Posted tagged ‘Scary’

The Giants and the Joneses by Julia Donaldson

October 20, 2009

url-2Here is a book by a British children’s book author that combines elements of Jack and the Beanstalk, The BFG by Roald Dahl, The Borrowers by Mary Norton, and “The Littles” series by Peterson. It even had echoes of the movie (I know! I’m not supposed to talk about “the ‘m word'”, but sometimes I do watch movies) “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” which you students maybe have never even heard of….ANYWAY, in this book three siblings (who don’t get along very well) Colette, Stephen and Poppy get captured by a giant girl, Jumbeelia, who plants a beanstalk from way up there in “giant land” because her favorite story is Jack and the Beanstalk, and she climbs DOWN to see if she can find some “iggly plops” ( giant language for “little humans”). One of the fun things about this book is the invented language of the giants. There is a glossary at the back of the book but you can usually figure out what they’re saying from the context. How do you think the three human children will make it up there in their new surroundings? If you think Brian had survival issues in Hatchet, wait till you see the dangerous things these three children have to deal with when Jumbeelia’s evil brother gets ahold of them! Check it out if you are a fan of adventurous, fast-paced, suspenseful fantasies.

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All the Lovely Bad Ones by Mary Downing Hahn

October 11, 2009

url-4This is a classic ghost story by a master of the genre, Mary Downing Hahn. Corey and Travis, sister and brother, are in Vermont spending the summer at their grandmother’s inn. They are mischievous children, and when they find out that the inn is supposedly haunted, they decide to have some fun by dressing up and scaring the guests who are staying there. What starts out as good-natured antics soon gets out of control, however, as the inn truly IS haunted and the restless spirits are awakened by the children’s pranks. Corey and Travis find out the the inn used to be the town “poor farm”, a place where poverty-stricken families took shelter in the early 1800’s, run by the evil Ada Jaggs. The spirits they have awakened turn out to be Ada and the young boys whose deaths she caused by her cruel treatment. This is a very fast-paced book: you can’t put it down, because you are eager to find out how Corey and Travis outwit the evil ghost, with the help of the child ghosts. The historical element is also very interesting, as Corey and Travis get quite an education in the sad reality of yesterday’s poor. Check it out if you want a truly satisfying, well-written novel and you’re old enough to handle a scary ghost story.