Rummanah Aasi
   I've heard great things about Scary School, a new children horror/comedy series from HarperCollins. As an adult, I know I appreciate a bit more tongue in cheek humor and Scary School totally delivers. Perfect for kids who like scary books that feature monsters but who aren't terrifying. Think Pixar's Monster, Inc. meets Lemony Snicket. For full disclosure, I was given a copy of the book by the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Description (from publisher): You think your school's scary? Get a load of these teachers: Ms. Fang, an 850-year-old vampire Dr. Dragonbreath, who just might eat you before recess Mr. Snakeskin?science class is so much more fun when it's taught by someone who's half zombie Mrs. T?break the rules and spend your detention with a hungry Tyrannosaurus rex! Plus Gargoyles, goblins, and Frankenstein's monster on the loose The world's most frighteningly delicious school lunch And The narrator's an eleven-year-old ghost! Join Charles "New Kid" Nukid as he makes some very Scary friends?including Petunia, Johnny, and Peter the Wolf?and figures out that Scary School can be just as funny as it is spooky!

Review: Snarky, funny, and smart, 11 year old Derek the Ghost (it was a chem experiment gone wrong, don't ask) takes us inside Scary School where "learning, horror, and mayhem" go hand in hand where at humans and monsters attend the same school. This short and extremely enjoyable chapter book features  linking vignettes and character profiles that lead to the overall story arc of describing the school’s preparation for the annual Ghoul Games. The teachers, mostly made up of monsters, are familiar with their tough rules and classroom expectations.
  With clever titles and asides, Derek makes frequent allusions to events in later chapters and even to unwritten books, which enhances not only the humor but would work as a great tool to demonstrate foreshadowing to young readers. Odd events are thrown in for good measure and cleverly resolved in unexpected ways, which will never bore readers. Writing a funny book is hard as it is, but Kent makes it look very easily as the puns and over the top scenarios glide smoothly across the page. I think Scary School would make a great read-aloud, especially during Halloween time.
   Besides the fun, funny, action filled plot, I also really enjoyed the artwork in Scary School, which is a mixture of full page drawings and spot sketches, that reflected the book's tone quite nicely. Comical, sometimes gross, but never frightening, the pictures illuminate the strange yet familiar monsters and the susceptible human who is bound to be in trouble. I'd definitely recommend this book for those who are looking for a new exciting chapter book series for young readers.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Grades 3 to 6.

If you like this book try: Wayside School series by Louis Sacher, The Zack Files by Grosset and Dunlap, Ghostville Elementary by Marcia Thorton Jones
6 Responses
  1. Oo, I'm glad you liked this one since I just got it for review. It sounds like a fun book and I can share it with my younger brother when I'm done.

  2. This book recently caught my attention and it certainly sounds like a fun and entertaining read. I also like that there is plenty of humor to entertain the adults. I definitely want to check this out!

  3. Oh this sounds perfect for my little cousin! I really think he'd enjoy it. Hm... might make a great pressie!

  4. I think I've already mentioned how much I miss books with illustrations! I need to pick a few up just for that reason alone.

    P.S. Sorry I haven't been around much to comment. First week of summer session has been brutal on me. I can barely keep up with work and school and blogging. One is going to have to give soon, I think.

  5. Small Review Says:

    Perfect timing—I'm reading this now! I couldn't agree with you more. I think this will be a hit with the target age.

  6. Great Review Rummanah! Sounds like a great book for an elementary school! I love humor in books!
    I think kids appreciate it.


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