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MYSTERIOUS THRILLS AND CHILLS

Author: Laura Hickey

Illustrator: Marisa Simmons

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Publisher: LH Publications and Productions

Material: paperback

Summary: This is a collection of short stories where things aren't always as they appear. Think Twilight Zone for mid-elementary school kids. The stories are such that they offer suspense and fantasy.

Type of Reading: anytime reading

Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 12; read yourself: 9 to 12

Interest Level: 7 to 10

Age of Child: Read with 6-year-old child.

Young Reader Reaction: When asked, our first grader will say the stories are "good," in the same tone of voice used to describe the day in school. That said, it was re-requested for several nights running.

Adult Reader Reaction: Don't try this book with kids under five. The stories aren't too spooky, but the younger kids just won't get it. Some stories ended a little flat--just ended, without a proper catharsis or climax.

Pros: The first thing to know is, these did NOT cause nightmares in a six-year-old boy. The stories are short, suitable for bedtime reading, and the "horror" of the stories is drawn from suspense and odd twists (boy turning into a snail, boy wishes for twin brother and gets an evil twin one day). They do NOT rely on blood and gore.

Cons: You can tell this was a self-published book. The awkward word choices and typos were enough to distract the adult reader, let alone a developing reader.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. At least until they get an editor.

If You Liked This Book, Try: AFTER THE TRAIN   THE LITTLE OLD LADY WHO WAS NOT AFRAID OF ANYTHING   JEROME AND THE WITCHCRAFT KIDS

Educational Themes: There are no educational elements to speak of. Indirectly, the stories may spur your child's imagination in new directions.

Literary Categories: Fiction - mystery, horror

Date(s) Reviewed: January 2005

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