Scream: the Haunted Book By Jack Heath
Published by Scholastic Australia
I enjoyed this well written and packaged book: it has evocatively spooky atmosphere, great pace, surprises, twists and turns – everything you’d want in a scary horror style story for kids. But be warned –this is not Nancy Drew where everything turns out to have a sensible explanation.
The plot revolves around a novel idea that had some complexity – a book impregnated with a drug that makes the reader lose their memory whilst replacing it with the memories of the evil mastermind who wants to live forever in the bodies of others. The book is written in third person from the perspectives of both Dale (mostly) and his cousin Sarah, plus the villain via the book and his eventual inhabiting of Dale's mind. It is easy to read with likeable male and female characters who show both fear and bravery. In a funny and clever twist in the epilogue (written in a style of an official police report) the reader is made part of the story.
This is one spine tingling book- not for the faint hearted! It is packaged to clearly demonstrate its ghost-story genre, and the atmosphere is enhanced by the chapter titles and visuals on the page - dripping title font and decoration, pages outlined in dark fluid. It would be enough to warn off sensitive kids who don’t enjoy a spooky tingle, (that would be my kids when they were young – they couldn’t even deal with Nancy Drew!)
Perfect for both girls and boys who enjoy a good spine-chiller – they will want to devour the rest of the books in this Scream series.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Jack Heath
Title: Scream: the Haunted Book
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Published: August 2015