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Friday, March 9, 2012

Scary School by Derek the Ghost

Title: Scary School
Author: Derek the Ghost
Illustrator: Scott M. Fischer
ISBN: 9780061960925
Publisher: Harper
Released: June 21, 2011
Page #: 233
Source: Copy from the author

"You think your school's scary?
Get a load of these teachers:
* Ms. Fang, an 850-year-old vampire
* Dr. Dragonsbreath, 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!

* Gargoyles, goblins, and Frankenstein's monster on the loose
* The world's most frighteningly delicious school lunch

* 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!"
First Lines:

"It's not often that a new kid arrives at Scary School, but when one does, no one wants to bother learning yet another name, so they just call him or her 'new kid.'
Everyone knows that the human brain can only hold so many names. About fifty is all there's room for."
Page 1

What a fun story! I cannot imagine a more entertaining middle school.

I can't imagine what it would be like to go to a monster school. I mean, the teachers are allowed to eat students and they are practically required to be frightening. The students aren't much better - but there are some humans. Of course, they might be zombies by the end of the school year.

One thing that really appealed to me about this book was the format of the chapters. I think it's a great idea to have fairly separate chapters. That way your reluctant readers can get into part of the story for a chapter at a time. Also, you learn about all of the various characters better that way. It's just a really good format for a middle grade novel.

I loved some of the irony in this book. The students have a part where they get super excited to meet Frankenstein and all they get is a chubby old guy... not at all what they expected. I also thought it was clever to have other schools come in for this Ghoul Games stuff. It gave the author the ability to come up with even more crazy characters - not that there weren't enough!

The ending is what really made me love the book, I think. No, I'm not going to give it away. But I just think it showed what a good story it is and how it can still teach some life lessons... even though it's not exactly the obvious point of the book. As a side note: I think my favorite mini-story was about Petunia. I love that she was purple, that she was followed by insects... just a really cute story.

Honestly, I think this book was adorable. I know that early middle school students will really get into it. I already have the second book in my hot little hands and I will have to read it soon. So much fun. I'll definitely be getting it for some of my middle schools. It's an easy sell :).
Other Blog Reviews:

Literary Exploration
The Reading Fish
To Read or Not To Read
Tabithas' Book Blog
Boys to Books
Bookworm Lisa
Late Bloomer Books

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