In these days of vampires, werewolves and zombies, it is natural to wonder what life would be like if those creatures inhabited the real world (yes, I’m assuming they don’t already. feel free to prove me wrong). Even more exciting, what if there were a special school for all of the monstrous children? In fact, I don’t know if that’s exciting after all, or just plain scary. This is the premise of Derek the Ghost’s middle grade fantasy, Scary School.
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!
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!
Derek the Ghost is not only the author of Scary School, he’s the narrator, as well. If it wasn’t obvious, he’s also a ghost. Why is he a ghost? Because he was once a student at Scary School, and… well… he met a fate that many students of that place do. Scary School is a stream-of-consciousness tale of life during one year at Scary School. It follows the many eccentric teachers and students, and chronicles their adventures, unique challenges, and brushes with death.
That’s not to say that Scary School is serious – no! It is a light-hearted (and sometimes farcical) adventure. Scary School is a place filled with endless stories, strange rules, unimaginable creatures, and trials that take a special sort of thinking to conquer. What is required? A sense of humor, an appreciation for the ridiculous, and a strong streak of curiosity, mixed liberally with self-preservation.
Two things helped Derek the Ghost’s Scary School stand out in a good way: 1) Inspired imagination and 2) Fantastic illustrations by Scott M. Fischer. Scary School is home to creatures of all sizes and many different origins. From dinosaurs to vampires to patchwork monsters, the horizon is full of interesting and freaky creatures. These are brought to life in the pages not only with words, but with masterful, whimsical artwork as well. These will keep any reader turning the pages!
Two things that took away from the overall enjoyment of an inventive book? 1) Repetition of certain phrases (‘But more about that later’ being an egregious example) and 2) Lack of a clear central protagonist to cheer for. In all, Scary School is a silly, funny book with touches of the ridiculous, and should appeal to many, despite these faults. Want to learn more? Check out Derek the Ghost’s author guest post.
Recommended for: readers at the younger end of the middle grade spectrum, those who enjoy a harebrained tale of monsters and beasties, and younglings with overactive imaginations.
Fine print: I received an ebook of Scary School for honest review from the author. Thanks!