Before we begin this spooky month of reviews, I need to announce last week’s winner of CURIOSITY HOUSE: THE SHRUNKEN HEAD. It’s none other than Michael Gettel Gilmartin. Congratulations. You can find Michael on his own blog, THE MIDDLE GRADE MAFIOSO, or on his group blog, PROJECT MAYHEM- The manic minds of middle grade writers.
Turn off the lamps and turn on the flashlight. I’m dedicating this month to all that is spooky in MG. I’ll recommend the best in ghosts, goblin, and creature type stories. The featured books are great for this time of the year, but they actually can bring goose bumps no matter what month you decide to read.
Josie is our 12-year-old heroine and narrates the story. Combined with her two younger brothers, the trio are smart, adventurous, and for the most part get along. Their unique personalities set them up to have success. The pace is perfect as the kids deal with everyday life and this strange creature known as the Mothman. Spooky for sure and scary, too, but not enough to bother the majority of MG readers.
Although fairly hefty for a MG book, drawings of the key events in the story are interspersed every chapter. It’s an enjoyable ride all the way to its thrilling conclusion.
PUBLICATION DATE: 2015 WORD COUNT: 59,111
FULL PLOT (From AMAZON)
When Josie and her brothers uncover a haunted camera, the Mothman legend becomes a terrifying reality that threatens their entire town in this spooky and action-filled novel.
Josie may live in the most haunted town in America, but the only strange thing she ever sees is the parade of oddball customers that comes through her family’s auction house each week. But when she and her brothers discover a Polaroid camera that prints pictures of the ghost of local recluse John Goodrich, they are drawn into a mystery dating back over a hundred years. A desperate spirit, cursed jewelry, natural disasters, and the horrible specter of Mothman all weave in and out of the puzzle that Josie must solve to break the curse and save her own life.
FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT: MOTHMAN’S CURSE by Christine Hayes
- The family business is an auction house where curious items are auctioned every weekend. Such a unique sidelight, and one of the youngsters, Fox, is a an up and coming auctioneer. He even holds his own auctions just for other kids.
- It was great to see the opposite side of Josie and Fox’s personalities come through. Josie gains more confidence and Fox shows he can be more serious.
- The story is based on a real urban legend that I knew nothing about. The author provided links if readers want to learn more about Mothman.
- The ending is a fast paced conclusion and will keep readers flipping the pages.
- There’s a touch of time travel with Josie and they were some of my favorite scenes. She was able to see what happened in the past and figure out how to deal with the future.
FAVORITE SPOOKY LINE:
Fox kept staring, his breath rough. I pulled my sweatshirt sleeves down over my hands to slow the cold creeping into my limbs. Mason curled up against me. I could feel his heart racing in his chest.
I grew up loving stories about the creatures that curl your toes and the legends that send a shiver down your spine. Now I love writing about them, too. I grew up in the northwest and now live in Utah with my family, our dog, Chewie, and a house full of vintage finds that I secretly hope might be haunted. (From Christine’s web site)
Check the links to other Middle Grade novels over at Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.