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"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green


Scary School (Review)

TitleScary School
Author(s)Derek the Ghost
Edition: Hardcover, 237 pages
Publication Date: June 21, 2011
Source: Received for review from author

The Summary
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"
Gargoyles, goblins, and Frankenstein's monster on the loose
The world's most frighteningly delicious school lunch
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.
My Opinion
I don't read many middle grade books, but when I read the premise for Scary School it just reminded me so much of the type of books I loved as a kid, and I couldn't resist!

The first book of a series, I love the fact that our narrator is the ghost of a former student! This is a creative way to really tell the story from a child's perspective.  I think this let's kids get into the book even more.  It certainly helped me embrace the strange things going on!  Sometimes it's fun to dive back into childhood.

Derek the Ghost is Scary School's resident author, and he is documenting the adventures of his fellow classmates in hilarious fashion.  That is what I love most about the book; no matter what happens there is always a sense of humor to it.  This really allows some awful things to happen, but still be appropriate for younger readers.  Kids getting eaten?  It's okay, they'll be back.  Kids and monsters going to school together?  No problem, they're best friends!

This mix of monsters and humans in one school can also be used as an opening for dialogue about bullying and accepting differences.  Kids are so tough on each other, and they need to be taught to celebrate differences, and find the things they have in common.  I love books that celebrate and embrace this fact, and Scary School does it in such a great, non-intrusive way.  It just is what it is.

Besides the writing, which is all told via Derek in an interesting first person/third person point of view, the illustrations really add a lot.  I love illustrations/photographs/images in books I read.  I think it helps visualize exactly what the author intended.  Of course the illustrations just add to the humor of the story.  I loved seeing Goblin Hill and the school itself.  Just great!

Overall, Scary School is a fantastic middle grade book which older elementary school students would enjoy as well!  The next book in the series, Scary School: Monsters on the March, is due out June 26!  Pick up Scary School, and prepare to shake with laughter!

Book Trailer

Final Rating
Book Cover: 4/5
Book Title: 3/5
Plot: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Writing: 9/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 42/50: B

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