Derek Taylor Kent, illus. by Scott M. Fischer. Harper, $15.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-196092-5
Writing as 11-year-old Derek the Ghost, debut author Kent offers an episodic, meandering account of Scary School, "the first and only school to mix regular kids with Scary Kids and Scary teachers." Derek, whose unfinished business is to haunt the school, narrates this journey (which recalls Louis Sachar's Wayside School books in format), introducing a large cast of dinosaurs, monsters, and plain old humans. Grisly, gross-out humor is in ample supply, and the threat of death is never far ("After being eaten by Dr. Dragonbreath, every kid in his class learned a very important life lesson about following rules and an even more important lesson about not trusting dragons that wear suits"). In one chapter, after Miss Fang drains one student's blood, a long chain of blood transfusions follows, with students alternately dropping dead and being revived. The book moves so quickly from character to character that it's difficult to fully appreciate their eccentricities, and Derek's narrative delay tactics ("more about that in future books") get old. But reluctant readers with a taste for wicked humor should be entertained. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12.
I can't wait to hear my son's opinion of this book, it sounds great. Maybe mom will have to take a turn reading it so we can compare notes too. Hey, a mom deserves to have good easy reads sometimes too!
After your enter my giveaway please hop on over to the other blogs participating in The Freedom Giveaway Hop!
Win it: One lucky reader will win a copy of Scary School by Derek Taylor Kent. This giveaway will end July 8th at 12:01 AM EST. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email. If no response, a new winner will be chosen. Open to residents of the US.
Entry Method: Please use Rafflecopter form for ALL entries. Post comments will NOT be counted. (For daily Tweets you can just put the word Tweet in the mandatory entry box to unlock the Tweet box if it is locked. This box tracks cookies and if you clear them it resets.)
Disclosure: Thanks to PR Firm/sponsor I was provided with this product(s) for the purpose of my personal review. This blog post is not a paid post and the honest opinions stated are my own. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, entry via Facebook like is completely optional.