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Review - Scary School

Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Scary School (Scary School #1)
by Derek the Ghost (author), Scott M. Fischer (illustrator)

Initial Publication: April 24, 2012
Pages: 237
Paperback Publication: June 26, 2012
Pages: 272
Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Illustrator: Website
Publisher: Harper Collins
Buy it: Amazon | KindleB&N | Book Depository

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.

Scary School is the place parents send their children when they want them to get a good schooling education. Apparently children learn better if they're going to lose an arm or two if they answer incorrectly on a quiz--or worse, lose their life if they break the rules. It's not unusual for a whole class to get wiped out by the end of the school year. Quite different from my initial impression of the book. I wasn't expecting so many kids to die out; nevertheless, Derek does a fantastic job of finding humor in the grotesque in a perfectly acceptable manner for middle-grade readers. I wouldn't be averse to recommending this book for upper grade school students either.

When I began reading this book, I was expecting Derek the Ghost to be one of the class students. After all, if zombies go to school, can't ghosts? Apparently not. Since his death in an accidental fire, Derek has been haunting the school grounds and following the going ons at school. While Derek is the narrator of Scary School, he is mostly an observer. Rather than a book following one main plot line, Scary School is more of a collection of related short stories about the students, staff, and faculty of Scary School that begins with the start of one school year to its end. To unlock the final secret chapter, which takes on the last day of school, visit the author's website and take Ms. Fang's quiz.

The characters bring the story to life with their vivid personalities, unfortunate misadventures, and their fight for survival in a school where one wrong move or mistiming can mean the end of your life. I enjoyed learning about each individual whose story Derek tells, especially Ms. Fang and her unfortunate checker match, Petunia and her mommy worries, and Fred and his dreams. This is a fun, light-hearted read that everyone from grade school students to adults can enjoy.
Book two (Monsters on the March) comes out June 26th along with the paperback version of Scary School.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review from the author. No payment was received in return for a review. The receipt of the book had no influence on the opinions expressed in my review.
7 comments on "Review - Scary School"
  1. Love the cover. I think this is a book one of my boys would love. That's for the great review. :)

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    1. I love the cover and illustrations as well. Fischer is very talented. You and your boys enjoy! :)

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  2. Thanks for the review :D This book kind of reminds me of Wayside School, but spookier / more death related, I suppose. & I agree with Stina - the cover is cute(:

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    1. You're welcome! :D Now that you mention it, this book does remind me a bit of Wayside School in a spookier way. Love the cover! <3

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  3. That's good to know that it's more akin to an anthology about the school and its students. Sometimes I'm more in the mood for short vignettes than a full on, full-throttle story. I like the idea of an observer too (Derek the Ghost) because that can explain the focus on many different characters at different times. It also makes the author have to show more than tell to get points and feelings across. This sounds like a very enjoyable read!

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  4. The cover is great. This is a book that my son would absolutely love to read! This is right up his alley. I have added it to his TBR list!

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  5. It looks like a fun book. I've been wanting to read it since I first heard about it. I love books like this.

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