Fans of horror and those who like to say "trick or treat" are ready for Halloween celebrations across the country. Some people go around for the holidays – adorning scary decorations outside their homes and attending haunted houses to scare you-you-know from them!
Others love to wear makeup like fear (or not) mashed potato scary) characters to join in all the fun.
What happens, however, when the holiday has arrived and gone? When all the "monsters" took off their masks and returned to being normal people? The books selected for this review will be more than extinguish readers thirsty for a good scare. In fact, these books could help readers find out who the real monsters can be … us!
"Pet" by Akwaeke Emezi
Jam is an African American transgender woman who accidentally cuts herself on her mother's last painting. In the beginning she is unaware of the supernatural effect her blood has on the painting – until the painting comes to life. Terrified, he finally asks the painting how it should be called, and the painting claims to call it a "pet". The pet showed up because something bad is happening in the city of Lucille. Jam's hometown was allegedly freed from all its past monsters, but Pet has come to reveal the truth. Together, Pet and Jam discover secrets within Jam's best friend's family, Redemption, a shock that Jam is not prepared to face. Put this book in the hands of teenagers who like dystopic books or those who have suffered the trauma of physical or sexual abuse.
"The Sacrifice Box" by Martin Stewart
Set in the 80s, this book has many prototypical images and tropes associated with the classic horror books: crows, dead animals and lots of blood. The main character, September Hope, whom everyone calls Sep, is praised by the school faculty for its academic genius, yet detested by its peers. Desperately wanting to go to school away from his island, it counts the days left until his departure. He does his best to take care of his business until he is approached by a group of old friends. All five spent a summer together several years ago, when each of them offered something to the "Crate of Sacrifice". Each of them agreed that they would never resume their sacrifices, but one of them broke the promise. Now friends are starting to be persecuted by the things that everyone has sacrificed. The unexpected humor arises when the sacrifice of Sep's teddy bear, Barnaby, comes back to life with a vengeance! "The Sacrifice Box" is recommended for fans of the horror genre and readers who love the nostalgia of the 80's.
"The Haunted" by Danielle Vega
When Hendricks Becker-O & Malley and his family move into Steele House, he doesn't expect to be scared again so soon. His move was to be the new beginning of a happier, better life. His parents made the decision in response to their daughters' toxic report with an ex-boyfriend who had started persecuting her. He's already had a good dose of fear and is now ready to move on. But she starts to see the ghosts and assists her little brother, Brady, who is thrown against a wall by a ghost. The voices emerge on the dark past of Steele House as a place of tragic death. A forbidden love story added to the plot only helps a reader fly faster between pages!
Jasmine Parker is a Ferndale librarian. For more information and to find these titles, visit ferndalepubliclibrary.org and click "Search the catalog".
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