I got round to reading it, it just filled me with such joy! It’s unlike anything else I’ve read recently and I loved that about it. It is definitely something that will stand out for a while to come. It is DELICIOUSLY good. It’s funny and charming with the most gorgeous characters. An old man has a beast which he feeds so he can stay young, but what happens when the beast asks for something rare? Loved the relationship between Ebenezer and Bethany so much! The whole idea of this book was so unique. I can’t wait for the second book!
The Ash House – Angharad Walker
Published: March 2021 by Chicken House
When Eleven-year-old Sol arrives at the Ash House, desperate for a cure for his complex pain syndrome, he finds a community of strange children long abandoned by their mysterious Headmaster. This was supposed to be a healing refuge for children like him. Something between a school and a summer camp. With kids like him. With pain like his. But no one is allowed to get sick at the Ash House. NO ONE. And then The Doctor arrives…”
I was EXCEPTIONALLY lucky to get an early copy of this from Chicken House for a THING (to be revealed!) and guys… it was one of those where you’re spooked and hooked and need to know, but want to put it down at the same time. This was a great amount of spooky and creepy. I figured out a few of the twists (but let me tell you, there’s a load I didn’t!) before they happened… that didn’t stop them still being a bit scary though. I think this book is really bloody good MG spooky tenseness! Perfect for those kids who like being a bit scared. The idea is great. There were definitely moments where I was HOOKED and SPOOKED. I would not be a person of Niceness (but I’m definitely not a Nastiness). This is quite a tense read; it’s not SCARY.
And that’s it for today’s round ups. Let me know in the comments if you’ve read any of these books, or if you’d like to know more about any of them!
Another massive thank you to all of the publishers who sent me these books – these have ALL found homes in my classroom and my kids are adoring them! We are very very grateful!